New $4 Million Incline Railway Cars Are In Production

Thursday, November 21, 2019

The historic Lookout Mountain Incline Railway will be getting two brand spanking new cars, replacing ones installed in 1987.

CARTA officials said the heavy cars are being built at Brookville, Pa.

The price tag is around $4 million. 

CARTA received grants to pay for the cars that will be going up and down from the St. Elmo station to the Upper Station down the street from Point Park.

The Incline, which is CARTA's biggest money maker, will run through Dec. 29 and then be down for maintenance for a number of weeks.

The first car is due to be hauled by truck to Chattanooga at the end of February and the second at mid-March.

Lisa Maragnano, CARTA executive director, said there was some debate about the paint color. In the end, CARTA stuck with the same red and yellow.

She said the new cars will have even more window area than the current cars to enhance the view. Maintenance should be easier since there will be no carpet and the seats will be plastic instead of cloth.

A new retaining wall is also being built at the Incline.

One of the current Incline cars will go out to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

CARTA has not decided what to do with the other. "There is not a lot of call for the older Incline cars," Ms. Maragnano said.

The Incline, billed as "the world's steepest", has been in operation since 1895.

There was an earlier Incline that went from the vicinity of Chattem to the Point Hotel below Point Park.


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