CT Junction to KC Junction (Greater Cincinnati)

CT Junction (MP 664.9), up on the steelwork viaduct west-northwest of the C&O bridge, is the junction where the freight route from B&O Junction and Queensgate Yard, trailing in on the north side of the line, joins the ex-C&O double track main line from Cincinnati Union Terminal, heading east at this point. The double track line, with speed limit 20 mph, turns south past a crossover,  MD Cabin (MP 664.3), where a connection from the former Big Four line west along the Ohio River trails in from the west, crosses the Ohio River into Kentucky, on the massive through-truss C&O Bridge, where the speed limit rises to 30 mph, and passes OB Cabin (the C&O name for a tower), MP 663.8, and Covington (MP 663.7), where there are additional tracks on the west side of the line, to KC Junction (MP 662.6), where the former L&N line to Latonia continues southward, and the former C&O main line makes a big turn around to the northeast.

For the rest of the way to Washington, DC, the Amtrak Cardinal uses former C&O tracks now owned by CSX, with a small portion of trackage on which CSX has trackage rights over NS (the former Southern Railway main line) at the eastern end.