This line was originally chartered on March 9, 1868 as Louisville, Harrodsburg & Virginia Railroad. The goal was to build from Louisville to Virginia; however the company never laid any track. On April 25, 1884, the name of the line was changed to the Louisville Southern Railroad.

On August 16, 1894 the property and franchise of the Louisville Southern were sold under foreclosure in Louisville. The buyer was C. H. Foster, Chairman of the Richmond Terminal Reorganization Committee. The price was $1,000,000, the minimum sum prescribed by the court, the sale being subject to the lien of the mortgages of June 22, 1887 and January 1, 1889 to the Louisville Safety Vault and Trust Co. The sale was confirmed by Judge Lurton on the 17th and the LS became part of the new Southern Railway in Kentucky.






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