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.

 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALEXANDER, MELANIE SYDNEY 816 ASTERWOOD DRIVE ROSSVILLE, 30741 25 Chattanooga POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE - MARIJUANA BAXTER, TRAVIS MATTHEW 1330 GREENSLAKE ROAD EAST RIDGE, 37412 22 East Ridge AGGRAVATED DOMESTIC ASSAULT W/VEHICLE POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA BELL, CHARLIE ... (click for more)

Deputy Beaten After Vehicle Crashes In His Yard Sues Officers

A man who was mistakenly beaten by officers who had been pursuing a pickup truck that crashed into his home has sued Hamilton County and the officers for $700,000. Aaron Lucas Shelton and his wife, Heather Nicole Shelton, filed the suit in Circuit Court. Aaron Shelton is himself a deputy sheriff. It names Curtis Brian Killingsworth and unknown officers who allegedly took part ... (click for more)

We Ought To Pay Our Own Way

The government is too big. It has never been bigger - by any measure. It spends more money than any other single actor in our society. From Blue Rhinos to providing telecommunications services, our government knows no bounds. We’ve gone from a free enterprise system to a public enterprise system.  I'm not an artist. I'm not terribly tech savvy. The part of government that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Secret Train Ride

It was during Christmas of 2003 when Bennett Levin and his wife found themselves talking and worrying about the wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Military Hospital in Bethesda, Md., and at the nearby Bethesda Naval Hospital. Their wish was that they could do something meaningful, something really grand, for the soldiers who had lost limbs, their eyesight, and far worse. As ... (click for more)

Villavic, Henderson Win Scenic City Half-Marathon Titles

(Complete results will be posted later today for both races) It was just a little bit nippy at Finley Stadium for Saturday morning’s running of the Scenic City Half-Marathon and 5K, but it was probably just about perfect for those who decided to compete. Cristian Villavic, a 42-year-old professional runner from Nicaragua who is currently living in Manchester with his coach, ... (click for more)

Baylor Wrestlers Murphy, Seagraves in National Prep Semis

On the strength of placing two wrestlers in Saturday morning's championship semis, Baylor School is in 11th place (46 pts) at the National Prep Wrestling Championship held this weekend in Lehigh, Pa. Saturday Semis: Baylor junior and three-time state champ Michael Murphy has won three matches (two falls, one sudden death) and meets top seeded Matthew Colodzik (Blair Academy) ... (click for more)