The Last Steam Out of Carrollton

Steam locomotives ceased to operate for all practical purposes on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad on November 3, 1956 when steam locomotive M-1 #1950 hauled a coal train from Ravenna, Ky. to DeCoursey, Ky.

However , steam locomotive J-4 #1882 was still on lend-lease to the Carrollton Railroad until January 28, 1957.  On that date, a spare switch engine, SW9 #2294 brought local freight 86 from South Louisville to Worthville, where the #1882 was spotted up and ready to be exchanged. L&N 86's Short Line crew, well aware of the historic nature of their task, then blasted out of Worthville one last glorious time, climbing up to Walton, then down Banklick, across the big bridge at Independence, through Latonia, and finally into DeCoursey. The L&N Magazine had a cover story about this---the official “last run” of L&N steam in revenue service.

And, that was it.  If you've never seen the tons of rotating mechanical fury that was a giant steel steam locomotive blasting under full power, you have no idea of what you've missed, and you fail to understand the magnitude of the romanticism of the rails in the 1900's.