Chattanooga Railroad Series: The Old Line Of The Nashville And Chattanooga Railroad

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

(Chattanooga in the 1890s had 10 railway outlets with 66 passenger trains arriving and departing daily. The town was criss-crossed with train tracks, including not only the main lines but the connecting Belt Line. It's not so often today that you get a glimpse of a train in Chattanooga, but many of the old tracks remain. Many Railroad Crossing signs and switches are still in place, but these days receive little or no use).

Chattanooga got a railroad connection to the state capital at Nashville in February 1854 - just over four years after the first train on the Western and Atlantic had arrived. It was finally completed to Wauhatchie and around a narrow shelf of land at the foot of Lookout Mountain across from Moccasin Bend. The line clung close to the river across from Ross's Towhead - a little island that is now underwater.

It went across the property of pioneer settlers John Divine and William Crutchfield in South Chattanooga after a crossing of Chattanooga Creek. It ran just east of Chestnut Street, which was then known as Boyce Street, as it headed for the depot at Ninth Street and Railroad Avenue (Broad Street).

The Southern Railway in May 1905 announced a $4 million spending program that included a tunnel through Lookout Mountain. The tunnel enters the mountain near the mouth of Lookout Creek and runs 3,537 in the mountainside before coming out near the end of South Broad Street. This line heads across trestles through St. Elmo on toward Alton Park and the main line.

When the interstate highway was built through South Chattanooga, a gap was left for the Nashville train, which first was called the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad. Later, it was the Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railroad after the line was extended much further north.

After the Union Station was closed in 1971, there was no further need for the Nashville train to come downtown. On the route going from the Cravens Yards across from Moccasin Bend and then across Chattanooga Creek a new line was put in that veered straight east. It went under the South Broad Street bridge over Chattanooga Creek. It then headed for the main line, while going under an overpass on South Market Street. To avoid additional trestles over Chattanooga Creek, the creek in the stretch from South Market Street to South Broad Street was turned into a straight, stagnant ditch during this relocation project.

The track on the old Nashville line now runs out by Siskin Steel at 26th Street, though a few fragments are visible closer into town.

Just a couple of short lengths of track jut out from the asphalt at 25th Street.

There is still a section behind the chicken processing plant at South Broad and Main Street. There's an intersection leading over toward the former Central Passenger Station that was at 1301 Market St.

The new Main Terrain Park is built along the old right of way of the Nashville and Chattanooga line. One section of track runs behind the loading dock at the nearby beer supply plant.

A sliver of the old track, growing in the thick grass, falls just short of reaching 14th Street.

The line went on across where the entryway to the Chattanoogan hotel was built and across where the TVA Building was erected at the former sprawling Union Station site.

  


Funeral Is Wednesday For Meigs County Woman, 41, Killed In Wreck

Funeral services will be Wednesday for a 41-year-old Meigs County woman who was killed Friday afternoon when another vehicle ran into her car on Highway 58 in Meigs County. Troopers said Klaresha Crass swerved her GMC truck into oncoming traffic to avoid a car waiting to turn left. She hit the Chevrolet occupied by the family of Tammy Renee England Whitted, of Decatur, head-on. ... (click for more)

Walker County Arrest Report For Aug. 25-31

Here is the Walker County arrest report for Aug. 25-31: ALEXANDER    MATTHEW    TODD    W/M    35    Officer CARTER    BATTERY FVA RUSSELL    CASEY    LEWIS    W/M    30    Officer OWENS    SUSPENDED ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)

Worley-Powered Vols Clobber Utah State, 38-7, In Opener

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee, trying to snap out of the doldrums of four consecutive losing seasons, started its 2014 campaign in fine fashion Sunday night before a season opening sellout crowd of 102,445 that endured a heavy rain story 30 minutes prior to kickoff. And senior quarterback Justin Worley, who missed the final four games in 2013 after undergoing thumb surgery, was ... (click for more)

Lookouts Reach Southern League Northern Division Playoffs With Doubleheader Win Over Smokies

The Chattanooga Lookouts are now playoff bound after sweeping a double-header against the Tennessee Smokies  to clinch the Southern League North Division for the second half of the season. The first game of the double-header was backed by a masterful gem of a game thrown by the starter for the Lookouts, Steve Smith (W, 3-2). Smith dominated the Smokies' lineup from top ... (click for more)