Previously, we heard of the Knoxville Sevierville and Eastern Railroad, which passed through Boyd’s Creek. William J. Oliver, a Knoxville businessman, began construction of the road in 1908, and completed it to Sevierville in January 1910. The Pigeon River was bridged in 1917 and track was laid as far as Pigeon Forge. The railroad was a means for Boyd’s Creek folks to get agricultural products, livestock and sometimes timber to market.
Long time locals referred to the KS&E railroad as the “Knoxville Slow and Easy,” which prompted me to ask, “Just how slow was it?” I got several answers, but one says that cantaloupe was raised near the tracks, and the brakeman would ride on the engine and step off and was able to pick a bushel of cantaloupe and be ready to step back on as the caboose passed.
The longest trestle on the route was where it crossed Boyd’s Creek, 100 ft. north of today’s Highway Bridge. It was 100 ft. long and 85 ft. high. Because of age and lack of repairs it was very unstable.
To cross it, the engineer would stop the train and the crew would get off and walk across and the engineer would put the train in gear at a slow speed and jump off and it would proceed across the trestle unmanned. At the other end, a crewmember would jump on and when the entire train had crossed, he would stop the train and the rest of the crew and the engineer boarded and the trip would continue.
A group of Sevierville businessmen bought the railroad and operated it as the Smoky Mountain Railroad for a few years but were unable to turn a profit. The last run of the train was on January 16th 1961, and the ICC granted an order to disband the road in 1964. The engines were disbursed to various museums for static displays, except steam engine # 110, which is still in operation on a small line in Michigan.
The KS&E is featured in a book titled “Ghost Railroads of Tennessee” written by Elmer Sulzer and available at the Sevier County Library. The old railroad bed is still visible in some areas, and a portion of it runs through my property. I’m not really sure, but sometimes when I’m sitting on the porch on a dark moonless night, I could swear that I hear the faint sounds of a train passing in the distance, but maybe it’s just the wind.

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