Chattanooga Southern Railway

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The Chattanooga Southern Railway was founded in 1887 and began operations in 1891. It ran about 93 miles (150 km) of track between Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Gadsden, Alabama, hauling mainly iron, timber, and coal from the Lookout Mountain area. The railroad's nickname, The Pigeon Mountain Route, came from several miles of track that ran along the base of Pigeon Mountain. In 1896 the railroad ran into financial trouble and was reorganized as the Chattanooga Southern Railroad.[1] The company operated under that name for about 15 years at which time it was again reorganized and began operating as the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia Railway.


Beginning in 1907, the Chattanooga Southern Railway was rebuilt to alleviate increasing railway traffic. This new line ran through a 3,537 foot long tunnel. The tunnel sealed off the entrance to an ancient cave. The workers attempted to drill in to the cave from above to fix their mistake, and inadvertently discovered Ruby Falls.[2] This four million dollar project would begin as a branch off of a Nashville route near Wauhatchie Pike in Lookout Valley and end at a new Terminal Station built on South Market Street. A New York architect by the name of Don Barber was hired by the Southern Railway to design this Terminal Station.


  1. ^ Storey, Steve. "Chattanooga Southern Railway". 
  2. ^ Wilson, John. "Chattanooga Railroad Series".