Chattanooga Railroad Series: Chattanooga Traction Company (Section Along Manufacturers Road)

Monday, January 13, 2014 - by John Wilson

Some of the tracks put in place in 1913 by the energetic railroad man Charles E. James leading from his Signal Mountain Hotel down to Chattanooga are still in place and some of those are still in regular use.

James founded the Chattanooga Traction Company to provide rail service to Signal Mountain, but he also had plans for a branch line up through Red Bank and points north.

The line was initially on the Walnut Street Bridge. When the more sturdy Market Street Bridge was opened in 1917, the tracks were shifted there.

The line led from the bridge straight west crossing Manufacturers Road near the American Lava plant (current Business Development Center) and on behind the Signal Knitting Mill (current antique mall and Foodworks restaurant). 

It went near Peerless Street and Houser Street, where a large car barn (or engine house) was constructed. The track went by several manufacturing facilities, including the Tennessee Paper Mills (now Rock-Tenn).

Some spur lines were built to service several industries across Manufacturers Road.

The Chattanooga Traction line went along the slope of Stringer's Ridge as it crossed near where Riverside Road joins Whitehall Road. Then it veered north toward Signal as it approached Pineville Road.

There was a Riverside Station along the curve where Riverside Road meets Manufacturers Road. Most of the Chattanooga Traction stations were torn down long ago, though the Divine station still stands beside the track at Power Corporation Drive just after it goes under the U.S. 27 freeway. It was named for early streetcar and railroad man Sam Divine.

The brick engine house was visible for many years from the freeway near the Manufacturers Road exit, but it was finally torn down.

The track follows Pineville Road before it splits at West Elmwood Drive - with one line continuing toward Signal Mountain and the other heading for Red Bank. The Valley Junction station once stood at the split. 

Passenger service was long ago discontinued on the Chattanooga Traction line, but some trains can still be seen in the vicinity of Manufacturers Road hauling freight - as well as in the section leading to Signal Mountain Cement and up through Red Bank.

 


Chatsworth Man Dies In Motorcycle Wreck In Decatur, Tn.

A 51-year-old Chatsworth, Ga., man died in a motorcycle accident in Decatur, Tn. on Monday. Mitchell Leroy Green did not stop at a red light at the Highway 60 Bridge, the Tennessee Highway Patrol said. The stop light was in place due to a one-lane construction zone on the bridge. The cyclist rear-ended a pickup truck. He was a member of the Bakewell Bible Church.  ... (click for more)

Police Cordon Off Large Section At Renaissance Park; Police Say Incident Was Suicide

Police on Wednesday morning cordoned off a large section of Renaissance Park. One observer said it appeared that a body had been found near hills where park visitors slide down on cardboard. The location is across from the Business Development Center. Police later said it was a suicide. (click for more)

Police Need To Stop The Road Cowboys - And Response

Where is our highway patrol?  If they were known to regularly patrol our interstate highways through our city I don't think it would take long before the "truckers" were aware of it.  There are places in our country where this is the case.   When I have traveled Interstates 24 and 75 I may see the occasional car pulled over but rarely if ever is it an 18-wheeler. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden This July

As the month of July dawns this morning, a walk through my garden shows some flowers blooming, my marigolds dying, and the grass is greener than I thought it would be. But as I look for what’s good and what’s bad, let’s remember that some firecrackers pop while others fizzle. Here we go… A BANG to career criminal Whitely Bulger, the 85-year-old master criminal who in a recent ... (click for more)

Football Mocs No. 5 In Lindy’s Sports Preseason FCS Top 25

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga grabbed another preseason top 10 national ranking.  The Mocs are No. 5 in Lindy’s Sports FCS Top 25 heading into the 2015 campaign. This is UTC’s highest preseason ranking of any of the major publications that released a poll for the Football Championship Subdivision.  Chattanooga is No. 8 in the both the Sporting News ... (click for more)

Madison Hayes To Compete In National Pitch, Hit and Run Compitition

    Ooltewah's Madison Hayes is one of 24 national finalists for the 2015 Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run program presented by Scotts, the official youth skills competition of Major League Baseball, were announced Monday live on MLB  Tonight  on MLB Network. These 24 boys and girls will compete at the National Finals and participate in ... (click for more)