Around the time that the railroad was under construction north of Clayton, the Southern was considering a grander plan, one which would incorporate the TF and several other existing lines into a new route over the Appalachians to Knoxville, Tennessee.
If constructed, the railroad would have continued from Franklin down the Little Tennessee River valley to Southern's Murphy Branch (Asheville-to-Murphy, N.C.) near Almond. From there, trains could proceed a few miles to Bushnell where the Tennessee & Carolina Southern branched off and followed the river 14 miles to Fontana. From Fontana, new tracks would be built alongside the Little Tennessee to Calderwood, where they would join existing lines to Maryville and Knoxville. The plan was never implemented.
In 1917 the TF reported operating 58 miles of railroad between Cornelia and Franklin with 5.72 miles of sidings. Equipment reported included 5 locomotives, 10 passenger cars, 46 freight cars, and 6 service cars.
The TF’s nickname was the Rabun Gap Route. (Although some local people jokingly called it the "Total Failure.")
Passenger service came to an end in 1946. The last freight train ran on March 25, 1961. A short section from Cornelia to Demorest remained in operation for several years longer, but was abandoned sometime before 1985.
A small museum with exhibits related to the TF is on US 441 at Rabun Gap.
Brian A. Boyd, Tallulah Falls Railroad; A Photographic Remembrance (Clayton, GA: Fern Creek Publishing, 2000).
Kaye Carver and Myra Queen, editors, Memories of a Mountain Shortline; the Story of the Tallulah Falls Railroad (Rabun Gap, GA: The Foxfire Press, 1976).
1897 map (64K)
1908 map (80K)
1916 map (56K)
1917 timetable (124K)
1913 map, Habersham County (504K)
1920 map, Rabun County (498K)
1940 timetable (67K)