Chattanooga Railroad Series: The Belt Line (South Chattanooga)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - by John Wilson

Residents were startled recently to see an engine pulling several rail cars crossing South Broad Street.

It once was a common sight, but it doesn't happen very often now.

That train was traveling on a section of the Belt Line that was built well over a century ago. Much of its track is still intact and some of it is in use.

In South Chattanooga, the Belt Line went past the Wheland Foundry site near the river and then veered away from the river to a crossing of the main line coming in from Nashville.

It then entered a marshy section near Chattanooga Creek known on old maps as "No Man's Land." 

The Belt Line then went across Chattanooga Creek on a wooden trestle.

It crossed St. Elmo Avenue and South Broad Street at grade. This was at a time when there was little traffic on these streets and an occasional train was not felt to be too much of an intrusion.

Then it intersected with the streetcar line that went to St. Elmo at what is now Williams Street.

There was then a long isolated stretch before it crossed Alton Park Boulevard - also at grade. When it was built, there was no Alton Park Boulevard.

The Belt Line went straight a short distance in the direction of Missionary Ridge, then it veered north toward the National Cemetery. It went by the Lookout Place home of Capt. J.F. Shipp and then trestled Chattanooga Creek once again.

When a tunnel was built at the north end of Lookout Mountain in the early 1900s, this new Southern Railway route followed part of the old Belt Line section starting just above Alton Park Boulevard. The TAG line also followed this old route into town, veering off the Belt Line route just east of Alton Park Boulevard. This would become the main line through town.

There is a line still intact that veered off the main Belt Line track at St. Elmo Avenue toward the J.H. Allison packing plant. The rails split in the middle of the road. This spur went along Chattanooga Creek. The rails still remain, but the line is grown up in briers. 

     

     

     

     


    Tennessee Delegation Urges Transportation Secretary To Work With Haslam, State Officials On Highway Funds

    Every member of Tennessee’s Congressional delegation this week urged U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx to work with Governor Bill Haslam and state officials to find a solution to a problem that threatens Tennessee with the loss of $60 million in urgently needed highway funds.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said this month that a new Tennessee ... (click for more)

    Couple Charged With Breaking Into TVA Building And Taking $7,500 In Items, Truck

    A couple was charged with breaking into a TVA building on Hickory Valley Road and taking $7,500 in items as well as a truck. Dustin Lee Adams, 25, and Hollie Diesz, 38, are charged with theft and firearm possession. In the incident on Wednesday, TVA officials said the thieves entered the building and took several sets of keys, a Think Pad, a Nikon 300 camera, two Garmin GPS ... (click for more)

    Alexander Should Do Something About The Affordable Health Care Act Price Increase - And Response (3)

    Re:  Alexander's remarks about Tennesseans not affording "Affordable Health Care Act" prices Mr. Alexander,  Your message stated, Tennesseans can't afford a 44 percent to 62 percent increase in the Affordable Care prices.  I simply ask, as Senate Health Committee chairman, why don't you do something about it?  Don't tell us something most know already.  ... (click for more)

    Roy Exum: 40 Questions About ‘Blue Bags’

    No. 1 – Did you know that one in every five of the 42,000 children in the Hamilton County school district is what the experts call “food deprived?” No. 2 – Can you get your arms around the fact that a huge percentage of those 8,400 children get little, if nothing, to eat from Friday at lunch until they return to our schools on Monday? No. 3 -- Did you know that you – just ... (click for more)

    Unbeaten Baylor Volleyballers Roll Past Soddy Daisy

    The 2016 high school volleyball season is only 10 days old, but the Baylor Lady Red Raiders are already playing in mid-season form. Fresh off a strong weekend where they beat perennial state power Brentwood twice en route to winning the prestigious Early Bird Tournament in Knoxville, the Lady Raiders continued that consistent strong play on Wednesday evening as they made short ... (click for more)

    Nine Headed To East Ridge Hall Of Fame On Sept. 9

    East Ridge will induct nine people into its Hall of Fame at halftime of the Central-East Ridge football game on Sept. 9. The 2016 inductees: 1.  DAVID COPELAND - 1964-1967. Played football and track for three years. Captain of both sports. Earned a football scholarship to the University of Tennessee. 2.  CARLENE ELLIOTT RYON - 1964-1967. Played basketball ... (click for more)