Just 20 minutes from downtown Louisville on I-71, it starts with a rumble! Then, the bells. Next, vibrations. Most first-time visitors to historic downtown La Grange are astounded as they watch a freight train roll through town. Yes, a train runs through it — right down the center of Main Street. Up to 30 trains a day come through this county seat of Oldham County, Kentucky, much to the delight of locals and tourists a like. Because the roads are narrow, cars are forced to park on either side of the tracks when the CSX freight train is passing through. Check out our Trains Package Trip Idea for other suggestions – including our La Grange Train Museum and vacation rental by the tracks! Even though this train is not a passenger train, folks come from all over the world to experience this one-of-a-kind experience that can only be found in Oldham.
The speed limit for trains in downtown is 10 mph. There is nothing quite like witnessing the train passing as you meander through all the walkable shops, galleries, coffee houses, or as you eat in the restaurants with outdoor seating by the tracks
“On-street running” or “street running” is the routing of a railroad track or tramway track running directly along public streets, without any separation. The rails are embedded in the roadway pavement, and the train shares the street directly with pedestrians and automobile traffic. Trains generally travel at reduced speed for safety reasons (Wikipedia). While there are other street runners in the U.S., La Grange, KY has the only street runner left in America that actually runs ON a Main Street. Although there is no preset train schedule, you can view the train passing in real time on Virtual Railfan.
Photographers visit from around the world to capture the train rolling through town. La Grange locals also love watching the circus train come through town on its way to Louisville for the big show. In front of Main Street Bourbon and Ale House you’ll find our Train Observation Tower! There’s nothing like standing on the tower as the train passes in front of you! Not only does Main Street Bourbon & Ale House have the tower, you’ll want to grab a bite and sit out on one of the two decks by the tracks.