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.



Get Emailed Headlines From Chattanoogan.com; Like Us On Facebook, Twitter For Instant News

We send out headlines each day of the latest Chattanooga news. Our news headlines have links that take you to the stories with a click. We also send out special emails if there is a highly significant local news story breaking so you will be aware of it quickly. To be added to the email headline list, just email us at news@chattanoogan.com In addition, like us on Facebook ... (click for more)

Senator Overbey Nominated To Be U.S. Attorney For Eastern Tennessee District

State Senator Doug Overbey was nominated by President Trump on Friday to be the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. Senator Bob Corker said,  “Doug Overbey is an outstanding choice to serve Tennesseans as U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District. Doug has had a distinguished law career, spanning nearly four decades, and has served the Volunteer State honorably in the ... (click for more)

Do Something To Protect Our Children

It is unconscionable in this day and age that these children had to exist in such deplorable conditions and that an innocent baby suffered and died alone in a locked car.  Yes, there is blame and accountability considering this family had child neglect charges filed a few years ago (that were apparently dropped and expunged) and a large part of the responsibility should ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

Every week I get emails full of inspiration and funny stories. This summer I have gathered a sampling of my weekly harvest and presented the collection as a reminder we ought to cherish laughter with those we love and the weekend. I am not only amazed how popular my ‘Summer Saturdays’ have become but this week I have gotten funnies from California, Texas and Arizona, to mention ... (click for more)

Lookouts Take Second Straight At Mobile Thursday With 4-1 Win

MOBILE, Ala.  -- Nick Gordon scored on a wild pitch in the first inning, leading the Chattanooga Lookouts to a 4-1 win over the Mobile BayBears on Thursday. Gordon scored on the play in the first to give the Lookouts a 1-0 lead after he led off the inning with a single, stole second and then went to third on a groundout. With the score tied 1-1 in the second, the Lookouts ... (click for more)

Katie Tingle Named Covenant Women's Basketball Assistant

The Covenant women's basketball program has announced the hiring of Katie Tingle as the full-time assistant coach for head coach Sarah Harris. Tingle replaces Kiaira Cooper, who recently left the program for an administrative position at Houghton College.  "I am so thankful to director of athletics Tim Sceggel and head coach Sarah Harris for this opportunity to ... (click for more)