The Buck Creek Tunnel is an abandoned tunnel located on the former Louisville & Nashville Railroad Rowland Branch in Kentucky.
The 654-foot Buck Creek Tunnel was bored as part of the construction of the 33-mile Rowland Branch of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad between July 1867 and the line’s opening on November 8, 1868. 1 2 The Buck Creek Tunnel was later nicknamed the Spainhower Tunnel because a furniture maker by that name lived on top of it. 3
Traffic on a significant portion of the Rowland Branch ceased in 1932. 3 4 On December 1, 1933, authorities approved a petition to formally end operations on the 22.89-mile section between Lancaster and Fort Estill, which included the Buck Creek Tunnel, which was granted on January 15, 1934. 2
After the railroad tracks were removed to the east of Lancaster, certain sections between Point Leavell and Paint Lick were repurposed for automobile use. Motorists could drive through the Buck Creek Tunnel until the 1970s when it was closed because of rock falls and ice that would pile up in the winter because of a spring inside the tunnel. 3
- State: Kentucky
- Route: Louisville & Nashville Railroad Rowland Branch
- Type: Tunnel
- Status: Abandoned / Closed
- Total Length: 654'
- Herr, Kincaid A. The Louisville & Nashville Railroad, 1850-1963, University Press of Kentucky, Lexington, 2000, pp. 42–43.
- Sulzer, Elmer Griffith. “The Route of Old Henry.” Ghost Railroads of Kentucky, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 1998, pp. 71–72.
- Stevens, Vicki. “Old railroad tunnel is picturesque reminder of past.” Advocate-Messenger, 7 May 1997, p. A2.
- Crawford, Byron. “Tunnel reaches the end of the line.” Courier-Journal, 12 Aug. 2001, p. B3.