History of the Line

The line utilized by the Lexington Dinner Train began as the “LL” (Lexington to Lawrenceburg) branch of the Louisville Southern Railroad. Completed in 1889, this branch originally spanned 24 miles of beautiful Kentucky terrain and was used to transport passenger cars, coal shipments and thoroughbred horses across the state. The Dinner Train utilizes the eastern-most 15 miles of track between Lexington and Versailles.

Trains travelling along this branch would often cross the Kentucky River via an enormous structure called Young’s High Bridge, a 1,659-foot long, 283-foot tall bridge named after Louisville Southern President William Young and constructed specifically for this line. The bridge served its final train car in September 1983 when Norfolk Southern deemed it unfit for further service – a condition perhaps owed to the fact that the bridge has never received modification or strengthening. At present, the bridge is a scenic destination for visitors to Tyrone, Kentucky who are curious to see an untouched piece of American history and an underappreciated example of classical bridge engineering.

This branch gives passengers an insight into a large swath of local history. Starting at R.J. Corman’s Lexington Station, the track extends past R.J. Corman’s Lexington yard and glides through beautiful horse farms such as Ashview and Calumet, passes behind Keeneland Race Course, drifting through the village of Pisgah, and finally settles in the town of Versailles.

 

 

 

     

Dining Car History

The Dinner Train utilizes a steel-skirted car built by the Budd Company in the late 1940's following World War II. Designated RJC-011, the car has been extensively refurbished by R. J. Corman Railroad Company, far exceeding the original interior design while remaining faithful to the intended atmosphere. The RJC-011 car is also historically significant, having served as the funeral train for President Dwight Eisenhower's journey to Abilene, Kansas for burial.