Humming Bird (passenger Train)
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Humming Bird Passenger Train
Humming Bird
Louisville and Nashville Railroad The Hummingbird.JPG
Postcard of the Humming Bird circa 1940s-1950s
Service typeInter-city rail
LocaleMidwestern United States/Southeastern United States
First serviceDecember 3, 1939
Last service1969
Louisville & Nashville
StartCincinnati, Ohio
EndNew Orleans, Louisiana
Distance travelled927 miles (1,492 km)
Average journey timeSouthbound: 21 hrs 5 min; Northbound: 21 hrs 45 min
Service frequencyDaily
Southbound: 5; Northbound: 6
On-board services
Seating arrangementsReclining seat coaches
Sleeping arrangementsOpen sections, roomettes, double bedrooms
Catering facilitiesDining cars, tavern-lounge car
Baggage facilitiesHandled to or from principal points only

The Humming Bird was a named train of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N). The train, inaugurated in 1947, originally ran from Cincinnati, Ohio, to New Orleans, Louisiana, via Louisville, Nashville, Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile and later via a connection at Bowling Green, Kentucky, to Memphis, Tennessee. A connection to Chicago was provided by the Chicago and Eastern Illinois Railroad. It had separate sections in the north and the south. The main northern part originated in Cincinnati; other sections (of the L&N's Georgian) originated in St. Louis and from Chicago. These sections linked with the main part of the train in Nashville. To the south, a connecting train option in Flomaton, Alabama offered train travel to Pensacola, Florida.[1]

In the mid-1950s, Train 5 departed Louisville at 10:05 pm for New Orleans. Train 6 was the northbound number.[2]

The original equipment was part of a 28-car order of four train sets of lightweight stainless steel cars built in 1946 by ACF. Fourteen cars were assigned to the Humming Bird and fourteen to the Georgian. Many of those cars were removed from service in the late 1960s due to severe corrosion problems.

The L&N Railroad served the old Union Station in Memphis, until its closure on April 1, 1964. The railroad then used Central Station. Both L&N and Southern Railway were forced to reopen part of Union Station on December 1, 1966, and use it until March 30, 1968.

The Humming Bird was canceled on January 9, 1969. At that time, the L&N Railroad earned some unwanted publicity when it terminated the final run of the train en route southbound at Birmingham when a federal judge lifted the order keeping the train running after the Interstate Commerce Commission approved its permanent discontinuance. The passengers were then bused to their destinations.[3]

The train inspired the song "Hummingbird" by country artist Ricky Skaggs and was mentioned in the song "Southern Rains" by country artist Mel Tillis.

Important stations on the Humming Bird route


  1. ^ Louisville & Nashville December 18, 1965 timetable, Tables A, C, H and J
  2. ^
  3. ^ "". Archived from the original on 2007-03-15. Retrieved .

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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