New Orleans History L&N Railroad Station Canal Street – #Train Thursday
New Orleans History L&N Railroad Station Canal Street
The Louisville and Nashville Railroad operated for 132 years, from 1850 to 1982. The L&N began in Kentucky. The Class I railroad expanded to over 6000 miles of track. L&N freight operations came to New Orleans in the 1880s. In 1902, L&N opened a passenger terminal in New Orleans. The terminal stood at Canal Street at the river. The Aquarium of the Americas occupies the location today.
In a 1927 report titled, Railroad Transportation Report for New Orleans-Louisiana, the consulting firm, Bartholomew and Associates listed specifications of the station:
- Brick building
- General waiting room, 30’x45′
- Colored waiting room 25’x35′
- Two mens and one ladies rest room
- Lunch room (15’x20′) in the general waiting room
- Baggage room 30’x60′
- Train sheds for three tracks that were 550′ long
Navigating Canal and the River
Canal and the River was incredibly congested at this time. The L&N, Southern Pacific, and New Orleans Public Belt all had tracks at Canal Street. Streetcars operated to the loop at Liberty Place. They parked in a six-track terminal just up from the railroad terminal. In the above photo, Lucie Allison stands at Liberty Place. Note the streetcar tracks circling her. Her father, Alexander Allison, shot thousands of photos around New Orleans. He worked for the New Orleans Sewage and Water Board. His job took him all over the city.
L&N Trains to New Orleans
The railroad operated four “name” trains to New Orleans:
Azalean – Cincinnati to New Orleans. The Azalean picked up Pullman sleepers from New York in Cincinnati. So, the route offered through sleeper service from that city.
Crescent – While many folks associate the Crescent with Southern Railroad, it actually arrived and departed in New Orleans via L&N. The Crescent traveled over tracks from several railroads in its journey from New Orleans to New York City. The train used L&N’s tracks from Montgomery, AL, to New Orleans. Therefore, it terminated at the L&N station, rather than the Southern terminal. That station stood at Canal and Basin Streets.
Gulf Wind – New Orleans to Jacksonville. The L&N operated the New Orleans – Florida Limited on this route, 1925-1949. So, that train used the older, heavyweight cars. The railroad replaced the older equipment with streamliner trainsets and changed its name.
Piedmont Limited – This train followed the same route as the Crescent. The Crescent train overshadowed the Piedmont Limited in popularity.
Transfer to UPT
The L&N station serviced passengers until the opening of Union Passenger Terminal in 1954. The city demolished the station shortly afterward.