Chattanooga Railroad Series: Belt Line (Fort Cheatham)

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Belt Line Railroad veered straight south from Main Street in the direction of the old Civil War Fort Cheatham.The sturdy earthworks not far from the foot of Missionary Ridge was named in honor of a Tennessean, Major General Frank Cheatham.

The Belt Line was put through in the direction of East Lake just over three decades after the fierce Civil War fighting in that vicinity.

The line, which was initially designed for freight, went by a number of manufacturing facilities - or they were later constructed nearby to take advantage of the opportunity for shipping and receiving.

It went near the route of Buckley Street, which continued to Missionary Avenue (today's 23rd Street). It then went along Avenue J (8th Avenue).

The freeway that went across Missionary Ridge was built in the 1960s just north of the old fort. It  swallowed up a swath of the Belt Line.

There are signs of the Belt Line along an old right of way looking south from the Cotten Patch at Main Street.

At 17th Street, the Belt Line begins to come into view with now and then a glimpse of track. The old Southern Skein and Foundry Company (now Mitchell Industrial Tire) is a block away from the Belt Line, but vestiges of a spur that served it are still visible.

The line went by the old Thatcher Spinning Company that grew to become Standard Coosa Thatcher. Hulking remnants of the once stately brick plant now rise at several points just west of the Belt Line.

Just south of I-24 you can see one remaining section of Fort Cheatham in a small park at the rear of the East Lake Courts. The Belt Line went nearby, but it has been obscured until 28th Street, where there is the first of a series of Railroad Crossing signs. The only track at 28th Street is a length of curving spur into a nearby business.

But not far away the Belt Line track is intact and looks ready to accommodate a locomotive and several rail cars. The track is firmly in place at several intersections on the way to East Lake.

A manual track switch, long unused, still stands by the track. But it has been many a year since the switch was "thrown."

 

 

 



Body Of Homicide Victim Thomas Rogers Found In Barrel By Road In Bledsoe County

The body of a man who had been reported missing by his family in Bledsoe County was located in a barrel north of Big Spring Gap Road. Authorities called it a homicide and had one suspect, Michaela Sullivan, in custody charged with criminal homicide. She was listed as the last person seen with the Thomas Rogers. Two other suspects were being sought in the murder. ... (click for more)

Governor, Lt. Governor Praise Work Of 110th General Assembly

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Lt. Governor Randy McNally praised the work of the 110 th  General Assembly .   Governor Haslam said the legislators acted to "keep Tennessee on pace to lead the nation in jobs, education and efficient and effective government."   He said, “The investments in this budget and our legislative priorities this session ... (click for more)

Pluses And Minuses Of Tennessee's New Opioid Law

It was clear when Governor Haslam announced his TN Together plan in January that lawmakers were going to do something to try to address the state’s opioid abuse epidemic. With the passage of SB 2257/HB 1831, Tennessee now has one of the most comprehensive and restrictive laws of any state.   The Tennessee Medical Association was actively engaged in the process and appreciates ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A True Tennessean

“Last week I told some Republican friends who have held high office, traditional and true Republicans, who like you are both conservative and compassionate, Christians in their personal faith and public service,” the email began. “These are Tennessee Republicans that I have known for decades, and whom I'd trust with my life and my wife … I told them that my views and values make ... (click for more)

Cagle's One-Hitter Leads South Pittsburg Win

SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. – South Pittsburg pitcher EJ Cagle is starting to refine his one-hitters.   For the second game in a row, the right-hander twirled a complete-game one-hitter, limiting visiting Lookout Valley to a bloop hit in the Pirates’ 10-0 shutout of the Jackets in a matchup of regular-season champions  Wednesday  night.   In ... (click for more)

Bradley Rides Bunch's 3-Hitter To 5-0 Win And 5-3A Baseball Title

Bradley Central’s opening 9-3 loss to Soddy-Daisy in a double-header to decide the District 5-3A regular-season champion on Wednesday, meant second-game starter Andy Bunch, a senior right-hander, needed to turn in a Herculean effort for the Bears. Bunch came through with flying colors at Tom Higgins Field. The hard-throwing Bunch fired a three-hit shutout at the Trojans ... (click for more)