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Locomotive exiting tunnel

Railroad tunnels are unusual in Georgia. Thanks to its location at the southern end of the Blue Ridge, the state has mountains over 2,000 feet only in its northern extremities. In fact, it was this fortunate topography that allowed Georgia to connect the Atlantic Coast to the Ohio and Tennessee valleys by rail well before its economic rivals in the Carolinas could do so. It made the connection by going around the Blue Ridge range, through the Great Appalachian Valley.

None of Georgia's railroad tunnels are particularly long; altogether they add up to less than a mile. Also, only a single tunnel per Georgia railroad line is the norm. In comparison, consider the Cincinnati Southern Railway, which traversed 27 tunnels totalling 5 miles of underground passageway along the middle section of its route between Cincinnati and Chattanooga. (This line eventually became Southern Railway's "Rathole" Division, so named because of the considerable amount of time that train crews had to spend inside cramped tunnels.)

Chetoogeeta Mountain tunnels, Tunnel Hill.

Brushy Mountain (Divide) tunnel, Rockmart area.

Braswell tunnel, Braswell area.

Pigeon Mountain (TAG) tunnel, LaFayette area.

Blue Ridge Railroad tunnels, Clayton area.

Inman Yard tunnel, Atlanta.

Pine Mountain tunnel (site), Warm Springs area.

At Pigeon Mountain Wildlife Management Area in Walker County are seven small tunnels built around 1910 for a narrow-gauge mining railroad. The longest is a bit over a thousand feet in length. When the iron-mining operations ended in the mid-1920s, the tunnels were abandoned.


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