From: "Jim Dent" james DOT dent AT itochu DOT com
Date: Wed, 5 Dec 2001 13:58:14 -0500
Subject: Louisville, KY
"train_instory.jpg" - image/jpeg, 19244 bytes, 230x157 (18kb)
1st Photo caption - The Kentucky Cardinal arrived at Union Station in
Louisville yesterday, signaling the return of Amtrak service to the station
after 25 years. The train will continue to stop in Jeffersonville, Ind., its
previous southernmost stop.
2nd photo - A train stopped at Union Station Oct. 28, 1976. Later that week,
Amtrak stopped using the station.
Here is another article about the Kentucky Cardinal extension with more
about the history of the stations in Louisville, from today's Louisville
Ties restored: Amtrak returns to Louisville
Chicago line extended to Union Station
By Butch John
In 1950, Robert Miles stepped from Louisville's Union Station platform
aboard a Pennsylvania Railroad train at 11 p.m., found his sleeper berth and
awoke in Chicago at 7 a.m. -- bound for naval service in the Korean War.
''One of the best nights I ever had,'' said the 69-year-old native
Louisvillian, who would spend many restless nights while serving on a
high-speed transport in Korea ferrying troops into combat zones. ''I got a
good night's sleep for the last time in a long time.''
Union Station hasn't seen passenger-train traffic for 25 years, since
Amtrak's Floridian pulled out for the last time.
But yesterday, passenger trains returned to Louisville when the Kentucky
Cardinal pulled into Union Station and was greeted by a crowd of more than
250, with Miles among them. Before that, the Cardinal had ended its Chicago
run in Jeffersonville, Ind., since beginning service in December 1999.
Amtrak and Louisville officials are betting nostalgia and curiosity about
alternative travel can rekindle passenger-train service. More than 29,000
people rode the Kentucky Cardinal last year despite its sluggish 11-hour
trip between Jeffersonville and Chicago, on part of which the train travels
Louisville and Amtrak each paid $300,000 of the extension's cost, and a
private foundation provided the other $30,000.
Mayor Dave Armstrong has said the extension eventually should make Union
Station a center for shops and restaurants. The idea of bringing passengers
into the city for long weekends for the arts, shopping and other amenities
is a key element of his plan to revive downtown.
Round-trip fare between Louisville and Chicago is $98 for a reserved coach
seat, $195 for a regulation sleeper and $296 for a deluxe sleeper that
includes a sofa and a bathroom with a shower.
Jeffersonville will keep its stop, Armstrong said, further strengthening a
''tie and relationship between Southern Indiana and Louisville.''
Jeffersonville Mayor Tom Galligan said extending the route across the Ohio
River leaves just ''one more accomplishment'' to complete the bond --
construction of two more auto bridges over the river.
Dignitaries aboard the Cardinal when it pulled into Louisville at 10 a.m.
included Lt. Gov. Steve Henry, Armstrong, Galligan and Don Saunders, the
acting president of Chicago-based Amtrak Intercity.
Their nostalgic speeches also made it clear Amtrak and Louisville are
looking south, hoping to extend the Cardinal's route to Nashville, Tenn.
Saunders said Amtrak ''would do our best to make that happen'' and hinted
that an announcement could be made by the end of the year.
''We're one state closer to Tennessee and Nashville,'' said Robert Stewart,
director of the Tennessee Association of Railroad Passengers, one of more
than a half-dozen Tennesseans to make the trip.
Tracks south of Louisville could handle speeds of 60 mph or more, Stewart
said, allowing Amtrak to use equipment that otherwise sits idle for about 12
hours on the overnight run to Chicago.
The line also could serve Bowling Green and Elizabethtown, Armstrong said.
An agreement with Greyhound will provide bus connections with Nashville and
the two Kentucky cities in the interim.
Much of yesterday's pageantry centered on Louisville's place in railroading
history. Union Station was awash with nostalgia, from relics of the earlier
days of the terminal to displays tracing the history of passenger rail in
The station underwent a $2 million renovation in 1979, being maintained as
the Transit Authority of River City headquarters.
Another $750,000 is needed to complete passenger amenities planned for
Amtrak's portion of the station, said TARC Executive Director Barry Barker.
To celebrate the passenger train's return to Louisville yesterday,
78-yearold William Kinser attended wearing railroad gear, including a cap
with three plastic railroad cars glued to a track on its bill.
''Lots of good times back then,'' said Kinser, who worked 37 years for the
Louisville & Nashville Railroad as a microfilm technician.
Train travel could take off in several directions with Louisville as a hub
for a high-speed system scheduled for this decade, said W. David Randall of
the Illinois Association of Railroad Passengers, who attended yesterday.
The timetable, he said, depends on Congress' willingness to spend the money
to implement the service.
For Dr. Bill Powers of Louisville, the leisurely trip isn't an issue. But
people looking at a five-hour drive to Chicago or a quick flight might feel
differently, he acknowledged.
''We have something to work with and build that's a lot easier and a lot
more convenient (to Louisville residents) now,'' Powers said. ''Hopefully,
someone will turn this thing from a novelty to something practical.''
Yesterday also marked the 150th anniversary of the first passenger intercity
train to Louisville -- the Louisville & Frankfort Railroad, said Charles
Castner, one of the city's foremost railroad historians.
As early as 1834, talks were held with the Lexington and Ohio Railroad to
extend its route west from Frankfort. A year later, discussions for a
proposed line from Cincinnati to Charleston, S.C., included discussions with
Louisville. Financial problems shelved both efforts.
In 1838, the L&O ran a short-lived, three-mile route between Louisville and
Portland. Complaints about smoke, soot and noise ended the route swiftly,
and horse-drawn cars took over in 1840.
In the 1920s, Castner said, as many as 60 daily trains passed through Union
Station, a Gothic structure built in 1891.
In all, as many as 17 passenger lines have come through Louisville before
Amtrak came in, Castner said.
The city was home to two stations until the early 1960s -- Union Station and
Central Station, which was razed in 1968.
Through the late 1960s, Union Station was overwhelmed each May by more than
a dozen special trains that brought people from across the country to the
''People lived on the equipment on the sidings like a hotel,'' Castner said.
''They'd come in Friday, stay on the cars, and Saturday after the last race
was run, many of them would take off. It was quite a sight.''