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Hiwassee Railroad: Take a Ride into History on the Old Line Railroad


Passengers step back in time when they ride the train alongside the scenic Hiwassee River, into the Hiwassee Gorge in the Cherokee National Forest, and over the famous Bald Mountain Loop. You will board restored romantic vintage passenger cars on the Old Line Railroad. This is a favored excursion for nature lovers and rail buffs alike being the most scenic train excursion in this part of the country. Trains normally run from late March through the end of the year (2020 being an exception), offering standard coach seating and luxury seats in the dome/observation cars.

Two trip options are available – the “Hiwassee River Loop Trip” and the “Copperhill Special” (2020 being an exception).


Month Dates Times
September 18,19,20,25,26,
27 1:30
(single trip) 2,4,8,9,11,14,
16,21,22,28 1:30
(double trips) 10,17,18,23,24,
25,30,31 9:00, 2:00
(single trip) 1,5,6,8,13,15,
29 1:30
(double trips) 7,14, 9:00, 2:00


Sept 18 thru Sept 27
Coach Observation Dome
Adult (age 13 & over) $42 $78 $93
Children (age 3 – 12) $30 $78 $93
Family 4-pack: $99.00 (not offered after Sept)- 2 adults and 2 children under 13
Oct 2 thru Nov 29
Coach Observation Dome
Adult (age 13 & over) $50 $98 $115
Children (age 3 – 12) $34 $98 $115

What is known today as the Old Line Railroad was built in 1890 as part of a project to link Knoxville, TN to Marietta, GA by rail. A very distinctive feature was built as part of the line, the Hiwassee Loop, a circle of track that was built around Bald Mountain in 1898. This part of the rail corridor is a designated National Register of Historic Places, Historic District.

In 1902 the Louisville and Nashville (L&N) Railroad took ownership of the Old Line. They needed a more direct route to Atlanta avoiding the rugged mountainous rails so the New Line was constructed. The New Line, which parallels Hwy 411 in TN & GA, ran over flatter terrain and allowed trains to be faster & more efficient. This new line, became a bypass for the Old Line.

In 2002, the Tennessee Overhill purchased the old line from CSX saving it from being dismantled. In honor of its history, the name “Old Line” was retained.

To experience a part of this history call or stop by the Etowah L&N Depot Museum in Etowah for tickets & schedule. Tour the Museum that tell the complete story of the Old Line and the City of Etowah. 423-263-7232 or

Nancy A. Dalton
Tennessee Overhill