Chattanooga Traction Company
The Chattanooga Traction Company was developed by C.E. James, the developer
of the Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia Railway. Originally conceived as a means
of transporting patrons of his mountaintop hotel from the valley to the hotel,
a second line was built into Red Bank, and a freight business also quickly
developed which sustains most of the line today, under Norfolk Southern ownership.
The Company had plans like those of most enterprises of the time, planning
to extend lines to a number of far-flung communities in Southeast Tennessee
and Northwest Georgia. Again, like most companies of its time,
their plans never came to fruition, and only two lines were built. One of these
lines went from North Chattanooga to the top of Signal Mountain. The second,
the Dry Valley line, was built later to serve the Red Bank community. CTC
at the same time built a connection to the Cincinnati, New Orleans & Texas
Pacific Railway near the road's bridge over the Tennessee River.
Passenger service was terminated in mid-1934, but freight continued to be moved
by electric motors until 1940, when it was decided by the Southern Railway, which
had acquired the Company's property in 1936, that the continued operation of those
motors was uneconomical. In 1941, the use of the electric motors and overhead
lines were discontinued and two small diesel locomotives were acquired, financed
in part by the sale of the scrapped copper wires.
Later on that decade, the diesels were replaced by two other locomotives of
higher horsepower (one was #4, a 600 HP EMD SW1, the other was #5, a 1200 HP
The next major event in the history of the CTC came in 1969, when the CNO&TP
directly absorbed the CTC, along with three other subsidiaries and at the same
time the CNO&TP became a direct subsidiary of the Southern Railway. With
this change the Traction Company truly lost its identity, since their locomotives,
which were lettered for the Chattanooga Traction Company were repainted as Southern
locomotives, and could only be distinguished by the small letters CT under the
locomotive number on the cab sides.
CTC Diesel Roster
||Retired September 1948, to Lenoir Car Works
||to Southern #1954, retired 1966, scrapped at Chattanooga 1966
||to Southern #1955, retired 1954, to Ware Shoals Railroad #1955
||to SOU #1002, NS #1002
||to SOU #1133, to NS #1133
View a map of the Traction Company route in Red Bank, North Chattanooga, and
at the foot of Signal Mountain. This file is about 620 K in size so it may
take a while to download if you're on a slow internet connection. This
is a USGS topographic map and is in the public domain.
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