- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 7, 2015

ETOWAH, Tenn. (AP) - A special ride on the Old Line Railroad between Etowah to Copperhill is planned to commemorate the completion of the line 125 years ago.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports (https://bit.ly/1Cu2Ahi) many tourists take the slow train ride through the 8,000-foot-long Great Hiwassee Loop of the Old Line Railroad. But the anniversary ride is intended to show more than the scenic beauty of the Cherokee National Forest and Hiwassee Gorge. It will demonstrate the line’s historical importance to the area.

Built in 1890, the Old Line was part of an economic development project intended to revive the flow of copper, timber, marble and other minerals from Copperhill.

Linda Caldwell, of the Etowah Depot Museum, said much of the rugged and mountainous path for the Old Line Railroad was gouged out by convict labor and hand tools.

“Building the Old Line proved to be a monumental task, but on June 29, 1890, a train filled with dignitaries took the first ride on the new railroad,” she said.

The June 27 anniversary ride will retrace that first ride. It will take place in restored vintage coach cars will include passengers dressed in period clothing.

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Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, https://www.timesfreepress.com

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