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.

Just down the street is the Southern Railway Freight Depot that dates to 1911. 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. 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.

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. 


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