Young’s High Bridge (Louisville Southern Railway)

Young’s High Bridge formerly carried theLouisville Southern Railway across the Kentucky River between Anderson and Woodford counties in Kentucky.

Construction of Young’s High Bridge was let in February 1889.1 The Detroit Bridge & Iron Works of Detroit, Michigan fabricated the steel while the Union Bridge Company of Buffalo, New York erected the superstructure. The Hopkins & Company was responsible for the substructure. Work was completed by August 21.1 The crossing was named after then-Louisville Southern Railway President William Bennett Henderson Young. The railroad’s Lexington to Lawrenceburg Subdivision served industries in Versailles and Lawrenceburg,2 along with a coal power plant at Tyrone.

The bridge last saw passenger use on December 27, 1937 when the last passenger train crossed the Kentucky River.1 Freight activity was limited after 1979 when a derailment occurred at the Tyrone power plant. A runaway locomotive on the steep spur destroyed several coal cars.2

The Louisville Southern Railway was acquired by the Southern Railway which later became a part of Norfolk Southern Railroad. The Lexington to Lawrenceburg Subdivision, which saw minimal through traffic, saw its last through train over Young’s High Bridge in November 1985.1

Young’s High Bridge is currently rail-banked by the Tyrone Bridge & Railroad Company, with the goal of eventual restoration for a scenic railroad or rail-to-trail.1 3 From the east, the Bluegrass Railroad Museum owns and uses 5.5 miles of track from milepost 9 at Beasley Road in Versailles to milepost 3.5 at Young’s High Bridge for tourist train excursions.2