Louisville and Nashville Railroad
L&N logo

Reporting mark



Southern United States

Dates of operation



Seaboard System

Track gauge

4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) (standard gauge)


Louisville, Kentucky

The Louisville and Nashville Railroad (reporting mark LN) was a Class I railroad that operated freight and passenger services in the southeast United States.

Chartered by the state of Kentucky in 1850, the road grew into one of the great success stories of American business. Operating under one name continuously for 132 years, it survived civil war and economic depression and several waves of social and technological change. Under Milton H. Smith, president of the company for thirty years, the L&N grew from a road with less than three hundred miles of track to a 6,000-mile system serving thirteen states. As one of the premier Southernrailroads, the L&N extended its reach far beyond its namesake cities, stretching to St. Louis, MissouriMemphis, Tennessee;Atlanta, Georgia; and New Orleans, Louisiana. The railroad was economically strong throughout its lifetime, operating both freight and passenger trains in a manner that earned it the nickname, "The Old Reliable."

At the end of 1925 L&N operated 5038 miles of road on 7885 miles of track; LH&StL operated 199 route-miles on 268 track-miles. At the end of 1970 L&N's totals were 6063 and 10051, not including The Carrollton RR.