Chattanooga Railroad Series: Bypass Of The Old Missionary Ridge Tunnel Route

Saturday, July 5, 2014 - by John Wilson

Trains passed regularly through the railroad tunnel through Missionary Ridge for over 90 years. However, by 1950, larger railroad equipment was having difficulty getting through the narrow tunnel.

Equally as important, the tunnel had a single track where by then a double track was needed for the heavy rail traffic.

The railroad began searching for a new route to replace the old East Tennessee line.

The Western and Atlantic had skirted the end of the ridge, though it involved several crossings of South Chickamauga Creek.

It was decided to position the new East Tennessee bypass route not far from the W&A, but across the creek to avoid the bridges.

A route was chosen that moved away from the old Cincinnati Southern line in East Chattanooga at the old King's Point community.

It was built on a hill with a treslle across Harrison Pike, then another over busy Bonny Oaks Drive. 

The line went above Youngstown Road and then trestled over Lightfoot Mill Road. Just below this trestle at the bridge over South Chickamauga Creek can be seen a bridge crossing for a W&A spur line going toward Tyner and then, behind it, the original East Tennessee line crossing the creek. That is part of the section now used by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum for daily excursions that go through the historic tunnel.

From this creek view at Lightfoot Mill Road, one of the original piers for the East Tennessee line that was later replaced can be seen beyond the newer East Tennessee crossing.

The bypass then crossed over the spur of the W&A before joining the old East Tennessee line near the present Railroad Museum.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALE, IAN TAYLOR 8452 EAST BRAINERD ROAD CHATTANOOGA, 37421 27 Soddy Daisy POSSESSION OF METHAMPHETAMINE ALLEN, ANDRE ANTHONY 3407 GAIL DRIVE EAST RIDGE, 37412 27 Chattanooga VIOLATION OF PROBATION (DRIVING ON REVOKED LICENSE APOLINAR, KEVIN JOSE 1313 HIXSON PIKE APT3 CHATTANOOGA, ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BAGGETT, EMILY MICHELLE 14431 DAYTON PIKE SALE CREEK, 37373 22 Hamilton County PROMOTING MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE PROMOTING MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE BUTLER, NATASHA COLLEEN 816 ROANOKE AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37404 30 Chattanooga VANDALISM/MALICIOUS MISCHIEF CAMPBELL, CHRISTOPHER ... (click for more)

It's Time To Insure Tennessee - And Response

Tennessee has a problem.  What is the value of saving the lives of 1,000 Tennesseans each year? That is exactly what can be expected if 176,000 Tennesseans gain health insurance through Insure Tennessee. A New England Journal of Medicine study showed that expansion of Medicaid was associated with a 6% reduction in yearly mortality for people in the 34-65 age group. Statistically, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Boots, Idiots & Guns

As the month of February was born this morning, allow me to hurriedly share three leftovers that were still in last month’s basket: * * * A first-grade teacher had endured a long day and was helping her students bundle up for the trip home when one of the little boys asked for help getting on his boots. Soon she could see why. Even with her pulling, and him pushing, the ... (click for more)

Cleveland Wins Third Straight AAA State Duals Title Over Wilson Central

FRANKLIN – Jake Yost is batting a thousand in State Duals championship matches. Just call it a three-peat for the Cleveland Blue Raiders after Saturday night’s 35-26 win over Wilson Central here at the Williamson County Agricultural Expo Center. It was also the third straight time that the Wildcats had finished as the runner-up to Cleveland, but Saturday night’s battle was ... (click for more)

Baylor Edges Father Ryan for State Duals Wrestling Title

FRANKLIN – In an epic TSSAA D-II state duals finals which came down to the final two matches, defending champion Baylor relied on its Murderers’ Row, composed of three state champions, earlier in the match to edge Father Ryan, 32-30 for the state championship here Saturday night at the Williamson County Ag Expo Center. Trailing, 15-7 after six matches, Baylor then gained a ... (click for more)