December 14th, 2017
LIBRARY & LOCAL HISTORY MUSEUM COMMEMORATE THE SHEPHERDSVILLE TRAIN WRECK OF 1917
SHEPHERDSVILLE, KY – On December 20, 1917, what has been remembered as possibly the worst train wreck in L&N Railroad history took place in Shepherdsville only yards from the lot where Ridgway Memorial Library would be built many years later.
On that cold winter evening a century ago, the No. 41 train carried approximately one hundred passengers as it pulled into the station in Shepherdsville. No. 41’s travelers were likely coming from a day of Christmas shopping, visiting friends and family, or running errands in the city, when the No. 7 Express train collided with them at twenty-five miles an hour. In a matter of moments, the No. 41 was demolished.
By the wee hours of the next morning, forty-nine people—ages ranging from sixty-nine to as young as eight months—were confirmed dead. The tale of the 1917 train wreck is a sad and unfortunate series of events.