Bullitt County History

Shepherdsville Train Wreck - 1917
Supplement #1

The Interstate Commerce Commission report on the 20 Dec 1917 train wreck at Shepherdsville stated, "The trains involved in this accident were southbound passenger train No. 41, consisting of engine 18 with three cars, in charge of Conductor Campbell and Engineman Keyer, en route from Louisville, Ky., to Springfield, Ky., and southbound passenger train No. 7, consisting of engine 230 and nine cars, in charge of Conductor Ogle and Engineman Wolfenberger, en route from Cincinnati, Ohio. to Montgomery, Ala."

We have learned more about these engines from information available in Louisville & Nashville Steam Locomotives by Richard E. Prince (Salt Lake City: Wheelwright Lithographing Company, copyright 1968). What we have learned is summarized below.

The American or 4-4-0 type locomotives, known as Class D, were relegated to local main line and branch line work when the ten wheelers and Pacific class were put into service about the turn of the century (circa 1900). There were two trains that carried the road number 18, both build by Baldwin in 1870. The older one, which may well have been the locomotive that pulled the Accommodation between Louisville and Springfield, weighed 90,000 pounds. It was scraped in 1926. [Prince, page 59].

A picture of its sister, No. 17, appears in Prince's book on page 63 (bottom).

The Pacific or 4-6-2 type locomotives, know as Class K, were the high speed passenger locomotives, including the ones that pulled the Flyer service between Cincinnati and New Orleans. The No. 230 was a K-4 class built in the L & N shop in Louisville in 1915. The K-4's weighed 233,000 pounds with a tractive effort of 33,400 pounds. They continued to be used into the 1940's. [Prince, pages 110, 207]

No. 230 was rebuilt following the 1917 wreck. A picture of it, taken in 1948, appears in Prince's book on page 114 (middle).

Prince's book is available in the reference section of the Lebanon Junction branch library. You may also obtain it via inter-library loan.


This is a work in progress. This webpage and its contents are copyright 2010 by Charles Hartley, Shepherdsville KY. All rights are reserved. No part of the content of this page may be included in any format in any place without the written permission of the copyright holders.


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The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 13 Jul 2015 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/trainwreck1917s1.html