Brushy Mountain Tunnel : LUSENET : ACL and SAL Railroads Historical Society : One Thread

I am a regular rider of the Silver Comet Trail and travel through the three story tall Brushy Mountain Tunnel outside Rockmart, GA. I am curious why SAL built the tunnel so tall. I have asked numerous people and everyone has a guess but so far no first hand information. I would be pleased if anyone could answer my question.


Bob Andrews

-- Bob Andrews (, December 29, 2002


Shortly after the merger, in 1968, I believe, SCL enlarged the tunnel to accommodate tri-level autoracks and JUMBO pig trailers. In addition, a few years later, SCL made further improvements on the former GA Division (renamed Atlanta Division to include the former AB&C lines) completed installation of Traffic Control System from Emory, GA to Monroe, N.C. (a small section north and south of Greenwood already had TCS) replacing the S/T ABS.

-- Sherrod G. Patterson (, January 04, 2003.

On the Seaboard, the tunnel six miles east of Rockmart was Divide Tunnel. As noted in Georgia Division Time Table #4 (eff. 04/28/57), this tunnel had substandard clearances (less than 22 feet height and less than 7 feet of width from center line of track). At that time, Divide Tunnel was only 18 feet 4 inches high. Perhaps clearance was later improved to accomodate trailer-on-flat car traffic.

-- Harry Bundy (, December 30, 2002.

Mr. Andrews,

They may have built the tunnel that tall to help deal with the smoke and exhaust gases from steam locomotives?? I am not sure if that is the correct answer or not. I do know they built the centers of the tunnels higher than the sides, giving them thier rounded shape at the top.

Hope this helps. I am sure the other gentlemen here can help more than myself. Happy New Year! Daniel Edwards

-- Daniel T. Edwards (, December 29, 2002.

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