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.


Family Makes Treasure Trove Of Early Chattanooga Photographs Available For Book; Stokes Collection Has Been Passed Down To Descendants

A treasure trove of Chattanooga photographs that have been passed down in the Stokes family for generations has now been assembled in an upcoming book. Chattanooga Around The Turn Of The Century: The Remarkable Stokes Collection will be published by Chattanoogan.com. Pre-orders are now being taken for the book, which includes over 700 photos on large-size pages. Publisher ... (click for more)

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ABERNATHY, JERRY LOUIS     4016 DELASHMIT HIXSON, 37415     31     Red Bank          PUBLIC INTOXICATION AKRIDGE, JERTERRIUS MARSHAWN     6317 TALLEDEGA AVENUE CHATTANOOGA, 37421     20    ... (click for more)

Leaders Lead On Amendment 1

This week the Hamilton County Commission was faced with what I believe may be one of the most important votes they have cast during their tenure.  Granted, the vote was over a "mere" Resolution that resulted in no overt action or new law in our county.  But there are times when simply speaking Truth and taking a stand on a foundational Principle is paramount and as such ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Expert Reasons Why To Vote

Early voting for the November election begins two weeks from today so please jump-start your plans that will assure your choices will be counted. In a fun-filled attempt to show what some of those who actually vote do during the rest of the day, I offer two examples of “those who live among us” from experts. The first are a series of questions from readers of “Dear Abby” who ask ... (click for more)

East Hamilton Personnel Losses Boost Other 5-AAA Hoop Teams

CLEVELAND, Tenn. – East Hamilton’s loss has been solid gains for two other basketball teams in District 5-AAA and Ringgold, Ga. One of the Hurricanes’ top players, Kenny Bunton, left the program two days after Rodney English replaced fired Michael Stone and transferred to Walker Valley where he will play for coach Bob Williams’ Mustangs. “I took the job in March and two days ... (click for more)

John Shearer: Memories Of Watching 38 Baylor-McCallie Games

Back in the fall of 1971 when I was in the sixth grade at Bright School, I listened on the radio to the exciting football game between Baylor and McCallie schools, the first since the series had been discontinued after 1940. I was hoping to attend Baylor School as a student the next year, so I was quite excited that Baylor won, 9-7.  And the next year as a seventh-grader, ... (click for more)