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locked Depot for St. Elmo, TN


George Eichelberger
 

Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

Ike


Warren Stephens
 

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

Warren D. Stephens
CofG and TAG fan


On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

Ike

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>


George Eichelberger
 

Warren:

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

Ike


On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

Warren D. Stephens
CofG and TAG fan


On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

Ike

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>


Warren Stephens
 

George, Remember Southern had traditionally used trackage rights on NC&StL to gain access to Stevenson Alabama and therefore Memphis (west) and to reach the AGS on the west side of Lookout Mountain (south). This new trackage was supposed to get all the way to Stevenson but for financial reasons, they only made it out as far as the AGS. He is referencing railroad south and not geographically south through St. Elmo. 

This new Southern method of egressing town to the west and south was good for Southern but it added yet another busy mainline down town for automobile traffic to contend with. Chattanooga began the interesting process of kicking the railroads out of down town not long after Southern opened this new route. Very strange episode. The city at first wanted the railroads to elevate all their trackage in town. If you ever saw a vintage aerial of Chattanooga, there were 40 foot boxcars parked everywhere. The railroads countered with how would they switch these customers. The railroads did their best to ignore the city till Chattanooga went to the state legislature and had a Chattanooga Rail Authority formed with the ability - through imminent domain - to kick the railroads out of town and at their own expense. There were proposals for a new art deco union station over close to the National Cemetery and this is what brought about the CofG and NC&St.L abandoning their original yards and the relocation of the NC from town to alongside Southern and then both were elevated over Main street. Chattanooga is a most interesting rail hub. Far more interesting to me than Atlanta.

Warren D. Stephens

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 04:35:14 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Warren:

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

Ike


On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

Warren D. Stephens
CofG and TAG fan


On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

Ike

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>


George Eichelberger
 

Warren:

Not only is Chattanooga more “interesting” than Atlanta, there are many files, drawings and photos on the area in the SRHA archives. As far as the files are concerned there were at least eight (by my count) railroads there: Southern (ETV&G), CNO&TP, AGS, Chatt Belt, Chatt Traction, CofG, TAG and NC&StL Many had trackage rights, crossing or switching agreements (incl. the three lines we think of as “Southern).

I just recently found and scanned a complete file on the pre CNO&TP Chattanooga Traction as it was attempting to get rid of street car passenger services so the power company could sell it (1935). Another interesting file covers the time when the AGS (and M&C?) built their own line out to Wauhatchee “through” Lookout Mtn.

Beyond the facilities in Chattanooga, I have been finding more information on passenger trains there than I could imagine existed…starting about 1896. I keep trying to finish an article on the “Florida Sunbeam” but material keeps turning up.

I continue to go up to the archives, generally by myself, to get files to scan but I look forward to restarting archives work sessions some time mid yea.

Ike



On Feb 11, 2021, at 5:04 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

George, Remember Southern had traditionally used trackage rights on NC&StL to gain access to Stevenson Alabama and therefore Memphis (west) and to reach the AGS on the west side of Lookout Mountain (south). This new trackage was supposed to get all the way to Stevenson but for financial reasons, they only made it out as far as the AGS. He is referencing railroad south and not geographically south through St. Elmo. 

This new Southern method of egressing town to the west and south was good for Southern but it added yet another busy mainline down town for automobile traffic to contend with. Chattanooga began the interesting process of kicking the railroads out of down town not long after Southern opened this new route. Very strange episode. The city at first wanted the railroads to elevate all their trackage in town. If you ever saw a vintage aerial of Chattanooga, there were 40 foot boxcars parked everywhere. The railroads countered with how would they switch these customers. The railroads did their best to ignore the city till Chattanooga went to the state legislature and had a Chattanooga Rail Authority formed with the ability - through imminent domain - to kick the railroads out of town and at their own expense. There were proposals for a new art deco union station over close to the National Cemetery and this is what brought about the CofG and NC&St.L abandoning their original yards and the relocation of the NC from town to alongside Southern and then both were elevated over Main street. Chattanooga is a most interesting rail hub. Far more interesting to me than Atlanta.

Warren D. Stephens

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 04:35:14 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Warren:

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

Ike


On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

Warren D. Stephens
CofG and TAG fan


On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

Ike

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>



TIM ANDREWS
 

Warren and George,

I will have to find the file on Plan N, the grade separation and removal of the NC and CG from "Downtown" Chattanooga.  I believe it was lettered "N" because it was the final plan after plans A through M were never agreed to, but I'm just speculating.  In the file there is also a discussion of a combined depot on the relocated LN mainline near where Broad Street goes over the relocated LN and Chattanooga Creek.  Of course passenger service ended before any of this was built so it became a moot point. IIRC plan N was completed with Federal urban renewal dollars, probably with Chattanooga Housing Authority money from HUD in the early 1970s.  I seem to remember the completion being mentioned in a Southern Railway annual report shortly after I became a Southern Railway stockholder (10 shares of Southern Railway preferred stock-it had a better yield then the common stock) in about 1974.

Tim Andrews

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 05:04:46 PM EST, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:


George, Remember Southern had traditionally used trackage rights on NC&StL to gain access to Stevenson Alabama and therefore Memphis (west) and to reach the AGS on the west side of Lookout Mountain (south). This new trackage was supposed to get all the way to Stevenson but for financial reasons, they only made it out as far as the AGS. He is referencing railroad south and not geographically south through St. Elmo. 

This new Southern method of egressing town to the west and south was good for Southern but it added yet another busy mainline down town for automobile traffic to contend with. Chattanooga began the interesting process of kicking the railroads out of down town not long after Southern opened this new route. Very strange episode. The city at first wanted the railroads to elevate all their trackage in town. If you ever saw a vintage aerial of Chattanooga, there were 40 foot boxcars parked everywhere. The railroads countered with how would they switch these customers. The railroads did their best to ignore the city till Chattanooga went to the state legislature and had a Chattanooga Rail Authority formed with the ability - through imminent domain - to kick the railroads out of town and at their own expense. There were proposals for a new art deco union station over close to the National Cemetery and this is what brought about the CofG and NC&St.L abandoning their original yards and the relocation of the NC from town to alongside Southern and then both were elevated over Main street. Chattanooga is a most interesting rail hub. Far more interesting to me than Atlanta.

Warren D. Stephens

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 04:35:14 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Warren:

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

Ike


On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

Warren D. Stephens
CofG and TAG fan


On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

Ike

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>


Warren Stephens
 

George that CTC file sounds interesting. I guess it discussed Webster James and his disposal of his father’s creation and his abandonment of Chattanooga for life in Daytona Beach, Florida. I would love to read about the electrified freight operations especially the pushing of coal hoppers up Signal Mountain to the Signal Mountain Inn. I have valuations maps of the existing CTC but would love to have maps for the route up the mountain. 

Tim I also have that file from as far back as the earliest attempt by Chattanooga to relocate the railroads till the end. What I have is mostly from a CofG perspective. I especially love the early inner railroad communications where a CofG official wrote “this too shall pass”. Boy was he wrong. The former L&N engineer who was brought in by the city had an interesting concept compared to what actually took place and he was the one that provided the interesting concept drawings of the new Art Deco depot. I especially chuckled when I read in his report,  that the TAG was given credit for four passenger coach movements per day. The Brill motorcar deadheading to Union Depot. Then to Gadsden. Then back to Union Depot then deadheading back to the TAG yard. There were a lot of freight and passenger cars flowing through down town back then. Based on CofG files, they were grateful to be free of their old yard which was crammed between 23 rd street and Roseville Boulevard. They were having trouble building the longer freight trains brought about by multiple unit diesel trains. I think you could take these files of ours and some pictures and easily write a book on the railroad relocation. Ike I would love to have a copy of that CTC file as well as the file on the TAG merger. COVID won’t last forever. 

Warren 


On Feb 11, 2021, at 6:19 PM, TIM ANDREWS <andrewstim@...> wrote:


Warren and George,

I will have to find the file on Plan N, the grade separation and removal of the NC and CG from "Downtown" Chattanooga.  I believe it was lettered "N" because it was the final plan after plans A through M were never agreed to, but I'm just speculating.  In the file there is also a discussion of a combined depot on the relocated LN mainline near where Broad Street goes over the relocated LN and Chattanooga Creek.  Of course passenger service ended before any of this was built so it became a moot point. IIRC plan N was completed with Federal urban renewal dollars, probably with Chattanooga Housing Authority money from HUD in the early 1970s.  I seem to remember the completion being mentioned in a Southern Railway annual report shortly after I became a Southern Railway stockholder (10 shares of Southern Railway preferred stock-it had a better yield then the common stock) in about 1974.

Tim Andrews

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 05:04:46 PM EST, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:


George, Remember Southern had traditionally used trackage rights on NC&StL to gain access to Stevenson Alabama and therefore Memphis (west) and to reach the AGS on the west side of Lookout Mountain (south). This new trackage was supposed to get all the way to Stevenson but for financial reasons, they only made it out as far as the AGS. He is referencing railroad south and not geographically south through St. Elmo. 

This new Southern method of egressing town to the west and south was good for Southern but it added yet another busy mainline down town for automobile traffic to contend with. Chattanooga began the interesting process of kicking the railroads out of down town not long after Southern opened this new route. Very strange episode. The city at first wanted the railroads to elevate all their trackage in town. If you ever saw a vintage aerial of Chattanooga, there were 40 foot boxcars parked everywhere. The railroads countered with how would they switch these customers. The railroads did their best to ignore the city till Chattanooga went to the state legislature and had a Chattanooga Rail Authority formed with the ability - through imminent domain - to kick the railroads out of town and at their own expense. There were proposals for a new art deco union station over close to the National Cemetery and this is what brought about the CofG and NC&St.L abandoning their original yards and the relocation of the NC from town to alongside Southern and then both were elevated over Main street. Chattanooga is a most interesting rail hub. Far more interesting to me than Atlanta.

Warren D. Stephens

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 04:35:14 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Warren:

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

Ike


On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

Warren D. Stephens
CofG and TAG fan


On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

Ike

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>


George Eichelberger
 

Here is a poor quality (small) map of Chattanooga Traction circa 1939. There are several large, and clear, blueprints in the file but they are not yet scanned. It has been many years since the Signal Mtn. line was abandoned but I am curious if there are any traces left.

(If anyone has a large format scanner they are willing to donate or sell, we will put it to good use. There is a good quality 42” color roll scanner in the archives SRHA purchased years ago but there is a limit to how many scans we can make. Some large drawings are in poor condition so it takes significant time to use a document carrier and adjust scan size and color levels.)

Ike



On Feb 11, 2021, at 7:59 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

George that CTC file sounds interesting. I guess it discussed Webster James and his disposal of his father’s creation and his abandonment of Chattanooga for life in Daytona Beach, Florida. I would love to read about the electrified freight operations especially the pushing of coal hoppers up Signal Mountain to the Signal Mountain Inn. I have valuations maps of the existing CTC but would love to have maps for the route up the mountain. 

Tim I also have that file from as far back as the earliest attempt by Chattanooga to relocate the railroads till the end. What I have is mostly from a CofG perspective. I especially love the early inner railroad communications where a CofG official wrote “this too shall pass”. Boy was he wrong. The former L&N engineer who was brought in by the city had an interesting concept compared to what actually took place and he was the one that provided the interesting concept drawings of the new Art Deco depot. I especially chuckled when I read in his report,  that the TAG was given credit for four passenger coach movements per day. The Brill motorcar deadheading to Union Depot. Then to Gadsden. Then back to Union Depot then deadheading back to the TAG yard. There were a lot of freight and passenger cars flowing through down town back then. Based on CofG files, they were grateful to be free of their old yard which was crammed between 23 rd street and Roseville Boulevard. They were having trouble building the longer freight trains brought about by multiple unit diesel trains. I think you could take these files of ours and some pictures and easily write a book on the railroad relocation. Ike I would love to have a copy of that CTC file as well as the file on the TAG merger. COVID won’t last forever. 

Warren 


On Feb 11, 2021, at 6:19 PM, TIM ANDREWS <andrewstim@...> wrote:


Warren and George,

I will have to find the file on Plan N, the grade separation and removal of the NC and CG from "Downtown" Chattanooga.  I believe it was lettered "N" because it was the final plan after plans A through M were never agreed to, but I'm just speculating.  In the file there is also a discussion of a combined depot on the relocated LN mainline near where Broad Street goes over the relocated LN and Chattanooga Creek.  Of course passenger service ended before any of this was built so it became a moot point. IIRC plan N was completed with Federal urban renewal dollars, probably with Chattanooga Housing Authority money from HUD in the early 1970s.  I seem to remember the completion being mentioned in a Southern Railway annual report shortly after I became a Southern Railway stockholder (10 shares of Southern Railway preferred stock-it had a better yield then the common stock) in about 1974.

Tim Andrews

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 05:04:46 PM EST, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:


George, Remember Southern had traditionally used trackage rights on NC&StL to gain access to Stevenson Alabama and therefore Memphis (west) and to reach the AGS on the west side of Lookout Mountain (south). This new trackage was supposed to get all the way to Stevenson but for financial reasons, they only made it out as far as the AGS. He is referencing railroad south and not geographically south through St. Elmo. 

This new Southern method of egressing town to the west and south was good for Southern but it added yet another busy mainline down town for automobile traffic to contend with. Chattanooga began the interesting process of kicking the railroads out of down town not long after Southern opened this new route. Very strange episode. The city at first wanted the railroads to elevate all their trackage in town. If you ever saw a vintage aerial of Chattanooga, there were 40 foot boxcars parked everywhere. The railroads countered with how would they switch these customers. The railroads did their best to ignore the city till Chattanooga went to the state legislature and had a Chattanooga Rail Authority formed with the ability - through imminent domain - to kick the railroads out of town and at their own expense. There were proposals for a new art deco union station over close to the National Cemetery and this is what brought about the CofG and NC&St.L abandoning their original yards and the relocation of the NC from town to alongside Southern and then both were elevated over Main street. Chattanooga is a most interesting rail hub. Far more interesting to me than Atlanta.

Warren D. Stephens

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 04:35:14 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Warren:

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

Ike


On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

Warren D. Stephens
CofG and TAG fan


On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

Ike

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>



TIM ANDREWS
 

There are a few traces on Signal Mountain like when the pavement on James Boulevard breaks with two cracks 4' 8 1/2" apart.  Part of Signal Mountain Blvd is actually built on the old ROW so it has pretty much covered everything else up.

Tim

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 11:17:28 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Here is a poor quality (small) map of Chattanooga Traction circa 1939. There are several large, and clear, blueprints in the file but they are not yet scanned. It has been many years since the Signal Mtn. line was abandoned but I am curious if there are any traces left.

(If anyone has a large format scanner they are willing to donate or sell, we will put it to good use. There is a good quality 42” color roll scanner in the archives SRHA purchased years ago but there is a limit to how many scans we can make. Some large drawings are in poor condition so it takes significant time to use a document carrier and adjust scan size and color levels.)

Ike



On Feb 11, 2021, at 7:59 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

George that CTC file sounds interesting. I guess it discussed Webster James and his disposal of his father’s creation and his abandonment of Chattanooga for life in Daytona Beach, Florida. I would love to read about the electrified freight operations especially the pushing of coal hoppers up Signal Mountain to the Signal Mountain Inn. I have valuations maps of the existing CTC but would love to have maps for the route up the mountain. 

Tim I also have that file from as far back as the earliest attempt by Chattanooga to relocate the railroads till the end. What I have is mostly from a CofG perspective. I especially love the early inner railroad communications where a CofG official wrote “this too shall pass”. Boy was he wrong. The former L&N engineer who was brought in by the city had an interesting concept compared to what actually took place and he was the one that provided the interesting concept drawings of the new Art Deco depot. I especially chuckled when I read in his report,  that the TAG was given credit for four passenger coach movements per day. The Brill motorcar deadheading to Union Depot. Then to Gadsden. Then back to Union Depot then deadheading back to the TAG yard. There were a lot of freight and passenger cars flowing through down town back then. Based on CofG files, they were grateful to be free of their old yard which was crammed between 23 rd street and Roseville Boulevard. They were having trouble building the longer freight trains brought about by multiple unit diesel trains. I think you could take these files of ours and some pictures and easily write a book on the railroad relocation. Ike I would love to have a copy of that CTC file as well as the file on the TAG merger. COVID won’t last forever. 

Warren 


On Feb 11, 2021, at 6:19 PM, TIM ANDREWS <andrewstim@...> wrote:


Warren and George,

I will have to find the file on Plan N, the grade separation and removal of the NC and CG from "Downtown" Chattanooga.  I believe it was lettered "N" because it was the final plan after plans A through M were never agreed to, but I'm just speculating.  In the file there is also a discussion of a combined depot on the relocated LN mainline near where Broad Street goes over the relocated LN and Chattanooga Creek.  Of course passenger service ended before any of this was built so it became a moot point. IIRC plan N was completed with Federal urban renewal dollars, probably with Chattanooga Housing Authority money from HUD in the early 1970s.  I seem to remember the completion being mentioned in a Southern Railway annual report shortly after I became a Southern Railway stockholder (10 shares of Southern Railway preferred stock-it had a better yield then the common stock) in about 1974.

Tim Andrews

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 05:04:46 PM EST, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:


George, Remember Southern had traditionally used trackage rights on NC&StL to gain access to Stevenson Alabama and therefore Memphis (west) and to reach the AGS on the west side of Lookout Mountain (south). This new trackage was supposed to get all the way to Stevenson but for financial reasons, they only made it out as far as the AGS. He is referencing railroad south and not geographically south through St. Elmo. 

This new Southern method of egressing town to the west and south was good for Southern but it added yet another busy mainline down town for automobile traffic to contend with. Chattanooga began the interesting process of kicking the railroads out of down town not long after Southern opened this new route. Very strange episode. The city at first wanted the railroads to elevate all their trackage in town. If you ever saw a vintage aerial of Chattanooga, there were 40 foot boxcars parked everywhere. The railroads countered with how would they switch these customers. The railroads did their best to ignore the city till Chattanooga went to the state legislature and had a Chattanooga Rail Authority formed with the ability - through imminent domain - to kick the railroads out of town and at their own expense. There were proposals for a new art deco union station over close to the National Cemetery and this is what brought about the CofG and NC&St.L abandoning their original yards and the relocation of the NC from town to alongside Southern and then both were elevated over Main street. Chattanooga is a most interesting rail hub. Far more interesting to me than Atlanta.

Warren D. Stephens

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 04:35:14 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Warren:

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

Ike


On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

Warren D. Stephens
CofG and TAG fan


On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

Ike

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>



John Stewart
 

HI folks, Warren and Ike

 

I worked for an engineering firm based in Chattanooga, Hensely-Schmidt, although I was in Atlanta and Nashville, with only temporary assignment in Chattanooga for bridge inspection work with a wonderful fellow named John Allen, as my boss.  He was former B&B Eng for Knoxville, having gone to work for Sou Ry out of NC State Civil Engineering program in 1952.  He later retired, went into construction business in Knoxville, sold out, went into consulting for a couple of years, then back to NS in Atlanta coordinating bridge consulting work for NS

 

Anyway, at one time, I was attending a meeting with the company folks and the Chattanooga Chamber staff about future riverfront development and downtown redevelopment.  This was in the late 1970’s

 

In this meeting a wonderful map was used, a blueprint style, which showed all the RR’s in town and labeled industries and spurs.  I believe it was produced as part of the national terminal conference coordinating program of the federal government.  All major terminals were required to develop these, to coordinate redundancies and overlap among the RR’s as there were many going into receivership in the Depression years.

 

I have the map of Birmingham, dated 1935.  Much of the program documents are in the National Archives. 

 

Anyway the program was shut down very quickly when it dawned on the government staffers that eliminating redundancies and overlap in cities would cost RR people their jobs – not the thing the government wanted to do in a Depression.

 

So, wondering, Warren, if you are familiar with that map?  I am attaching the title block from the Birmingham map as well as the list of RR’s, which I reckon would have been similar to Chattanooga with a couple of exceptions.  The National Archives told me that they didn’t have the Birmingham map in their files.  Bham ranked 55th among the nations terminals, with Chicago being #1.  Don’t know how Chattanooga would have been ranked.

 

I’m also attaching a pdf of images from Railway Age articles from a microfilm reader at Bham Public. 

 

Are you familiar with a map from this program for Chattanooga?

 

My  Birmingham copy is about 7’ x 3’ and hangs above the main yard in the railroad room.  Great resource.

 

John

 

John R Stewart

www.bhamrails.info

205-901-3790

 

image004

 

From: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io [mailto:main@SouthernRailway.groups.io] On Behalf Of George Eichelberger
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2021 5:18 PM
To: main@southernrailway.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Depot for St. Elmo, TN

 

Warren:

 

Not only is Chattanooga more “interesting” than Atlanta, there are many files, drawings and photos on the area in the SRHA archives. As far as the files are concerned there were at least eight (by my count) railroads there: Southern (ETV&G), CNO&TP, AGS, Chatt Belt, Chatt Traction, CofG, TAG and NC&StL Many had trackage rights, crossing or switching agreements (incl. the three lines we think of as “Southern).

 

I just recently found and scanned a complete file on the pre CNO&TP Chattanooga Traction as it was attempting to get rid of street car passenger services so the power company could sell it (1935). Another interesting file covers the time when the AGS (and M&C?) built their own line out to Wauhatchee “through” Lookout Mtn.

 

Beyond the facilities in Chattanooga, I have been finding more information on passenger trains there than I could imagine existed…starting about 1896. I keep trying to finish an article on the “Florida Sunbeam” but material keeps turning up.

 

I continue to go up to the archives, generally by myself, to get files to scan but I look forward to restarting archives work sessions some time mid yea.

 

Ike

 

 

 

On Feb 11, 2021, at 5:04 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

 

George, Remember Southern had traditionally used trackage rights on NC&StL to gain access to Stevenson Alabama and therefore Memphis (west) and to reach the AGS on the west side of Lookout Mountain (south). This new trackage was supposed to get all the way to Stevenson but for financial reasons, they only made it out as far as the AGS. He is referencing railroad south and not geographically south through St. Elmo. 

 

This new Southern method of egressing town to the west and south was good for Southern but it added yet another busy mainline down town for automobile traffic to contend with. Chattanooga began the interesting process of kicking the railroads out of down town not long after Southern opened this new route. Very strange episode. The city at first wanted the railroads to elevate all their trackage in town. If you ever saw a vintage aerial of Chattanooga, there were 40 foot boxcars parked everywhere. The railroads countered with how would they switch these customers. The railroads did their best to ignore the city till Chattanooga went to the state legislature and had a Chattanooga Rail Authority formed with the ability - through imminent domain - to kick the railroads out of town and at their own expense. There were proposals for a new art deco union station over close to the National Cemetery and this is what brought about the CofG and NC&St.L abandoning their original yards and the relocation of the NC from town to alongside Southern and then both were elevated over Main street. Chattanooga is a most interesting rail hub. Far more interesting to me than Atlanta.

 

Warren D. Stephens

 

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 04:35:14 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

 

 

Warren:

 

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

 

Ike

 

 

On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

 

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

 

Warren D. Stephens

CofG and TAG fan



On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:



Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

 

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

 

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

 

Ike

 

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>

 

 


Warren Stephens
 

John, I am not map poor when it comes to Chattanooga. I have a big horse-blanket size late 1890s vintage atlas David Steinberg gave me that has a very detailed track layout. It has street railway and belt trackage and trunk line trackage etc. I also have all the valuation maps for my areas of interest which is TAG and CofG. I have many other railroad and non railroad maps of the Chattanooga area. I would be interested in a copy of the map you reference but my dealings with the National Archives have always been unpleasant. I once flew up in person only to be told they could only print 10 of the 30 pages I wanted because they were snowed under meanwhile everyone was standing around doing absolutely nothing. Well they did take a few moments to discuss lunch plans but other than that they all stood there with their hands in their pockets. Our tax dollars at work. But then if it were easy it wouldn't be fun right?

Warren  

On Friday, February 12, 2021, 11:56:18 AM EST, John Stewart <jstew@...> wrote:


HI folks, Warren and Ike

 

I worked for an engineering firm based in Chattanooga, Hensely-Schmidt, although I was in Atlanta and Nashville, with only temporary assignment in Chattanooga for bridge inspection work with a wonderful fellow named John Allen, as my boss.  He was former B&B Eng for Knoxville, having gone to work for Sou Ry out of NC State Civil Engineering program in 1952.  He later retired, went into construction business in Knoxville, sold out, went into consulting for a couple of years, then back to NS in Atlanta coordinating bridge consulting work for NS

 

Anyway, at one time, I was attending a meeting with the company folks and the Chattanooga Chamber staff about future riverfront development and downtown redevelopment.  This was in the late 1970’s

 

In this meeting a wonderful map was used, a blueprint style, which showed all the RR’s in town and labeled industries and spurs.  I believe it was produced as part of the national terminal conference coordinating program of the federal government.  All major terminals were required to develop these, to coordinate redundancies and overlap among the RR’s as there were many going into receivership in the Depression years.

 

I have the map of Birmingham, dated 1935.  Much of the program documents are in the National Archives. 

 

Anyway the program was shut down very quickly when it dawned on the government staffers that eliminating redundancies and overlap in cities would cost RR people their jobs – not the thing the government wanted to do in a Depression.

 

So, wondering, Warren, if you are familiar with that map?  I am attaching the title block from the Birmingham map as well as the list of RR’s, which I reckon would have been similar to Chattanooga with a couple of exceptions.  The National Archives told me that they didn’t have the Birmingham map in their files.  Bham ranked 55th among the nations terminals, with Chicago being #1.  Don’t know how Chattanooga would have been ranked.

 

I’m also attaching a pdf of images from Railway Age articles from a microfilm reader at Bham Public. 

 

Are you familiar with a map from this program for Chattanooga?

 

My  Birmingham copy is about 7’ x 3’ and hangs above the main yard in the railroad room.  Great resource.

 

John

 

John R Stewart

www.bhamrails.info

205-901-3790

 

image004

 

From: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io [mailto:main@SouthernRailway.groups.io] On Behalf Of George Eichelberger
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2021 5:18 PM
To: main@southernrailway.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Depot for St. Elmo, TN

 

Warren:

 

Not only is Chattanooga more “interesting” than Atlanta, there are many files, drawings and photos on the area in the SRHA archives. As far as the files are concerned there were at least eight (by my count) railroads there: Southern (ETV&G), CNO&TP, AGS, Chatt Belt, Chatt Traction, CofG, TAG and NC&StL Many had trackage rights, crossing or switching agreements (incl. the three lines we think of as “Southern).

 

I just recently found and scanned a complete file on the pre CNO&TP Chattanooga Traction as it was attempting to get rid of street car passenger services so the power company could sell it (1935). Another interesting file covers the time when the AGS (and M&C?) built their own line out to Wauhatchee “through” Lookout Mtn.

 

Beyond the facilities in Chattanooga, I have been finding more information on passenger trains there than I could imagine existed…starting about 1896. I keep trying to finish an article on the “Florida Sunbeam” but material keeps turning up.

 

I continue to go up to the archives, generally by myself, to get files to scan but I look forward to restarting archives work sessions some time mid yea.

 

Ike

 

 

 

On Feb 11, 2021, at 5:04 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

 

George, Remember Southern had traditionally used trackage rights on NC&StL to gain access to Stevenson Alabama and therefore Memphis (west) and to reach the AGS on the west side of Lookout Mountain (south). This new trackage was supposed to get all the way to Stevenson but for financial reasons, they only made it out as far as the AGS. He is referencing railroad south and not geographically south through St. Elmo. 

 

This new Southern method of egressing town to the west and south was good for Southern but it added yet another busy mainline down town for automobile traffic to contend with. Chattanooga began the interesting process of kicking the railroads out of down town not long after Southern opened this new route. Very strange episode. The city at first wanted the railroads to elevate all their trackage in town. If you ever saw a vintage aerial of Chattanooga, there were 40 foot boxcars parked everywhere. The railroads countered with how would they switch these customers. The railroads did their best to ignore the city till Chattanooga went to the state legislature and had a Chattanooga Rail Authority formed with the ability - through imminent domain - to kick the railroads out of town and at their own expense. There were proposals for a new art deco union station over close to the National Cemetery and this is what brought about the CofG and NC&St.L abandoning their original yards and the relocation of the NC from town to alongside Southern and then both were elevated over Main street. Chattanooga is a most interesting rail hub. Far more interesting to me than Atlanta.

 

Warren D. Stephens

 

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 04:35:14 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

 

 

Warren:

 

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

 

Ike

 

 

On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

 

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

 

Warren D. Stephens

CofG and TAG fan



On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:



Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

 

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

 

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

 

Ike

 

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>

 

 


A&Y Dave in MD
 

Maybe because I’m a regular visitor and know who to avoid or how to ask, but I’ve rarely had a bad experience at the national archives II in College Park.  I’ve had less interaction with the image crew on the second floor since I tend to make my own copies.

There is one male archivist who fits the lunch focused hands-in-pockets description you gave.

Give me the retrieval info for the map and when they open it back up I can go get the rest for you.

Dave

Sent from Dave Bott' iPhone

On Feb 12, 2021, at 8:18 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:


John, I am not map poor when it comes to Chattanooga. I have a big horse-blanket size late 1890s vintage atlas David Steinberg gave me that has a very detailed track layout. It has street railway and belt trackage and trunk line trackage etc. I also have all the valuation maps for my areas of interest which is TAG and CofG. I have many other railroad and non railroad maps of the Chattanooga area. I would be interested in a copy of the map you reference but my dealings with the National Archives have always been unpleasant. I once flew up in person only to be told they could only print 10 of the 30 pages I wanted because they were snowed under meanwhile everyone was standing around doing absolutely nothing. Well they did take a few moments to discuss lunch plans but other than that they all stood there with their hands in their pockets. Our tax dollars at work. But then if it were easy it wouldn't be fun right?

Warren  
On Friday, February 12, 2021, 11:56:18 AM EST, John Stewart <jstew@...> wrote:


HI folks, Warren and Ike

 

I worked for an engineering firm based in Chattanooga, Hensely-Schmidt, although I was in Atlanta and Nashville, with only temporary assignment in Chattanooga for bridge inspection work with a wonderful fellow named John Allen, as my boss.  He was former B&B Eng for Knoxville, having gone to work for Sou Ry out of NC State Civil Engineering program in 1952.  He later retired, went into construction business in Knoxville, sold out, went into consulting for a couple of years, then back to NS in Atlanta coordinating bridge consulting work for NS

 

Anyway, at one time, I was attending a meeting with the company folks and the Chattanooga Chamber staff about future riverfront development and downtown redevelopment.  This was in the late 1970’s

 

In this meeting a wonderful map was used, a blueprint style, which showed all the RR’s in town and labeled industries and spurs.  I believe it was produced as part of the national terminal conference coordinating program of the federal government.  All major terminals were required to develop these, to coordinate redundancies and overlap among the RR’s as there were many going into receivership in the Depression years.

 

I have the map of Birmingham, dated 1935.  Much of the program documents are in the National Archives. 

 

Anyway the program was shut down very quickly when it dawned on the government staffers that eliminating redundancies and overlap in cities would cost RR people their jobs – not the thing the government wanted to do in a Depression.

 

So, wondering, Warren, if you are familiar with that map?  I am attaching the title block from the Birmingham map as well as the list of RR’s, which I reckon would have been similar to Chattanooga with a couple of exceptions.  The National Archives told me that they didn’t have the Birmingham map in their files.  Bham ranked 55th among the nations terminals, with Chicago being #1.  Don’t know how Chattanooga would have been ranked.

 

I’m also attaching a pdf of images from Railway Age articles from a microfilm reader at Bham Public. 

 

Are you familiar with a map from this program for Chattanooga?

 

My  Birmingham copy is about 7’ x 3’ and hangs above the main yard in the railroad room.  Great resource.

 

John

 

John R Stewart

www.bhamrails.info

205-901-3790

 

<image001.jpg>

 

From: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io [mailto:main@SouthernRailway.groups.io] On Behalf Of George Eichelberger
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2021 5:18 PM
To: main@southernrailway.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Depot for St. Elmo, TN

 

Warren:

 

Not only is Chattanooga more “interesting” than Atlanta, there are many files, drawings and photos on the area in the SRHA archives. As far as the files are concerned there were at least eight (by my count) railroads there: Southern (ETV&G), CNO&TP, AGS, Chatt Belt, Chatt Traction, CofG, TAG and NC&StL Many had trackage rights, crossing or switching agreements (incl. the three lines we think of as “Southern).

 

I just recently found and scanned a complete file on the pre CNO&TP Chattanooga Traction as it was attempting to get rid of street car passenger services so the power company could sell it (1935). Another interesting file covers the time when the AGS (and M&C?) built their own line out to Wauhatchee “through” Lookout Mtn.

 

Beyond the facilities in Chattanooga, I have been finding more information on passenger trains there than I could imagine existed…starting about 1896. I keep trying to finish an article on the “Florida Sunbeam” but material keeps turning up.

 

I continue to go up to the archives, generally by myself, to get files to scan but I look forward to restarting archives work sessions some time mid yea.

 

Ike

 

 

 

On Feb 11, 2021, at 5:04 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

 

George, Remember Southern had traditionally used trackage rights on NC&StL to gain access to Stevenson Alabama and therefore Memphis (west) and to reach the AGS on the west side of Lookout Mountain (south). This new trackage was supposed to get all the way to Stevenson but for financial reasons, they only made it out as far as the AGS. He is referencing railroad south and not geographically south through St. Elmo. 

 

This new Southern method of egressing town to the west and south was good for Southern but it added yet another busy mainline down town for automobile traffic to contend with. Chattanooga began the interesting process of kicking the railroads out of down town not long after Southern opened this new route. Very strange episode. The city at first wanted the railroads to elevate all their trackage in town. If you ever saw a vintage aerial of Chattanooga, there were 40 foot boxcars parked everywhere. The railroads countered with how would they switch these customers. The railroads did their best to ignore the city till Chattanooga went to the state legislature and had a Chattanooga Rail Authority formed with the ability - through imminent domain - to kick the railroads out of town and at their own expense. There were proposals for a new art deco union station over close to the National Cemetery and this is what brought about the CofG and NC&St.L abandoning their original yards and the relocation of the NC from town to alongside Southern and then both were elevated over Main street. Chattanooga is a most interesting rail hub. Far more interesting to me than Atlanta.

 

Warren D. Stephens

 

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 04:35:14 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

 

 

Warren:

 

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

 

Ike

 

 

On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

 

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

 

Warren D. Stephens

CofG and TAG fan



On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:



Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

 

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

 

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

 

Ike

 

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>

 

 

<image001.jpg>


Jim Thurston
 

John, Warren and others:

At the SRHA archives here in Chattannoga we have a high quality wide format scanner which can handle originals up to 42" wide

We are now also able to create clear mylar carrier sleeves to protect delicate originals

We would be happy to scan appropriate maps such as these at no charge, and to provide the scans for preservation or for sharing

Of course, we'd also love to have a copy for the archives, if you're willing

You're welcome to contact me off list to discuss possibilities

Jim Thurston
jthurston@...


From: "Warren Stephens" <wdstephens@...>
To: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io
Sent: Friday, February 12, 2021 8:18:12 PM
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Depot for St. Elmo, TN

John, I am not map poor when it comes to Chattanooga. I have a big horse-blanket size late 1890s vintage atlas David Steinberg gave me that has a very detailed track layout. It has street railway and belt trackage and trunk line trackage etc. I also have all the valuation maps for my areas of interest which is TAG and CofG. I have many other railroad and non railroad maps of the Chattanooga area. I would be interested in a copy of the map you reference but my dealings with the National Archives have always been unpleasant. I once flew up in person only to be told they could only print 10 of the 30 pages I wanted because they were snowed under meanwhile everyone was standing around doing absolutely nothing. Well they did take a few moments to discuss lunch plans but other than that they all stood there with their hands in their pockets. Our tax dollars at work. But then if it were easy it wouldn't be fun right?

Warren  
On Friday, February 12, 2021, 11:56:18 AM EST, John Stewart <jstew@...> wrote:


HI folks, Warren and Ike

 

I worked for an engineering firm based in Chattanooga, Hensely-Schmidt, although I was in Atlanta and Nashville, with only temporary assignment in Chattanooga for bridge inspection work with a wonderful fellow named John Allen, as my boss.  He was former B&B Eng for Knoxville, having gone to work for Sou Ry out of NC State Civil Engineering program in 1952.  He later retired, went into construction business in Knoxville, sold out, went into consulting for a couple of years, then back to NS in Atlanta coordinating bridge consulting work for NS

 

Anyway, at one time, I was attending a meeting with the company folks and the Chattanooga Chamber staff about future riverfront development and downtown redevelopment.  This was in the late 1970’s

 

In this meeting a wonderful map was used, a blueprint style, which showed all the RR’s in town and labeled industries and spurs.  I believe it was produced as part of the national terminal conference coordinating program of the federal government.  All major terminals were required to develop these, to coordinate redundancies and overlap among the RR’s as there were many going into receivership in the Depression years.

 

I have the map of Birmingham, dated 1935.  Much of the program documents are in the National Archives. 

 

Anyway the program was shut down very quickly when it dawned on the government staffers that eliminating redundancies and overlap in cities would cost RR people their jobs – not the thing the government wanted to do in a Depression.

 

So, wondering, Warren, if you are familiar with that map?  I am attaching the title block from the Birmingham map as well as the list of RR’s, which I reckon would have been similar to Chattanooga with a couple of exceptions.  The National Archives told me that they didn’t have the Birmingham map in their files.  Bham ranked 55th among the nations terminals, with Chicago being #1.  Don’t know how Chattanooga would have been ranked.

 

I’m also attaching a pdf of images from Railway Age articles from a microfilm reader at Bham Public. 

 

Are you familiar with a map from this program for Chattanooga?

 

My  Birmingham copy is about 7’ x 3’ and hangs above the main yard in the railroad room.  Great resource.

 

John

 

John R Stewart

www.bhamrails.info

205-901-3790

 

image004

 

From: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io [mailto:main@SouthernRailway.groups.io] On Behalf Of George Eichelberger
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2021 5:18 PM
To: main@southernrailway.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Depot for St. Elmo, TN

 

Warren:

 

Not only is Chattanooga more “interesting” than Atlanta, there are many files, drawings and photos on the area in the SRHA archives. As far as the files are concerned there were at least eight (by my count) railroads there: Southern (ETV&G), CNO&TP, AGS, Chatt Belt, Chatt Traction, CofG, TAG and NC&StL Many had trackage rights, crossing or switching agreements (incl. the three lines we think of as “Southern).

 

I just recently found and scanned a complete file on the pre CNO&TP Chattanooga Traction as it was attempting to get rid of street car passenger services so the power company could sell it (1935). Another interesting file covers the time when the AGS (and M&C?) built their own line out to Wauhatchee “through” Lookout Mtn.

 

Beyond the facilities in Chattanooga, I have been finding more information on passenger trains there than I could imagine existed…starting about 1896. I keep trying to finish an article on the “Florida Sunbeam” but material keeps turning up.

 

I continue to go up to the archives, generally by myself, to get files to scan but I look forward to restarting archives work sessions some time mid yea.

 

Ike

 

 

 

On Feb 11, 2021, at 5:04 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

 

George, Remember Southern had traditionally used trackage rights on NC&StL to gain access to Stevenson Alabama and therefore Memphis (west) and to reach the AGS on the west side of Lookout Mountain (south). This new trackage was supposed to get all the way to Stevenson but for financial reasons, they only made it out as far as the AGS. He is referencing railroad south and not geographically south through St. Elmo. 

 

This new Southern method of egressing town to the west and south was good for Southern but it added yet another busy mainline down town for automobile traffic to contend with. Chattanooga began the interesting process of kicking the railroads out of down town not long after Southern opened this new route. Very strange episode. The city at first wanted the railroads to elevate all their trackage in town. If you ever saw a vintage aerial of Chattanooga, there were 40 foot boxcars parked everywhere. The railroads countered with how would they switch these customers. The railroads did their best to ignore the city till Chattanooga went to the state legislature and had a Chattanooga Rail Authority formed with the ability - through imminent domain - to kick the railroads out of town and at their own expense. There were proposals for a new art deco union station over close to the National Cemetery and this is what brought about the CofG and NC&St.L abandoning their original yards and the relocation of the NC from town to alongside Southern and then both were elevated over Main street. Chattanooga is a most interesting rail hub. Far more interesting to me than Atlanta.

 

Warren D. Stephens

 

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 04:35:14 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

 

 

Warren:

 

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

 

Ike

 

 

On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

 

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

 

Warren D. Stephens

CofG and TAG fan



On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:



Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

 

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

 

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

 

Ike

 

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>

 

 



Jason Greene
 

SRHA has a copy of the Birmingham drawing that John mentioned. I remember seeing it once many years ago in Kennesaw. I don’t remember if that was before or after the big scanner was acquired. 

Jason Greene 

On Feb 12, 2021, at 8:53 PM, Jim Thurston <jthurston@...> wrote:


John, Warren and others:

At the SRHA archives here in Chattannoga we have a high quality wide format scanner which can handle originals up to 42" wide

We are now also able to create clear mylar carrier sleeves to protect delicate originals

We would be happy to scan appropriate maps such as these at no charge, and to provide the scans for preservation or for sharing

Of course, we'd also love to have a copy for the archives, if you're willing

You're welcome to contact me off list to discuss possibilities

Jim Thurston
jthurston@...


From: "Warren Stephens" <wdstephens@...>
To: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io
Sent: Friday, February 12, 2021 8:18:12 PM
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Depot for St. Elmo, TN

John, I am not map poor when it comes to Chattanooga. I have a big horse-blanket size late 1890s vintage atlas David Steinberg gave me that has a very detailed track layout. It has street railway and belt trackage and trunk line trackage etc. I also have all the valuation maps for my areas of interest which is TAG and CofG. I have many other railroad and non railroad maps of the Chattanooga area. I would be interested in a copy of the map you reference but my dealings with the National Archives have always been unpleasant. I once flew up in person only to be told they could only print 10 of the 30 pages I wanted because they were snowed under meanwhile everyone was standing around doing absolutely nothing. Well they did take a few moments to discuss lunch plans but other than that they all stood there with their hands in their pockets. Our tax dollars at work. But then if it were easy it wouldn't be fun right?

Warren  
On Friday, February 12, 2021, 11:56:18 AM EST, John Stewart <jstew@...> wrote:


HI folks, Warren and Ike

 

I worked for an engineering firm based in Chattanooga, Hensely-Schmidt, although I was in Atlanta and Nashville, with only temporary assignment in Chattanooga for bridge inspection work with a wonderful fellow named John Allen, as my boss.  He was former B&B Eng for Knoxville, having gone to work for Sou Ry out of NC State Civil Engineering program in 1952.  He later retired, went into construction business in Knoxville, sold out, went into consulting for a couple of years, then back to NS in Atlanta coordinating bridge consulting work for NS

 

Anyway, at one time, I was attending a meeting with the company folks and the Chattanooga Chamber staff about future riverfront development and downtown redevelopment.  This was in the late 1970’s

 

In this meeting a wonderful map was used, a blueprint style, which showed all the RR’s in town and labeled industries and spurs.  I believe it was produced as part of the national terminal conference coordinating program of the federal government.  All major terminals were required to develop these, to coordinate redundancies and overlap among the RR’s as there were many going into receivership in the Depression years.

 

I have the map of Birmingham, dated 1935.  Much of the program documents are in the National Archives. 

 

Anyway the program was shut down very quickly when it dawned on the government staffers that eliminating redundancies and overlap in cities would cost RR people their jobs – not the thing the government wanted to do in a Depression.

 

So, wondering, Warren, if you are familiar with that map?  I am attaching the title block from the Birmingham map as well as the list of RR’s, which I reckon would have been similar to Chattanooga with a couple of exceptions.  The National Archives told me that they didn’t have the Birmingham map in their files.  Bham ranked 55th among the nations terminals, with Chicago being #1.  Don’t know how Chattanooga would have been ranked.

 

I’m also attaching a pdf of images from Railway Age articles from a microfilm reader at Bham Public. 

 

Are you familiar with a map from this program for Chattanooga?

 

My  Birmingham copy is about 7’ x 3’ and hangs above the main yard in the railroad room.  Great resource.

 

John

 

John R Stewart

www.bhamrails.info

205-901-3790

 

<image001.jpg>

 

From: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io [mailto:main@SouthernRailway.groups.io] On Behalf Of George Eichelberger
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2021 5:18 PM
To: main@southernrailway.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Depot for St. Elmo, TN

 

Warren:

 

Not only is Chattanooga more “interesting” than Atlanta, there are many files, drawings and photos on the area in the SRHA archives. As far as the files are concerned there were at least eight (by my count) railroads there: Southern (ETV&G), CNO&TP, AGS, Chatt Belt, Chatt Traction, CofG, TAG and NC&StL Many had trackage rights, crossing or switching agreements (incl. the three lines we think of as “Southern).

 

I just recently found and scanned a complete file on the pre CNO&TP Chattanooga Traction as it was attempting to get rid of street car passenger services so the power company could sell it (1935). Another interesting file covers the time when the AGS (and M&C?) built their own line out to Wauhatchee “through” Lookout Mtn.

 

Beyond the facilities in Chattanooga, I have been finding more information on passenger trains there than I could imagine existed…starting about 1896. I keep trying to finish an article on the “Florida Sunbeam” but material keeps turning up.

 

I continue to go up to the archives, generally by myself, to get files to scan but I look forward to restarting archives work sessions some time mid yea.

 

Ike

 

 

 

On Feb 11, 2021, at 5:04 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

 

George, Remember Southern had traditionally used trackage rights on NC&StL to gain access to Stevenson Alabama and therefore Memphis (west) and to reach the AGS on the west side of Lookout Mountain (south). This new trackage was supposed to get all the way to Stevenson but for financial reasons, they only made it out as far as the AGS. He is referencing railroad south and not geographically south through St. Elmo. 

 

This new Southern method of egressing town to the west and south was good for Southern but it added yet another busy mainline down town for automobile traffic to contend with. Chattanooga began the interesting process of kicking the railroads out of down town not long after Southern opened this new route. Very strange episode. The city at first wanted the railroads to elevate all their trackage in town. If you ever saw a vintage aerial of Chattanooga, there were 40 foot boxcars parked everywhere. The railroads countered with how would they switch these customers. The railroads did their best to ignore the city till Chattanooga went to the state legislature and had a Chattanooga Rail Authority formed with the ability - through imminent domain - to kick the railroads out of town and at their own expense. There were proposals for a new art deco union station over close to the National Cemetery and this is what brought about the CofG and NC&St.L abandoning their original yards and the relocation of the NC from town to alongside Southern and then both were elevated over Main street. Chattanooga is a most interesting rail hub. Far more interesting to me than Atlanta.

 

Warren D. Stephens

 

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 04:35:14 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:

 

 

Warren:

 

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

 

Ike

 

 

On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

 

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

 

Warren D. Stephens

CofG and TAG fan



On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:



Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

 

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

 

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

 

Ike

 

<1916-1-19 St. Elmo, TN depot request.jpeg>

 

 



George Eichelberger
 

Jason is correct. The Birmingham map is in the archives along with other files about the reconstruction of the trackage through downtown, the trackwork associated with Terminal Station, trackage rights different railroads used to get to the depot, etc.

While we would like to do a systematic Box 1…Box 2…etc. scan of every blueprint and map we have, other projects take priority. For example, when a model manufacturer asks for drawings, we let that request “jump the line” over almost anything except scanning items needed for TIES articles. (We believe publishing archives materials in TIES is the best, and most convenient, method for readers to take advantage of our collections without actually going to Chattanooga.) (Another point here please….Responding to research requests from individuals is always difficult because it takes volunteer time away from the projects I mentioned.)

We would be happy to manage a paid archives staff member to do scanning and research if someone would like to find the funds to do that.

Ike



On Feb 12, 2021, at 9:31 PM, Jason Greene <jason.p.greene@...> wrote:

SRHA has a copy of the Birmingham drawing that John mentioned. I remember seeing it once many years ago in Kennesaw. I don’t remember if that was before or after the big scanner was acquired. 

Jason Greene 

On Feb 12, 2021, at 8:53 PM, Jim Thurston <jthurston@...> wrote:


John, Warren and others:

At the SRHA archives here in Chattannoga we have a high quality wide format scanner which can handle originals up to 42" wide

We are now also able to create clear mylar carrier sleeves to protect delicate originals

We would be happy to scan appropriate maps such as these at no charge, and to provide the scans for preservation or for sharing

Of course, we'd also love to have a copy for the archives, if you're willing

You're welcome to contact me off list to discuss possibilities

Jim Thurston


From: "Warren Stephens" <wdstephens@...>
To: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io
Sent: Friday, February 12, 2021 8:18:12 PM
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Depot for St. Elmo, TN

John, I am not map poor when it comes to Chattanooga. I have a big horse-blanket size late 1890s vintage atlas David Steinberg gave me that has a very detailed track layout. It has street railway and belt trackage and trunk line trackage etc. I also have all the valuation maps for my areas of interest which is TAG and CofG. I have many other railroad and non railroad maps of the Chattanooga area. I would be interested in a copy of the map you reference but my dealings with the National Archives have always been unpleasant. I once flew up in person only to be told they could only print 10 of the 30 pages I wanted because they were snowed under meanwhile everyone was standing around doing absolutely nothing. Well they did take a few moments to discuss lunch plans but other than that they all stood there with their hands in their pockets. Our tax dollars at work. But then if it were easy it wouldn't be fun right?

Warren  
On Friday, February 12, 2021, 11:56:18 AM EST, John Stewart <jstew@...> wrote:


HI folks, Warren and Ike

 

I worked for an engineering firm based in Chattanooga, Hensely-Schmidt, although I was in Atlanta and Nashville, with only temporary assignment in Chattanooga for bridge inspection work with a wonderful fellow named John Allen, as my boss.  He was former B&B Eng for Knoxville, having gone to work for Sou Ry out of NC State Civil Engineering program in 1952.  He later retired, went into construction business in Knoxville, sold out, went into consulting for a couple of years, then back to NS in Atlanta coordinating bridge consulting work for NS

 

Anyway, at one time, I was attending a meeting with the company folks and the Chattanooga Chamber staff about future riverfront development and downtown redevelopment.  This was in the late 1970’s

 

In this meeting a wonderful map was used, a blueprint style, which showed all the RR’s in town and labeled industries and spurs.  I believe it was produced as part of the national terminal conference coordinating program of the federal government.  All major terminals were required to develop these, to coordinate redundancies and overlap among the RR’s as there were many going into receivership in the Depression years.

 

I have the map of Birmingham, dated 1935.  Much of the program documents are in the National Archives.  

 

Anyway the program was shut down very quickly when it dawned on the government staffers that eliminating redundancies and overlap in cities would cost RR people their jobs – not the thing the government wanted to do in a Depression.

 

So, wondering, Warren, if you are familiar with that map?  I am attaching the title block from the Birmingham map as well as the list of RR’s, which I reckon would have been similar to Chattanooga with a couple of exceptions.  The National Archives told me that they didn’t have the Birmingham map in their files.  Bham ranked 55th among the nations terminals, with Chicago being #1.  Don’t know how Chattanooga would have been ranked.

 

I’m also attaching a pdf of images from Railway Age articles from a microfilm reader at Bham Public.  

 

Are you familiar with a map from this program for Chattanooga?

 

My  Birmingham copy is about 7’ x 3’ and hangs above the main yard in the railroad room.  Great resource.

 

John

 

John R Stewart

www.bhamrails.info

205-901-3790

 

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From: main@SouthernRailway.groups.io [mailto:main@SouthernRailway.groups.io] On Behalf Of George Eichelberger
Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2021 5:18 PM
To: main@southernrailway.groups.io
Subject: Re: [SouthernRailway] Depot for St. Elmo, TN

 

Warren:

 

Not only is Chattanooga more “interesting” than Atlanta, there are many files, drawings and photos on the area in the SRHA archives. As far as the files are concerned there were at least eight (by my count) railroads there: Southern (ETV&G), CNO&TP, AGS, Chatt Belt, Chatt Traction, CofG, TAG and NC&StL Many had trackage rights, crossing or switching agreements (incl. the three lines we think of as “Southern).

 

I just recently found and scanned a complete file on the pre CNO&TP Chattanooga Traction as it was attempting to get rid of street car passenger services so the power company could sell it (1935). Another interesting file covers the time when the AGS (and M&C?) built their own line out to Wauhatchee “through” Lookout Mtn.

 

Beyond the facilities in Chattanooga, I have been finding more information on passenger trains there than I could imagine existed…starting about 1896. I keep trying to finish an article on the “Florida Sunbeam” but material keeps turning up.

 

I continue to go up to the archives, generally by myself, to get files to scan but I look forward to restarting archives work sessions some time mid yea.

 

Ike

 
 
 

On Feb 11, 2021, at 5:04 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

 

George, Remember Southern had traditionally used trackage rights on NC&StL to gain access to Stevenson Alabama and therefore Memphis (west) and to reach the AGS on the west side of Lookout Mountain (south). This new trackage was supposed to get all the way to Stevenson but for financial reasons, they only made it out as far as the AGS. He is referencing railroad south and not geographically south through St. Elmo. 

 

This new Southern method of egressing town to the west and south was good for Southern but it added yet another busy mainline down town for automobile traffic to contend with. Chattanooga began the interesting process of kicking the railroads out of down town not long after Southern opened this new route. Very strange episode. The city at first wanted the railroads to elevate all their trackage in town. If you ever saw a vintage aerial of Chattanooga, there were 40 foot boxcars parked everywhere. The railroads countered with how would they switch these customers. The railroads did their best to ignore the city till Chattanooga went to the state legislature and had a Chattanooga Rail Authority formed with the ability - through imminent domain - to kick the railroads out of town and at their own expense. There were proposals for a new art deco union station over close to the National Cemetery and this is what brought about the CofG and NC&St.L abandoning their original yards and the relocation of the NC from town to alongside Southern and then both were elevated over Main street. Chattanooga is a most interesting rail hub. Far more interesting to me than Atlanta.

 

Warren D. Stephens

 

On Thursday, February 11, 2021, 04:35:14 PM EST, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote: 

 
 
Warren:

 

I cannot say definitively there was no St. Elmo station but I can find no references to it in any of the Southern files I have scanned. (The “line from the south” in his letter I found confusing.)

 

Ike

 

 

On Feb 11, 2021, at 3:50 PM, Warren Stephens <wdstephens@...> wrote:

 

To be honest I am not totally certain where St. Elmo ends and Chattanooga and/or Alton Park begins. This gentleman is obviously referring to the new Southern alignment which was being crafted partly by upgrading Belt Railway of Chattanooga trackage to mainline and then an entirely new right of way from just south of Shipp yard. This junction of upgraded Belt and new right of way was called “Southern Extension” in TAG employees timetables. Just below the meeting of old a new trackage a natural wye occurred on what was still the Chattanooga Belt. It was here that TAG turned their large steam engines after they outgrew their turntable at Alton Park. The new right of way began a climb to Lookout Mountain tunnel almost immediately after Shipp and was therefore elevated by the time it reached what I have always believed to be St. Elmo city limits. St. Elmo had always been connected to down town Chattanooga. By street car and by the Chattanooga Union Railway steam dummy and by the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway but as the letter stated only the street car remained by this point. Vintage maps indicate that there was a St. Elmo station on the Chattanooga Union Railway (later Chattanooga Belt) trackage used by Chattanooga Southern (later TAG) to reach the state line. I assume it was used by TAG and steam dummy trains and I can’t see it being very elaborate. By virtue of the fact that the new AGS alignment was elevated through St. Elmo, I doubt this station was ever built. I also doubt the AGS really saw a need for a suburban station that close to Terminal Station. As the crow flys maybe three to three and a half miles? 

 

Warren D. Stephens

CofG and TAG fan



On Feb 11, 2021, at 8:58 AM, George Eichelberger <geichelberger@...> wrote:


Until the time of WWI, one of the marks of an “up to date little town” was to have its own freight and passenger stations. The SRHA archives have many letters, similar to the attachment, touting the status of towns, or even developers’ dream of where a town will be, to the Southern in hopes of having a depot built and becoming a timetable stop.

 

In some cases, the Southern would decline to spend the money but would offer to let whoever was promoting the concept pay to build a combination freight and passenger station on company property to be owned and controlled by the railroad. Having an established post office in the town was almost always a requirement so mail revenue could add to the revenues.

 

The attached letter from the St. Elmo, TN Business League is typical. SRHA archives "Box  O File 167” does not offer information on if a depot was ever built for St. Elmo (a suburb of Chattanooga).

 

Ike

 

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