Chattanooga Railroad Series: The Unfinished Line To Stevenson (Part 2)

  • Thursday, December 11, 2014

Well over a century later, there are still many signs along Highway 41 by the Tennessee River of "the Stevenson Extension." But they can only be discovered by careful exploration.

This was part of a 42-mile alternate route by Southern Railway between Chattanooga and Stevenson, Ala. The work went on in earnest from 1905 until it abruptly halted in October 1907.

A section of Wilcox Road, just off Highway 41 on the climb up Cummings Gap, is the old rail bed. A large culvert was built by the railroad under Wilcox Road across the creek that cut the ravine that heads toward Lookout Valley.

At the north end of Wilcox Road, the line went straight north toward the one tunnel on the entire route. This was the 1,100-foot Raccoon Mountain Tunnel, which can still be seen today.

It is just to the right of Highway 41 near the top of the climb up Cummings Gap. A tractor-trailer often parks on the side of Highway 41 just above the entrance to the tunnel.

Granny's Fire Works at the peak of Cummings Gap is along a line on top of the tunnel.

The end of the tunnel past Granny's was filled in earlier so it is no longer visible.


 


 

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