This tourist line is completely run with volunteers and trains run on Saturdays and Sundays with an occasional charter during the week.
A Wiki-pedia history of this railroad is at the end of this Blog.
I arrived several hours early and had time to explore the grounds before anyone else arrived. There are many displays, each having a sign explaining the item.
The railroad crew and personnel were very cordial, and invited me to their conference room while they ate their lunch and to 'talk trains'!!
Then it was time to get the train ready for a train ride. Our power today is a GP8, originally a GP7 built for the Reading Railroad. Later it was upgraded in the Paducah, Kentucky railroad shops and designated a GP8. These units are known as "Paducah Rebuilds."
Our train will have four passenger cars, three tourist class cars and one first class car (which has air conditioning).
On the siding are 5 cabooses, privately owned. The owner planned (still planning??) to use them for a Bed and Breakfast operation. But years of deterioration and vandalism will mean a lot of work!
The left side of the bridge. People aren't allowed on the bridge but a bunge group has built an access from the other end and frequently jumps off this bridge.
As passengers view the valley and bridge, they are allowed to get pictures on the engine.
Thanks to the Blue Grass Scenic Railroad for a GREAT ride and hospitality. This is definitely one of the funnest tourist railroads I have been on!!!!
The rail line was originally built by the Louisville Southern Railroad in the 1880s. For a brief time it was leased by the MONON Railroad. Later, it became part of the Southern Railway. While operated by the Southern, a switching accident at the Tyrone Generating Station caused coal shipments to be received by truck, and hastened the end of the usefulness of this portion of the line. Later, the Norfolk Southern Railway operated the line. A few years into NS ownership, the portion of the line between the Kentucky River and Versailles was slated for abandonment, and subsequently sold to the museum. The line from the Kentucky River to Lawrenceburg, Kentucky was abandoned and sold to a scrapper in 2009. The rails on Young's High Bridge and into Lawrenceburg were then quickly removed and sold for scrap. Young's High Bridge itself has been bought by a private party who have formed a LLC to develop the area into a tourist attraction. Vertigo Bungee, a loose band of thrill-seeking adrenaline junkies known for appearances on MTV sports since the 1990s, has since developed Young's High Bridge into a permanent bungee jumping platform. Young's High Bridge is now considered to be the highest permanent platform bridge jump in North America. Meanwhile, the railroad line from Versailles to Lexington has been sold first to the Lexington and Ohio Railroad and now to the R.J. Corman Railroad/Central Kentucky Lines.