South Shore, KY (SPM)
The station serves communities on both sides of the Ohio River. European-American settlers first arrived in the late 18th century, and the area later grew through coal mining and iron production.
Main Street & US 23
South Shore, KY 41174
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 1,123
- Facility Ownership: Amtrak
- Parking Lot Ownership: CSXT
- Platform Ownership: CSXT
- Track Ownership: CSXT
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
The South Portsmouth-South Shore station is a shelter on the platform which Amtrak constructed in 1976. This station essentially serves the city of Portsmouth, Ohio, located across the river. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, in January of 2011, the South Shore station received a new wheelchair lift and enclosure, a new pad for the lift, new static platform signage, new sidewalk and curb cut from parking lot to platform and new accessible parking stalls with accompanying signage.
The area that would become South Shore was part of a larger Shawnee settlement at the confluence of the Scioto and Ohio Rivers in the late 18th century. At that time, the Shawnee on both sides of the river were living within an area that had been inhabited by the “Mound Builders” some 1,500 to 2,100 years ago. The remnants of those earthworks, which include several circular complexes as well as very straight long parallel-walled roadways were mapped by archaeological surveyors Squier and Davis in 1847, and can still be viewed.
In the 1790s, European-descended settlers founded the small town of Alexandria just west of where Portsmouth is today, closer to the Scioto River, on the site of the old Shawnee encampment. However, the site was prone to flooding, and by 1803, the residents had moved to higher ground. The only remaining evidence of the original town is the Phillip Moore Stone House, now a museum. The city of Portsmouth was incorporated in 1815.
The completion of the Ohio and Erie Canal in 1832 brought significant trade to the Portsmouth area, as did the construction of the Norfolk & Western rail yards there, facilitating the growth of the coal mining industry in the region. This portion of Kentucky and Ohio was also a major iron-producing region, given the availability of native ore, lime, coal and timber. During the 1830s, Kentucky was third in iron production in the United States.
Today, grey iron casting, uranium enrichment, and shoe lace manufacturing are the major industries in the Portsmouth area. Mitchellace, Inc., founded in Portsmouth in 1902, is the world’s largest producer of boot laces and shoe care products.
Portsmouth also takes pride in having been a childhood home of Leonard Franklin Slye, whom the world knows much better as Roy Rogers, star of Western movies and TV series.
After a disastrous flood in 1937, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built a floodwall to protect the city. In 1993, Louisiana muralist Robert Dafford began painting murals of Portsmouth’s history on the city’s floodwalls. The murals were mostly finished by 2003, and another section honoring Portsmouth’s baseball heroes was completed in 2006. The part of the floodwall included in the project is 20 feet high and extends for 2,090 feet along Front Street in the historic Boneyfiddle District of downtown Portsmouth.
Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this station, which is served by the tri-weekly Cardinal (Westbound: Sunday, Wednesday, Friday; Eastbound: Wednesday, Friday, Sunday).
- 20 Short Term Parking Spaces
- 20 Long Term Parking Spaces
- Accessible Platform
- Accessible Waiting Room
- Dedicated Parking
- Wheelchair Lift