Chattanooga Railroad Series: The Old Line Of The East Tennessee And Georgia Railroad

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Chattanooga, after it gained rail connections to Atlanta and Nashville, got a route leading to Knoxville in 1858.

Officials of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad, doubting the future of Chattanooga, at first connected to Dalton, Ga., and bypassed the city. But soon a connector line was built to Chattanooga, providing a route to Ooltewah, Cleveland and points north.

Instead of going around the north end of Missionary Ridge as the Western and Atlantic had done, the East Tennessee and Georgia engineers decided to tunnel through the ridge. Though creating the tunnel was quite a feat, the line was able to avoid any crossing of the winding South Chickamauga Creek on the Chattanooga side of the ridge.

This gave the East Tennessee and Georgia a route through East Chattanooga. After crossing the W&A, it came close to the river before it headed on a southwest slant toward the downtown station. It again crossed the W&A near the junction of King and South Market streets.

It wound up that the East Tennessee and Georgia (which afterward became the East Tennessee, Georgia and Virginia Railroad), passed through some of the city's most populous areas. It crossed what became Chamberlain Avenue, Wheeler Avenue and Dodson Avenue, then went across what became Roanoke Avenue before its first junction with the W&A.

The section from the other side of the Missionary Ridge tunnel to the first W&A junction is still in use today and is part of the operation of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. The TVRM runs daily trains from a headquarters on Cromwell Road through the tunnel and to a turntable where there formerly was a station just above Chamberlain Avenue.

The Railroad Museum uses the former East Tennessee and Georgia track toward Chattanooga for more extensive rail excursions as far as today's main line at the old junction of the East Tennessee and Georgia and the W&A. It then switches to a section of the old Belt Line that goes just east of Warner Park and the National Cemetery to a crossing of Main Street at Holtzclaw Avenue.

The rails were taken up on the old East Tennessee and Georgia line from its W&A junction to the Union Depot after the depot closed and the trains were consolidated along the old W&A route. A new route to connect with the East Tennessee line on the other side of Missionary Ridge was put in just north of South Chickamauga Creek. 

The original line ran by Lincoln Park and by the old Chattanooga Manufacturing Company that still stands near the Water Company property at Citico. It goes near Siskin and Erlanger, then on by the Health Department. Some rails can still be seen crossing the old road leading by the Water Company to the Chattanooga Manufacturing Company.

This line went under Third Street near the current Chattanooga School for the Arts and Sciences. Some Health Department employees park on the other side of Third Street and walk under the old railroad underpass.

The East Tennessee and Georgia line went through what is now UTC. An amphitheatre was put on part of the old line by an old concrete bridge on Oak Street.

There are trestles on MLK Boulevard, 10th Street and 11th Street. There are still tracks that go just north of 11th Street and engines sometimes back up onto the trestle to switch tracks. Some rail cars are still in operation near the ADM facility on King Street, which is not far from the main line near Central Avenue.

The East Tennessee and Georgia track veered right prior to King to reach the Union Station. a handsome freight depot was built on South Market Street. This was later operated as John's Railroad Salvage, then it was the Freight Depot Marketplace. Later, it was converted for offices for the Henderson, Hutcherson & McCullough CPA firm.

 


Catoosa County Arrest Report For July 24-30

Click  here  for the Catoosa County arrest report for July 24-30. (click for more)

July Is Record Month For Court-Ordered Restitution In TennCare Fraud Cases

The month of July brought a record for the state’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) in terms of the amount of money people have been ordered to repay the state for TennCare fraud. In July, people convicted of TennCare fraud were ordered to make $154,000 in restitution to TennCare. In total, TennCare fraud restitutions have led to more than $3 million being repaid to the state. ... (click for more)

Chattanooga's Memorial Day

It is recorded in the Fourth Chapter of the Book of Joshua, that after the nation had crossed the River Jordan, Joshua would receive a divine commandment to choose 12 men from among the people and tell them to take 12 stones from the middle of the river.  Each man placed a stone on their shoulder which represented one of the tribes of Israel, and served as a memorial ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: They Still Love The ‘Lickers’

When Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Fl.) introduced the 2015 version of the “Prevent All Soring Tactics” in Congress this week, he already had a bipartisan crowd of 50 Republicans and 50 Democrats as co-sponsors. That’s hardly amazing. Today there are over 280 organizations, associations, veterinary and animal advocates who vehemently support the legislation, because it is well documented, ... (click for more)

Justin Brown Signs With Hiwassee College

Only weeks after signing Red Bank's Jalen Moore to a scholarship, Hiwassee head baseball coach Shane Gardner was back in Chattanooga on Wednesday evening. This time he was in the Scenic City looking for a player he described as "a spark plug, someone who could boost our team and contribute right away." He believes he's found that young man in former Chattanooga School for the ... (click for more)

Robert Powderly Still Active After All Of These Years

It didn’t take long for Robert Powderly to get fully involved in the running boom back in the late 70s. Millions of Americans joined the parade back in those days where running was their main source of physical fitness and Powderly was a big part of it. Powderly is now 68 and retired from U.S. Pipe where he worked in the accounting department.   He’s also had a couple ... (click for more)