Chattanooga Railroad Series: Alabama And Chattanooga Railroad

Monday, January 06, 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).

A railroad that had been started in the valley between Lookout Mountain and Sand Mountain was finally completed to Chattanooga several years after the Civil War.

It was first known as the Wills Valley Railroad, but by the time it was finished the title was changed to the Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad. This was the fourth train operating in Chattanooga - not counting the Memphis and Charleston Railroad, which used tracks of the Nashville train from Stevenson, Ala., to Chattanooga.

The flamboyant John C. Stanton from Boston had stepped in to complete it. It was finished between Wauhatchie to Meridian, Miss., by May of 1871. 

Stanton also constructed the elaborate Stanton House hotel nearby at the site where the Terminal Station (Chattanooga Choo Choo) was later built.

Stanton also persuaded city officials to move the post office to this section, which was considered quite a distance from the original settlement by the river. The post office was constructed at the corner of King and South Market streets (where the Ellis Hotel was later built).

A depot was constructed at Market and 13th streets for the Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad, which entered town from the south along the Nashville and Chattanooga route around Moccasin Bend, then veered away at Montgomery Avenue (Main Street). 

The Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad also put up a freight depot across the street opposite the post office. Also at the complex were a brick roundhouse with 11 stalls and wooden railroad shops.

Until early in the 1900s there was only a single track on the narrow shelf of land around the base of Lookout Mountain across from Moccasin Bend. It was shared by not only the Nashville train, but also the Memphis and Charleston and the Alabama and Chattanooga.

However, the Stanton empire soon crumbled and he returned to his palatial home in New England.

The Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad was rescued from bankruptcy in 1877 and given the distinguished title of Alabama Great Southern Railway Company. It offered service to New Orleans, Mobile, Vicksburg and other points to the south and west.

When Union Station became too congested, the AGS depot at Market and 13th Street was converted into use as the Central Passenger Station. It stood where the Southern Railway headquarters was built. It opened Sept. 16, 1888. It was taken down after the Terminal Station was built further south on Market Street. The Chattanooga headquarters for the Southern Railway was eventually built at the site of the Central Passenger Station. It has been converted for residential use.

The Alabama Great Southern and the Cincinnati Southern later operated as part of the Queen and Crescent Route using the old Alabama and Chattanooga freight depot at Market and King. 

When Baron Emile D'Erlanger was the chief official of the Queen and Crescent Route he made a visit to Chattanooga. A pitch was made to him to help in a drive to construct a local hospital. He pledged $5,000 and said he would have the two railroads pledge the same. The hospital was later named for him. 

An old Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad building remains behind the Southern Railway headquarters at 1301 Market St. The Urban Stack hamburger place now occupies this site. Cobblestones dating to the city's earliest days are still in place as a picturesque pavement outside this quaint railroad building.

There is still track in place that crosses Market Street by the old Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad site and the old railroad baggage building. It moves on across Broad Street to the junction with the fragment of Nashville tracks at Main Street behind the chicken processing plant, but train cars do not often rumble by.


Man Stabbed On Woodland View Circle In Domestic Dispute

A man was stabbed on Woodland View Circle on Saturday morning. At 9:40 a.m., Chattanooga Police were dispatched to 5201 Woodland View Circle on a person stabbed. P olice found a man suffering from a stab wound. The v ictim was transported to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The s uspect left the scene in a gold-colored vehicle. A t ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ANDERSON, ADEN M 730 EAST AVE CHATTANOOGA, 37411 28 Chattanooga CRIMINAL TRESPASSING ASLINGER, JEFFERY JAMES 1504 GREEN POND ROAD SODDY DAISY, 37379 44 Soddy Daisy DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA BATES, JOE EDWARD 2472 ELLA DR CLEVELAND, 37323 20 ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘Scrooge’ Of The Year

As we move into the last weekend before Christmas, the “Scrooge of the Year” has just appeared in Aurora, Ill. Actually Connie Ley has just died. She passed away on Nov. 25, but in her wake left the worst will many around the country have ever heard – her last wishes included that her nine-year-old dog should be put to death, cremated, and buried with her. Bela, a beautiful German ... (click for more)

McCallie Claims Own Mat Title with Depth

  With no champions, yet good depth, host McCallie won the 34 th annual McCallie Wrestling Invitational Tournament Saturday with 223 points followed by runner-up Union Grove (196) and third place Cleveland (186.5) in the 27-team field. In winning a record eighth team title, McCallie had runners-up in James Westbrooks (126) and Brock Herring (132), plus three thirds and ... (click for more)

Hawks Defeat Riverdale, 55-43, For Rhea Title

EVENSVILLE, Tenn. – Hamilton Heights had a chance to win the boys and girls title in the Rhea County Holiday Hoops tournament Saturday night. The Hawks delivered. The Lady Hawks came up short. Once-beaten Hamilton Heights, getting pivotal back-to-back 3-pointers by Silas Adheke and Joan Duran in the final two minutes and sterling efforts by Ezekiel Balogun and Abdulhakim ... (click for more)