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

Saturday, July 05, 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 - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: CARR, ROBERT JONATHAN     6502 JOYFUL DR HIXSON, 37343     18     Hamilton County          POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA CHAIJ, JONATHAN BRANDON     1950 WATERBURY LANE CHATTANOOGA, 37421     23 ... (click for more)

Funeral Is Wednesday For Meigs County Woman, 41, Killed In Wreck

Funeral services will be Wednesday for a 41-year-old Meigs County woman who was killed Friday afternoon when another vehicle ran into her car on Highway 58 in Meigs County. Troopers said Klaresha Crass swerved her GMC truck into oncoming traffic to avoid a car waiting to turn left. She hit the Chevrolet occupied by the family of Tammy Renee England Whitted, of Decatur, head-on. ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)

Worley-Powered Vols Clobber Utah State, 38-7, In Opener

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee, trying to snap out of the doldrums of four consecutive losing seasons, started its 2014 campaign in fine fashion Sunday night before a season opening sellout crowd of 102,445 that endured a heavy rain story 30 minutes prior to kickoff. And senior quarterback Justin Worley, who missed the final four games in 2013 after undergoing thumb surgery, was ... (click for more)

Lookouts Reach Southern League Northern Division Playoffs With Doubleheader Win Over Smokies

The Chattanooga Lookouts are now playoff bound after sweeping a double-header against the Tennessee Smokies  to clinch the Southern League North Division for the second half of the season. The first game of the double-header was backed by a masterful gem of a game thrown by the starter for the Lookouts, Steve Smith (W, 3-2). Smith dominated the Smokies' lineup from top ... (click for more)