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

Wednesday, January 01, 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.

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. 

This section ran by the old 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 crosses South Market Street and then South Broad Street. At South Market it goes by the site of the old Central Passenger Station, where the Southern Railway headquarters were later built at 1301 South Market.   


Many Waldens Ridge Scenes Featured In Stokes Picture Book

A number of early views of Waldens Ridge are among the rarities found in the Stokes Photo Collection. There are many photos of the roads up the mountain showing streetcars, wagons and early autos. There are scenes at Rainbow Lake, Falling Water Falls, Signal Point and other scenic spots. Several photos are included of the Signal Mountain Hotel. The more than 700 photos ... (click for more)

Corker Urges U.S. And Other Nations To Accelerate Efforts To Stop Ebola Outbreak In West Africa

Senator Bob Corker issued the following statement on Tuesday, after speaking with U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Rajiv Shah about the U.S. response to Ebola in West Africa. “As we address this problem, the most important thing for us to do is to contain and stop Ebola in West Africa, and for that reason, I talked with Administrator Shah to receive ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Has Lost Its Most Popular Citizen - Luther Masingill

Chattanooga has lost its most popular citizen – Luther Masingill. Although we are saddened we cherish the memories.  All of us have a Luther story.  Mine is the first time I met Luther.  This was before TV and all of Chattanooga listened to Luther on the radio.  I was 12-years-old.  Some of my buddies and I had gone to the State Theater in downtown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: An Election Day Fable

Every day I am peppered with emails that friends send to me from across the country so I am unsure of where the fable you are about to read originated. But with early voting for the November general election now in full swing, I think everyone who will -- or will not -- take part in freedom’s greatest privilege should read this story because I believe there is a great lesson contained ... (click for more)

Mihaescu, March Win Region 3-A/AA Cross Country Titles

The weather wasn't quite as nice as it was last week, but it was still sunny and warm on Tuesday afternoon for the Region 3-A/AA cross country championships, which were held on a flat course at Camp Jordan in East Ridge. Sequoyah senior Danielle March was the female winner as she toured the 5K course in 21 minutes, 46 seconds to win by almost a minute over KiAnna Queener, ... (click for more)

Boyd-Buchanan Defeats East Ridge 7-1 In Soccer Semi

The Boyd-Buchanan girls’ soccer team has already made history this season, but coach Todd Ledbetter’s Lady Bucs are hungry for more. After winning the school’s first district title last week, they moved a step closer to another championship with a Region 3-A/AA semifinal victory at home on Tuesday. Boyd-Buchanan, the 5-A/AA champion, defeated District 6 runner-up ... (click for more)