Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad

Historical Marker #2408 in Bourbon County remembers the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad and the Centerville depot.

Although called the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad, the line only ran the 40 miles from Frankfort to Paris. It operated until the 1970s.

In addition to serving the railroad, the Centerville depot building also housed the office for the Centerville Commission Company, a dealer in coal, grain, and fertilizer. The second story of the depot was also used for the lodge for Modern Woodmen of America for a time.

The first locomotives on the rail line were steam powered, some of which were converted to diesel after World War II. Passenger service included an intercity bus engine, painted red and called the “Cardinal.” The Cardinal is now restored and located at the Kentucky Railroad Museum in New Haven, Kentucky.

Centerville, halfway between Lexington and Cynthiana, and between Paris and Georgetown, was a bustling commercial center at one time in Bourbon County. During World War II, potatoes grown in Idaho were shipped by the carloads to the distilleries in Frankfort and Stamping Ground to be used in the manufacture of butyl rubber, an important product for the war effort.

Because the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad served so many distilleries it was known as "The Whiskey Route." When the Frankfort and Cincinnati tried to abandon the entire railroad in 1967, Frankfort distilleries objected, but in 1970 the final 18.2 miles of the railroad were abandoned between Georgetown and Elsinore, Kentucky.

George R. Burberry took charge in 1892 as the first station agent for the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad Depot and held the position until 1938 when his son Clyde Burberry and his daughter, Kittie Burberry May, ran the depot until 1960.

Images

Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad

Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad

This map shows the connections from the Frankfort and Cincinnati to other lines that ran to Cincinnati and Lexington. These lines in turn connected the F&C to the Louisville and Nashville Railroad and points north and south. Courtesy of Hopewell Museum. View File Details Page

Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad

Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad

This detailed image from the Delorme map of Kentucky shows the old Railroad grade from Paris through Elizabeth Station and near Centerville moving toward Georgetown. Courtesy of Hopewell Museum. View File Details Page

Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad

Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad

This historic photograph shows an engine on the Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad. Trains were about at the height of their success with the image was made. At this time trains on the line were powered by steam and moved along at 40 miles per hour, according to the handwritten caption on the photograph. Courtesy of Hopewell Museum. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Hopewell Museum, “Frankfort and Cincinnati Railroad,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed July 22, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/449.

Subjects

Tour navigation:  Previous | Tour Info | Next

Share this Story