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As you may know, I make frequent trips to the eastern Kentucky coalfields researching and exploring old mining sites and railroads. I knew that Tennessee also had its share of coal mining back in the day, but I was surprised to learn about a sizeable operation just down the road from my house near the community of Westel in Cumberland County. It was called the Waldensia Coal and Coke Company and even had a doubleContinue reading “Waldensia”

The L&N Railroad in World War II

During one of the most uncertain times in the history of our nation, America‚Äôs great railroads worked around the clock for Uncle Sam to transport troops, weapons, and other resources to ports where they could be taken to the front lines. Each and every train carrying military assets was vital to victory. The Louisville and Nashville Railroad, (L&N), was one of the elite performers of the World War II era. However, the demand exacted onContinue reading “The L&N Railroad in World War II”

Scatter Tags, Anyone?

Until just a few months ago, I had no idea coal scatter tags even existed! Most of us have at least heard of coal scrip before, which are tokens of varying denominations that could only be used to pay for items at the company store. However, scatter tags are completely different. Most are made of aluminum or cardboard and are about the size of a quarter. They were mixed in with the coal as itContinue reading “Scatter Tags, Anyone?”

Laurel Snow: Where Coal Mining History Entwines with Nature

If learning about Tennessee coal mining history while surrounded by nature sounds appealing to you, then consider adding Laurel Snow State Natural Area to your bucket list. It is only a short drive from downtown Dayton, (which is known for the Scopes Trial), to the parking area and trailhead. The history buff will be taken back by the old mine openings, railroad remnants, and reservoir. The nature lover will also feel at home since LaurelContinue reading “Laurel Snow: Where Coal Mining History Entwines with Nature”

Laying Tracks for a Railroad Blog

This is my first ever blog post! It feels like such an accomplishment to be making this dream a reality at last. I am eager to see how far this takes me and I cannot thank you enough for your support. In return, I hope to post material that you find engaging and informative. Anyway, the purpose of this post, which is really a test to resolve any issues or glitches, is to discuss myContinue reading “Laying Tracks for a Railroad Blog”

A Blog on the History of Railroading in the South


Welcome! My name is Craig Rhinehardt and I am a museum curator at a L&N Depot in east Tennessee. When I am not working I enjoy traveling, railfanning, antiquing, photography, and spending time with my two dogs. In this blog, I hope to write about everything that made railroading in the Southland so great. This will involve sharing photos and stories from my travels, discussing items in my railroad collection, and so much more. I hope you follow along by subscribing below. Let’s explore and learn together!!!


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The Southland passenger train near Chatsworth, GA (May 1954)