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Ludlow in Kenton County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)
 

The Development of the Railroad in Ludlow

— Ludlow Station —

 
 
The Development of the Railroad in Ludlow Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, August 22, 2021
1. The Development of the Railroad in Ludlow Marker
Inscription.  (By Dave Schroeder.) The first plat of Ludlow was developed in 1846 by the Ludlow family. The area soon boasted the Ludlow Christian Church (1841), First Baptist Church (1849) and the Ludlow Presbyterian Church (1867). As the little village grew, the citizens applied for and received a charter to establish the city on February 20, 1864.

In the years following the Civil War, railroads began expanding, especially in the South. In 1969, the residents of Cincinnati voted in favor of establishing a municipality-owned railroad that would link the Queen City to the agricultural markets of the South. The new Cincinnati Southern Railroad received a charter in Ohio in 1969, Tennessee in 1870 and Kentucky in 1972. The route through Northern Kentucky soon became a competition between Covington and Ludlow. The Ludlow family provided the deciding factor. The family provided the railroad with a right-of-way along the eastern edge of the city following Traverse Street. This land at the time was vacant and provided an easy route to undeveloped land to the South. The plan was quickly approved and Ludlow was chosen as the preferred route.

The Cincinnati Southern broke ground in July 1874, and construction was begun on both the line and
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the bridge that would connect Ludlow to the Queen City. The bridge, measuring 1,500 feet, was completed in 1877. Construction costs of the bridge were estimated at $811,683. The most interesting feature of the bridge was a swing span on the Ludlow side that allowed a section of the bridge to pivot and permitted steamboats to pass unencumbered. In 1885, a footpath was added to the structure.
 
Erected 2018. (Marker Number 1.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Roads & Vehicles. A significant historical date for this entry is February 20, 1864.
 
Location. 39° 5.662′ N, 84° 32.628′ W. Marker is in Ludlow, Kentucky, in Kenton County. Marker is on Elm Street (Kentucky Route 8) east of Locust Street, on the left when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 51 Elm St, Covington KY 41016, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ludlow Blooms (here, next to this marker); The 1894 Strike (a few steps from this marker); The Decline (a few steps from this marker); Elmwood Hall (approx. 0.3 miles away); Somerset Hall (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Price Hill Incline (approx. one mile away in Ohio); Cincinnati Union Terminal (approx. 1.1 miles away in Ohio); From the Farewell Address of George Washington (approx. 1.1 miles away in Ohio). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ludlow.
 
More about this marker. Four
The Development of the Railroad in Ludlow Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, August 22, 2021
2. The Development of the Railroad in Ludlow Marker
This view is north, towards Cincinnati.
interpretive panels have been mounted on the railings of the Ludlow Viewing Platform for railroad fans, a covered elevated platform that includes an elevator from the parking area to the platform. The platform is at the level of the tracks just south of the Ohio River railroad bridge. The platform shares the parking lot with the Ludlow Police station and the Ludlow Historic Society Heritage Museum. Parking is free and it appears that the lighted platform is open 24 hours a day.
 
Regarding The Development of the Railroad in Ludlow. The Cincinnati Southern Railroad is still owned by the City of Cincinnati. It is leased to the the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway (CNO&TP), a holding company. The rail line, running from Cincinnati Ohio to Chattanooga Tennessee via Lexington Kentucky is today operated by the Norfolk Southern Railway.
 
Also see . . .  Wikipedia entry. Excerpt:
The line opened completely in 1880, and was financed by the city of Cincinnati. Construction was spurred by a shift of Ohio River shipping, important to the local economy. Fearing the loss of shipping traffic and the local salaries and tax revenue that came with it, the city recognized the need to remain competitive. The Ohio Constitution forbade cities from forming partnerships in stock corporations, so the city, led by Edward A. Ferguson, took upon itself the building of the railway.

With wide popular approval, city voters voted for $10 million in municipal bonds in 1869 to
1877 Cincinnati Southern Railroad Bridge over the Ohio River image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, August 22, 2021
3. 1877 Cincinnati Southern Railroad Bridge over the Ohio River
The bridge was extensively rebuilt in 1922. This view if from Ludlow Kentucky. Cincinnati Ohio is at the other end of the bridge. Cincinnati Union Terminal is approximately 1 mile north from this point.
begin construction. With 337 miles of track and many tunnels to construct, another bond for an additional $6 million was necessary. Some portions were open by 1877, but the entire line opened February 21, 1880. The last spike was placed on December 10, 1879. It opened for passenger service on March 8, 1880. ...

In 1894 the railroad was one of many properties reorganized by Samuel Spencer into the vastly expanded Southern Railway.
(Submitted on August 31, 2021.) 
 
Additional commentary.
1. Passenger train service in Ludlow
All passenger trains stopped at this station, even the named express trains that originated and terminated in Cincinnati, just across the Ohio River. A December 1925 timetable shows 21 trains a day stopping at Ludlow station, including three locals (trains that stopped at all stations on the line) and these named long-distance Southern Railway express trains:
Cincinnati-New Orleans Limited
Crescent City Special
southbound / Queen City Special northbound
Suwannee River Special
Carolina Special
Ponce de Leon
Blue Grass Special
Ohio Special
Royal Palm
In 1926 the Queen and Crescent Limited replaced the Crescent City / Queen City Special.

The station was busy every day morning and evening in 1925, with passenger trains
1879 Map of the Cincinnati Southern Railway and Connections image. Click for full size.
Collection of the U.S. Library of Congress, 1879
4. 1879 Map of the Cincinnati Southern Railway and Connections
“Map of the eastern United States showing relief by hachures, drainage, cities and towns, state boundaries, and the railroad network with heavy red and black lines for the main lines. Distances shown by 100-mile concentric circles centered on Cincinnati.”
stopping at 6:15, 6:34, 6:45, 7:07, 7:45, 8:55, 9:05 (two trains), 9:59 (two trains), and 10:13 AM; and at 4:15, 4:39 5:47, 7:00, 7:15, 8:15, 8:22, 8:39, 8:59, and 10:06 PM.
    — Submitted August 31, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
 
Ludlow Kentucky Train Viewing Platform image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, August 22, 2021
5. Ludlow Kentucky Train Viewing Platform
This interpretive panel is behind the photographer on the far end of the platform.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 31, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 31, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 296 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 31, 2021, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Apr. 18, 2024