Memphis and Charleston Station

The LaGrange and Memphis Railroad was given a charter by the state of Tennessee in Dec. 1835. Construction reached White Siding, 6 miles to the east. However, This railroad failed and was sold by auction in 1844. In 1846 the Memphis and Charleston Railroad was chartered to built the longest railroad in the world. One stipulation was that it take over the LaGrange and Memphis Railroad.The last spike was driven March 27, 1857. At Charleston passengers could transfer to another line which led to Washington, D. C.

This abandoned right-of-way connected the location of the LaGrange and Memphis station with the Memphis and Charleston station seen below.

History Department, Memphis/Shelby County Public Library and Information Center
Early view of the Memphis and Charleston Station

Starting in 1865 the Patterson Transfer Company provided transportaion between the various railroad stations in Memphis. Could that be a couple of their omnibuses backed up on the right? One appears to have P M something on the letterboard.

Contributed by Bill Strong
About 1880. The white multi-storied building behind the roundhouse is the then new Christian Brothers College.

Library of Congress Collection
This view is taken from a 1887 prospective map of Memphis showing the Memphis & Charleston facilities.

Aerial view of the Memphis & Charleston-Southern Lauderdale facilities. The Memphis and Charleston had become part of the Southern Railway in 1897.

1967 photo, History Department, Memphis/Shelby County Public Library and Information Center
This view was taken in 1967 following
the removal of the side extensions.

Photo by Bill White

The Southern Railway used the old Memphis and Charleston passenger station/freight house as their Memphis passenger station during the period that Union Station was closed, April 1 1964 - December 1, 1966. The GP unit was the "switch engine" from Forrest Yard. Since there were no facilities to turn E units at this location, a switcher followed each arriving train, and then pulled the cars off each train. They then reassembles the engines and cars for outbound movement, which is being depicted in the view you have on the site. So the train is not a GP and E unit lash up for outbound train 36. The lead E unit will be added next move.

To return to the Memphis Historical Railroad front page

For information about the Memphis Union Station.

For information about the Memphis Central Station.

For information about the Other Passenger Stations of Memphis.

For information about the The evolution of Memphis passenger stations.

If you have materials that you would like to contribute,
contact Mike Condren at