The Queen and Crescent Route was a cooperative railroad route in the Southeastern U.S., connecting Cincinnati (the "Queen City") with New Orleans (the "Crescent City") and Shreveport. Inaugurated in the 1880s, the name was retained by Southern Railway when they consolidated ownership of the entire route in 1926, and given to their named passenger train for the route through 1949.

1891 map


As of 1909,[1] the line consisted of five segments:


The route included the High Bridge of Kentucky

Investor Emile Erlanger & Co. gained control of the newly-constructed New Orleans and Northeastern Railroad in 1881. Vintage marketing advertises the Queen & Crescent Route as "Established Nov. 18, 1883",[2] which refers to the date of first scheduled passenger service on the NO&NE.[3] Erlanger then expanded the lines under his control to encompass the entire route, held through a complex corporate structure of two English corporations.

In 1895 the Q&C route, along with the entire Erlanger consortium, was acquired by Southern Railway, one relatively small merger in the vast consolidation engineered by Samuel Spencer.

Eventually the main line to New Orleans was retained by the Southern Railway, and is still part of the Norfolk Southern Railway system, while the Illinois Central Railroad acquired the two segments west of Meridian to Shreveport through its subsidiary Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad. This line was later sold to MidSouth Rail Corporation, which was acquired Kansas City Southern in 1993. In 2005, KCS formed a joint venture with Norfolk Southern to create the Meridian Speedway, an upgraded freight route between Meridian and Shreveport.

Queen and Crescent LimitedEdit

dining car, postcard, date unknown

Southern Railway inaugurated a named passenger train for the route, the Queen and Crescent Limited, in 1926. Never a financial success, the train carried both coaches and Pullman sleepers and a dining car. The train was discontinued in 1949.


  1. ^ Moody, John (1909). Moody's Analyses of Railroad Investments. New York: Analyses Publishing Company. p. 213.
  2. ^ Storey, Steve. "Queen & Crescent Route". Rail Georgia. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  3. ^ Lamb, J. Parker (2012). Railroad of Meridian. University of Indiana Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0253005922. Retrieved 4 April 2016.