Chattanooga, TN, Stations

Chattanooga Terminal Station

Terminal Station. Built in 1906-09 by Southern Railway, this Beaux Arts masterpiece by architect Donn Barber still stands today at Market and 14th streets in downtown Chattanooga. In its heyday it handled numerous passenger trains of Southern Railway and the Central of Georgia while the city's Union Depot a few blocks north served the Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis and the Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia.

In the early 1970s the station was redeveloped as a hotel and entertainment complex called the Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Chattanooga Union Depot

Union Depot. Known in its early days as the Car Shed, it stood at Ninth Street (now Martin Luther King Blvd.) and Broad Street on the block just south of the city's Read House hotel. It was built in 1857-58 by the Western & Atlantic and the Nashville & Chattanooga, the first two railroads to enter Chattanooga. By the beginnng of the Civil War it was also used by the Memphis & Charleston and the East Tennessee & Georgia.

In 1882 a headhouse was added to the north end, and in 1926 the south end was demolished and replaced with butterfly sheds. The entire structure was torn down in 1972.

Chattanooga Union Depot during the Civil War

A corner of the car shed is seen in this 1863 photograph of Confederate prisoners waiting to be sent north. Lookout Mountain is barely visible in the background. (Cropped photo. Complete image is online at the Library of Congress here.)

In this view looking east down Ninth Street, Union Depot's 1882 headhouse is seen on the right (the building with the pyramid-roofed towers). On the left is the Read House hotel.

The renowned locomotive "General" was displayed in Union Depot until 1961 when it departed for a Civil War centennial tour and eventual enshrinement at the Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History in Kennesaw, Ga.

At various times, Chattanooga had other stations such as the Central Depot which served passengers of the Cincinnati Southern, East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia, Memphis & Charleston, and Alabama Great Southern from 1888 to 1909. It stood on Market Street at Union Street (now W. Thirteenth St.), across from King Street.

The Western & Atlantic freight depot once stood on Ninth Street near Union Depot. It was demolished in the early 1970s. Still standing is the former Southern Railway freight depot at 1200 Market Street; it is now a private office building.

Suggested Reading:

Justin W. Strickland. Chattanooga's Terminal Station. (Images of Rail series). Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2009.

Alan A. Walker. Railroads of Chattanooga. (Images of America series). Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2003.

David H. Steinberg, on behalf of the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Chattanooga's Transportation Heritage. (Images of America series). Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2013.

Photo Sources:

Photo of Terminal Station at top of page is from Engel's panorama views of Chattanooga and all the battlefields of Lookout Mt., Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Chattanooga, and National Cemetery. Chattanooga, TN: L. Engel, 1914. Online at Internet Archive here.

Full view photo of Union Depot is from James Houstoun Johnston, Western and Atlantic Railroad of the State of Georgia, 1931.

Photo of Union Depot headhouse and Ninth Street is from Milton B. Ochs. Views: Chattanooga, Chickamauga national park... Chattanooga: MacGowan-Cooke Printing, 1905. Online at Internet Archive here.)

Photo of the General is from Chattanooga and her Battle-fields, 1904. Online at Internet Archive here. Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey

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