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.

  


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)