Chattanooga Railroad Series: Historic Dalton Depots

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - by John Wilson

Dalton, Ga., is fortunate to still have two historic train depots.

A depot that was begun in the fall of 1852 by the Western and Atlantic Railroad track is now in use as a restaurant. It is at 110 Depot St. The contractor was Eugene LeHardy, chief engineer of the railroad. LeHardy also was involved in the construction of the Union Station in Chattanooga, and some of his descendants settled in Chattanooga. The W&A depot was acquired by the city of Dalton in 1978.

Just down the street is the Southern Railway Freight Depot that dates to the early 1900s. It is at 305 Depot St. After standing idle for many years, it was restored in 2009 and put into use as the Dalton Visitor Center.

Since the freight depot is right beside the main line to Atlanta, this is now a prime viewing area for train buffs - with 50-55 trains per day passing by. There is a covered viewing platform. An ATCS monitor is set up so that it is possible to tell the location of approaching trains. There is also a live audio feed from train radios.

Train lovers oversee the dual tracks of the CSX and Norfolk Southern Railroads as they pass the "Dalton Diamond," a 45-degree rail crossing directly in front of the viewing platform. This is one of the few places where the two main railroads cross each other at grade.

A 1949 Southern "Crescent City" Pullman car was installed next to the freight depot.

Just north of the two depots above East Waugh Street is the junction of the old W&A line and the track that came in to Dalton from Cleveland. The East Tennessee line was first built from Knoxville to Cleveland and on to Dalton. Chattanooga became an after thought. The East Tennessee (later Southern Railway) line from Dalton continued on to Calhoun, Rome and eventually Atlanta.

A separate depot stood south of the W&A passenger station at the end of Crawford Street from the early 1920s to the early 1970s. It was a small wooden station that had an overhang to protect travelers from the weather.

Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: BALDEN, MORE MOUSSA  2000 SUNSET RD CHATTANOOGA, 37404  Age at Arrest: 45 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga PUBLIC INTOXICATION --- BEENE, JASON  3660 CRESTWICK CIRCLE GULF SHORES, 37421  Age at Arrest: 38 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga AGGRAVATED ASSAULT --- ... (click for more)

Latest County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ASHFORD, LARRY  3718 JUANDALE TRAIL CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 64 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga GAMBLING PROMOTION GAMBLING DEVICES --- BATTLE, FREDRICK LAMAR  HOMELESS CHATTANOOGA, 37407  Age at Arrest: 52 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga DOMESTIC CRIMINAL ... (click for more)

Welcome The Bike Lanes

In just the last week, I’ve driven from North Chattanooga to downtown using North Market numerous times.  I’ve timed it and it has added no extra time to my commute.  In fact, cutting North Market down to one lane slowed folks down and made me feel safer while driving, which is actually the point of the road project. On top of that, I saw an adorable family biking ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: How We Learned To Play

A couple of years ago I was reading a fascinating story that asserted the “Little Rascals” taught generations of children how to play with each other. When the comedy show about children in a poor neighborhood originated in 1922, there were just silent movies but in 1929, when the “talkies” were introduced, children and adults alike were mesmerized by the wonderful humor that producer ... (click for more)

Arkansas Ground Game Pounds Tennessee, 24-20

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – At least Tennessee didn’t blow a double-digit lead late. Arkansas wiped out the Vols’ 14-0 lead in the first half in front of 101,265 fans at Neyland Stadium and went on to dump Tennessee, 24-20, Saturday night in Southeastern Conference football action. It was Tennessee’s second straight loss and the win snapped the Razorbacks’ three-game skid. ... (click for more)

Do The Tennessee Football Program's Problems Start At The Top?

Late last night former LSU and NFL star Booger McFarland was literally laughing at Tennessee during his post-game commentary on the SEC Network. I can understand that. Again "Botch" Jones took no responsibility for this third terrible agonizing loss during his post game "softball" interview with Vol play-by-play broadcaster "Blob" Kesling after once again blowing a two touchdown ... (click for more)