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.


Severe Storms In South May Create Holiday Travel Chaos

AccuWeather reports rain and thunderstorms, some capable of producing severe weather, will affect much of the South from  Tuesday  into Christmas Eve. Despite this week being the first week of winter, it may seem like spring in the South for a day or two. The rain and storms will be spawned by a Christmas Eve storm as it gains strength and begins to lift ... (click for more)

Tennessee To Join Lawsuit To Challenge Obama’s Executive Action On Immigration

Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery on Monday notified the appropriate parties that the state will join a lawsuit brought by attorneys general and governors from 24 other states to challenge the president’s recent executive action on immigration. Mr. Slatery said, “Our office has carefully considered whether to join this lawsuit and concluded that it is in the best interest ... (click for more)

Please Don't Close The Piccadilly Cafeteria At Hamilton Place - And Response

Oh, no. The Piccadilly Cafeteria at Hamilton Place is closing.  Its last day is Christmas Eve.  I will miss the great food they have there but most of all I will miss their servers, cashiers and waitresses.  They are all so friendly and accommodating.  They make it like it’s a home-style restaurant. I sure wish there was some way that Hamilton Place and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 10 Tasks For This Week

In 1993 a 95-year-old man named William Snell created a list called “Life’s Little Instructions.” His list has swirled around in the Internet ever since and it is, indeed, a delightful checklist to keep us focused in the right direction. Curiously, when I read over it this past weekend, it dawned on me that if each of us would try to accomplish just 10 items on Mr. Snell’s list ... (click for more)

UTC Cagers Host UAB Tonight at McKenzie Arena

UAB’s talented point guard Nick Norton has been at three schools in three years. Before one prematurely concludes the 19-year-old can’t find a home for his basketball talents, it should be noted that his dad, Randy Norton, – the current UAB women’s basketball coach - has something to do with the “let’s get out the GPS and see where we go next” lifestyle. Nick, a true freshman ... (click for more)

Hawks Defeat Riverdale, 55-43, For Rhea Title

EVENSVILLE, Tenn. – Hamilton Heights had a chance to win the boys and girls title in the Rhea County Holiday Hoops tournament Saturday night. The Hawks delivered. The Lady Hawks came up short. Once-beaten Hamilton Heights, getting pivotal back-to-back 3-pointers by Silas Adheke and Joan Duran in the final two minutes and sterling efforts by Ezekiel Balogun and Abdulhakim ... (click for more)