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."

 

 

 



Jury Hears About Incident Behind Food Lion That Authorities Say Led To Triple Murders In Lookout Valley

A Criminal Court jury on Thursday was told about an incident behind the Food Lion on Brown's Ferry Road that authorities say was the motive for an April 9, 2014, massacre at a Lookout Valley trailer park. Brandon Jackson said the incident five days earlier involved Derek Morse, who is standing trial on three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree ... (click for more)

Fire Destroys Harrison Home Just After Family Leaves For Vacation

A home in Harrison was totally destroyed by fire on Wednesday night shortly after the family left for vacation. At 9:45 p.m., a 911 call was made reporting a house fire at 6351 Rim Crest Lane (Harvest Run subdivision). The Highway 58 Volunteer Fire Department responded and arrived on the scene reporting the house was fully involved with fire. Firefighters quickly conducted ... (click for more)

Why The Ed Johnson Memorial Matters To Me, A Libertarian

I have seen a lot of responses to the question of whether or not our city and county should financially support the Ed Johnson Memorial at the Walnut Street bridge. Some fully support government pitching in and some say that private individuals and civic organizations should pitch in. Both are correct.  Our city has become a very sought after place to live. From our hometown ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: McQueen & Her TVAAS

If I am reading my Ouija Board right, I suspect the Hamilton County School Board will vote to allow a controversial “partnership” to be formed with the state Board of Education tonight at its monthly meeting. State Education Commissioner Candice McQueen has said she will demand the one-sided partnership to take over the operation of five at-risk schools in Hamilton County and, if ... (click for more)

Impressive Signal Mountain Whips Red Bank, 3-0

The Signal Mountain Lady Eagles have one of the better volleyball teams in town this fall and it’s no surprise that they are unbeaten in district play. They proved just how good they are Tuesday evening in Red Bank’s Susan Ingram Thurman Gymnasium as they needed about 50 minutes to beat the Lionettes for the second time this season. Set scores were 25-6, 25-7 and 25-15. ... (click for more)

Vols. UMass Matchup Pits 1998 National Champions

Tennessee takes on UMass on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. The game will feature a noon ET kickoff on SEC Network.     Tennessee (2-1) is coming off a 26-20 road loss to Florida on Sept. 16. Junior running back John Kelly set career highs with 141 rushing yards and 96 receiving yards and played a major role in the Vols' second half rally before the Gators ... (click for more)