Smyrna resident Todd DeFeo has published a pair of new books, including the first-ever complete history of the Indiana, Alabama & Texas Railroad.
DeFeo is publishing the books through his company, The DeFeo Groupe, an Atlanta-based content creation firm and publisher of Railfanning.org, a website dedicated to the hobby of train-watching.
Both “A Faster Means of Locomotion: A Brief History of Streetcars in Clarksville, Tennessee” and “A Brief History of the Indiana, Alabama & Texas Railroad” are available now.
Clarksville, Tennessee, has a deep railroad history. The push for a railroad in the community dates to the 1830s, but it wasn’t until 1852 that Tennessee chartered the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville Railroad.
The Indiana, Alabama & Texas emerged from an early 1880s proposal to build a line between Mobile, Alabama and Evansville, Indiana. Despite its grand plans, the railroad completed only about 30 miles of narrow-gauge track from Clarksville, Tennessee toward Princeton, Kentucky.
The Louisville & Nashville Railroad purchased the railroad in 1886 and converted the line to standard gauge. The Louisville & Nashville abandoned the route, later known as the Clarksville & Princeton Branch, relegating it to the history books.
Meanwhile, in one form or another, a street railroad operated in Clarksville from 1885 until 1928. Mules powered the first cars, and the line later electrified.
DeFeo has written books on the Western & Atlantic and the Memphis, Clarksville & Louisville railroads. He has also written a book about the Northeast Corridor, but the publisher delayed publication because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information, visit railfanning.org.