Chattanooga Southern Railway

Chartered in April of 1890 and completed in 1891, the 93-mile Chattanooga Southern was built to haul coal, iron, and timber out of the Lookout Mountain region between Chattanooga and Gadsden. About one-half of its route was within Georgia, including several miles along the base of the scenic plateau which gave the railroad its nickname, Pigeon Mountain Route.

At the northern edge of Pigeon Mountain, near the mining community of Estelle, the line passed through a tunnel, somewhat of a rarity in Georgia.

Pigeon Mountain tunnel

In the 1894 edition of The Official Railway List, the Chattanooga Southern reported operating 96 miles of railroad with 5 locomotives, 6 passenger cars, and 128 freight and miscellaneous cars.

In 1896 the railroad entered receivership and was reorganized as the Chattanooga Southern Railroad. After another reorganization in 1911, the line emerged as the Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia Railway.

Maps, Timetables, and Other Information: 

1892 map (92K)

1894 timetable (28K)

1895 timetable (47K)

1903 map (236K)

1905 equipment list (116K)

1906 timetable (55K)

1908 map (71K)

Iron ores in cut along Chattanooga Southern Railroad

From: T. Poole Maynard, A Report on the Limestones and Cement Materials of North Georgia, Bulletin 27, Geological Survey of Georgia, 1912.

Tipple on the Chattanooga Southern Railway at Estelle, Georgia

From: S. W. McCallie, Report of the Fossil Iron Ores of Georgia, Geological Survey of Georgia, 1908.


Chattanooga Southern Railway, mining camp at Estelle, Georgia

One of the mining camps at Estelle; for more information, see Estelle Mines Railroad. Photo from: S. W. McCallie, Report of the Fossil Iron Ores of Georgia, Geological Survey of Georgia, 1908.


Former Chattanooga Southern locomotive

This Rogers-built 2-6-0 locomotive served the Chattanooga Southern as engine no. 4 before it went to Southern Iron and Equipment Company. (From: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory).

spacer Georgia's Railroad History & Heritage. © Steve Storey.

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