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Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

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Title: Lookout Mountain Incline Railway  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Lookout Mountain (disambiguation), Lookout Mountain, Otis Elevating Railway
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
A view down the 1-mile (1.6 km) length of the railway from the top of Lookout Mountain
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is located in Tennessee
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
Location Off U.S. 11 Chattanooga, Tennessee
Built November 16, 1895  (1895-11-16)
Architect Josephus "Jo" Conn Guild, Sr.
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 73001774[1]
Added to NRHP April 26, 1973

The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is a 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge[2] inclined plane railway located along the side of Lookout Mountain in the historic St. Elmo neighborhood of Chattanooga, Tennessee, in the United States. Passengers are transported from St. Elmo's Station at the base, to Point Park at the mountain summit, which overlooks the city and the Tennessee River. It is used as a way of transportation to three of Chattanooga's main tourist attractions, Ruby Falls, Cavern Castle, and Rock City.[3] The railway is approximately one mile (1.6 km) in length (single track except for a short two-track stretch (passing loop) at the midway point, allowing operation of two cars at one time), and has a maximum grade of 72.7%. It is billed as one of the world's steepest passenger railways.[4] It obtained Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark status in 1991. The cable system for the cars was made by Otis Elevator Company


  • History 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The Incline Railway opened on November 16, 1895, and was the second of two inclines constructed on Lookout Mountain; the first was the Chattanooga and Lookout Mountain Railway, which operated from 1886 to 1898. The railway is now operated by the Chattanooga Area Regional Transportation Authority, the area's public transit agency.

The Incline Railway is a well-known and beloved Chattanooga landmark; the railway has been depicted in numerous regional and national publications, including being on TV, most prominently on Larry the Cable Guy's Only in America with Larry the Cable Guy in February 2011.[5]

A foggy day on the railway. Chattanooga is barely visible in the background.

See also


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  2. ^ Zeitschrift Blickpunkt Straßenbahn (Tram Focus Magazine) - Trams of the World 2013
  3. ^ Wohlfarth, J. (2007). See Rock City. Cinncinatti Magazine, Vol. 41(Issue 1), P39-40, 2p.,
  4. ^
  5. ^ Staff (February 16, 2011). "Incline Railway on the History Channel". Retrieved 26 March 2013. 

External links

  • Lookout Mountain Incline Railway official web site

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