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Historic Railpark and Train Museum

The Historic Railpark and Train Museum was formerly known as the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Station in Bowling Green, Kentucky, situated in the old railroad station. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on the 18th of December 1979. The building was inaugurated in 1925. The standing depot was the 3rd Louisville & Nashville Railroad depot which Bowling Green used.

The First Bowling Green railroad depot was constructed in 1858, prior to the L&N’s rails crossing Bowling Green. The rail line connected Louisville and Nashville to Bowling Green on August 10, 1859. The line connecting Louisville and Nashville was completed on the 18th of October, 1859, and was honored by 15,000 Nashvillians.

In the Civil War, the young L&N became an issue of conflict between the North and the South. Kentucky was a key part of the war. President Lincoln described the situation: “I think to lose Kentucky is nearly the same as to lose the whole game.” Bowling Green was critical to both sides due to its proximity to the Confederate states of Tennessee. The L&N extended from the southern end to Bowling Green with routes to Clarksville, TN, and the line went to Memphis, TN, opening the way for Western plans for war. In 1863, the L&N was the only railroad that crossed Union in addition to Confederate Territories. Its actions by L&N president James Gutherie resulted in a dispute with The U.S. War Department after the Battle of Perryville. The battle of Perryville sealed Kentucky’s alliance, but it also secured the future of the L&N.

If Confederates faced the necessity of having to withdraw from the city in February 1862, they destroyed the downtown area and all the goods they could not transport, including the depot and trains. The Union soldiers who were occupying the city began creating a depot. It was a wooden structure used by the railroad and the people who lived in Bowling Green into the 20th century.

In 1878, malaria spread from New Orleans to Memphis, Tennessee. The residents of Memphis, wanting to get rid of the outbreak, boarded L&N trains. However, residents of other towns could not let them exit the train within their towns. The station at Bowling Green was the only station where to leave the train. However, huge fires were erected to stop infections. In the aftermath, Memphis had to be evacuated. Memphis took a few days until Memphis was declared in quarantine. A1 Pest Control Bowling Green


For many years, the depot was abandoned, and ownership changed through various private owners. The facility was saved from destruction in 1997 by an organization concerned with citizens. The ownership was transferred to the depot to Warren Fiscal Court and the City of Bowling Green in 1997. The funds for renovations were obtained via the Federal Transportation Enhancement program. The local government established the Depot Development Authority (DDA) to oversee the 12-year, five-phase reconstruction process. Everyday operations fell under the supervision of Operation P.R.I.D.E., Bowling Green’s beautification agency.

Address: 401 Kentucky St, Bowling Green, KY

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