L&N RR Knoxville Division

L&N RR Knoxville Division

L&N RR Knoxville Division - L&N RR Knoxville Division


Louisville & Nashville RR  – Knoxville Division

Hello and welcome to the  L&N RR Knoxville Division model railroad website.

This layout is based on the Louisville & Nashville Railroad’s Knoxville Division (KD) Mainline during the mid 1970’s until the end of the L&N/Family Lines in 1982.I am modeling a section between Morley Tn. at the North end and Knoxville Tn. at the South end. With staging yards on the lower level representing Corbin Ky. to the North and Etowah Tn. to the South. I have added industries to my layout in order to make operation more interesting. I have incorporated an interchange with the Southern Railway in Knoxville which provides a good flow of traffic. Through Coal trains head for the South and the TOTE and empty Auto Racks move north each day. Passenger Trains 17 and 18 still operate a daily run over the division. Along with many merchandise freights in either direction.

Layout Background

During the 70’s Freight traffic on the L&N RR was significant but Coal movements were booming. Shipment after shipment of Coal was moving South to the huge power plants in the US South East and the L&N RR was beginning to feel the demands of the added traffic. The L&N RR had suffered from a shortage of motive power for some time and many older units were being kept around longer than expected.  The L&N RR had a partnership with the Seaboard Coast Line RR and this provided a source for some of the much needed motive power. But this was not enough to meet the demands of increased traffic. The L&N RR needed more power and this came in the form of leased units from other roads including Southern Pacific, Canadian National and Penn Central.

The K&A division headquarters is located in Knoxville Tn and during the 70’s there were around 500 manufacturing plants in the Knoxville metro area. This creates plenty of traffic for the railroads in the Knoxville area. Both the L&N RR and Southern RR have yards in Knoxville which provides a significant amount of interchange traffic. Knoxville has 2 industrial subdivisions served by the L&N RR, Neyland Drive and Middlebrook Pike, which provide plenty of work for the switchers.  About 25 rail miles North of Knoxville is Oak Ridge Tn, The Atomic City,and site of the Museum of Atomic energy. With large atomic production and research facilities, Oak Ridge is a major employer in the area. Just south of Oak Ridge is the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Bull Run Steam plant. Bull Run is served by the L&N RR with bright orange unit trains loaded with coal for steam production. Further North on the line are the towns of La Follette Tn. and Morely Tn.   Morely has a small yard to serve the Clairfield Branch, a good coal producer.

This provides the basis for my layout.

Plenty of operation in a 23 x 12 foot railroad room.


Greg Johnstone.