NEW ORLEANS, MOBILE, AND CHATTANOOGA RAILROAD, 1871
Th New Orleans, Mobile, and Chattanooga Railroad (NOM&C) was the first to serve the City of New Orleans and the Central Gulf Coast. Chartered to build a railway linking the three cities in their name, the initial intent was to build to a link from the coast with the planned Alabama and Chattanooga Railroad at Elyton, Alabama. Once the line was complete between New Orleans and Mobile, service began along that section in 1871.
Not long after the start, the company decided to go west instead of east, changing its name to New Orleans, Mobile, and Texas Railroad (NOM&T). In the mid-1870’s, the NOM&T made an agreement with the Louisville and Nashville Railroad (L&N) to expand its own service into the Ohio Valley while giving L&N access to the Gulf Coast. L&N bought out the NOM&T in 1880, the same year it gained a controlling interest in the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway (NC&StL).
CHATTANOOGA WESTERN RAILWAY, 1882
This railway was an enterprise launched by C.E. James. Chartered in 1880, survey work was completed and work begun by 1882. The plan was to build a bridge over the Tennessee River at Chattanooga from Tannery Flats near the Roane Iron Works west of Cameron Hill to Moccasin Point. The rail line was intended to go from there to the foot of Walden’s Ridge, then along that to the mouth of Suck Creek, to Kelly’s Ferry, past the mouth of Mullen’s Cove, then to Copenhagen (modern Richard City), bypassing Jasper by at least a mile, where it would cross the stateline. How much of the railroad was actually built is anyone’s guess, but it never came to fruition, possibly because of legal battles against the East Tennessee, Virginia, and Georgia Railroad, which planned a similar route over much of the same ground.