Tunnels near Rockmart, GA

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I have a question concerning the existence of a tunnel near Rockmart, GA. I have been to and walked through the tunnel, but I have no information about it other than it is made of brick, and was bypassed sometime in the 1980's by a massive route relocation. In addition, there is a tunnel under a mile south of the former Southern Railway tunnel, which was used by the Seaboard. It is quite tall, and made of concrete. Currently it is a part of the Silver Comet Trail, but once again I know nothing about its past history. Any information on either of these tunnels would be greatly appreciated.

-- Brandon Wright (bwright@uga.edu), February 25, 2004


I think I'm tunnel crazy: A couple miles west of LaFayette, GA, the TAG went under a mountain through a tunnel. I have heard that it is curved, and that a water tank stood at the south portal for many years. Does anyone have any background on this tunnel as well?

-- Brandon Wright (bwright@uga.edu), February 25, 2004.

The TA&G tunnel went through Pigeon Mountain. It was indeed curved. The TA&G (Chattanooga Southern at the time) was built from Gadsden north and from Chattanooga south. The last impediment to completion of the line was the construction of the tunnel. The last spike ceremony actually took place inside the tunnel. Old CS/TA&G employee’s timetables (which were my first reference on this subject) lead me to believe that the water tank was on the south end of the tunnel but in reality it was on the north side. I have a track profile, valuation maps, pictures and eyewitness accounts that indicate it was on the north side. There was also a small train order office at the north face of the tunnel. At one time there was a large timber trestle just before the north portal. It was razed in the early 40s in favor of a large earthen fill. There was a narrow gauge mining RR that connected with TA&G not far from the Tunnel at a place called Estelle. There are at least seven tunnels on this narrow gauge line. You can hike the narrow gauge, the tunnels are all still there. We did this as a TA&G Society get-togher a couple of years ago. We also visited the TA&G tunnel. This was such a popular activity that people are after me to do again. We may just do it but not this year due to our participation in Kudzu Rails. We had an article in the TAG Society newsletter about the tunnel. I don’t think we have any more of those but I could make you a photocopy. Would be glad to send it to you…….Warren D. Stephens

-- W. D. Stephens (wdstephens@prodigy.net), February 26, 2004.


Both of the tunnels (Southern and Seaboard) were between Rockmart and Dallas, Georgia. The exact location is Braswell Mountain. I recall riding through the SR tunnel on the Chattanooga fan trips during the late 1970s. The last time I visited the area was April 1981 to photograph the "Dogwood Special" behind four green FP7s. After the train passed, we hiked to the old tunnel which isn't far from the present mainline. The tunnel then was full of water and the approach on the south end was bushy and snakey. I heard that the portals were later boarded up to keep people out. I don't know the present-day status. The SAL tunnel is, in fact, a part of the Silver Comet Trail.

-- Tom Alderman (Topa12283@aol.com), March 02, 2004.


The Southern tunnel was bypassed in 1979 in order to extend the passing siding at Braswell. As a rookie trainman on this line back in the 70's I had to walk my train through this tunnel while we were in emergency. An experience I wouldn't want to repeat. There was also rumored to be a ghost who resided on one side of the tunnel. On my crew one summer night we had the door open on my side and close back just before entering the tunnel, then open and close on the engineer's side after exiting the tunnel.....supposedly this ghost was killed in the tunnel just after WWII (he was a trackman) and rode from one side of the tunnel to the other on the train as he didn't like to walk.....

-- Tony Skeen (keen2734@comcast.net), April 13, 2004.

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