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Chetoogeta Mountain Tunnels
Tunnel Hill

The 1848 depot and the 1928 tunnel at Tunnel Hill. The 1850 tunnel is on the right, behind the trees.

Georgia's oldest underground trainway, the 1,477-foot Western & Atlantic Railroad tunnel at Tunnel Hill in Whitfield County, opened for traffic May 9, 1850. A few yards to the north is a larger replacement tunnel built in 1928 by the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis Railway, which had leased the W&A from the State of Georgia in 1890. Built at a cost of $290,000, the new tunnel was designed to handle the largest rail cars and locomotives then in use by American railroads. It is still used by NCSL successor CSX Railroad.

Visitors can now walk into the older tunnel thanks to a late-1990s restoration funded in part by the federal Transportation Enhancement program.


The 1850 tunnel at the time of the Civil War. (From: The Photographic History of the Civil War, Volume 3: The Decisive Battles. 1911. Online at Internet Archive here.)

Chetoogeta Mountain Tunnel, built 1850

In 2000, the community celebrated the restoration of the tunnel and its opening to visitors. (Photo by Leamon Scott).

Historic tunnel at Tunnel Hill

The 1850 tunnel is on the right. At left is the 1928 tunnel, still in railroad use. (Photo by Leamon Scott).

More information:

Early 20th-century photo of the tunnel by Wilbur Kurtz.

1848 Tunnel Hill depot.

Article on the tunnel at Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey

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