Remarks to Austin Peay State University

As prepared for delivery.

Railroads in Clarksville: The Past and the Future

Standing on the corner of Tenth and Commerce streets, it might be hard to imagine a train ever passing through town. But, the history of railroads in Clarksville dates back to before the Civil War.

Over the past 150 years, railroads have played an important role in developing Clarksville from an industrial and social standpoint. Without railroads, Clarksville’s history would have likely been vastly different, and quite possibly, the city would not as large as it is today without railroads.

Today, railroads are key to any growth of the city. To attract industry, freight service will need to be expanded. Commercial rail is another option that will be vital to the future of Clarksville.

To understand and examine any possible future railroads may have, it is first important to have a brief understanding of Clarksville’s railroad history, which dates back to before the Civil War.