Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
Lookout Mountain played an important part in the American Civil
War, as it was where the Union forces suffered one of their
greatest defeats. So, by the late 19th century, Lookout
Mountain had become a popular attraction for tourists, but it took
a long time to ascend - horse drawn buggies were the quickest
option, and they took about four hours.
With the advent of railways, the idea of a mountain railway was
proposed to reduce the time taken to reach the top. A direct route
was planned and then built on; this ran for a mile from St Elmo to
the summit. The Lookout Mountain Incline Railway was
opened in November 1895, and has been a firm favourite with locals
and tourists ever since. In 1911 the steam locomotives were
replaced with diesel engines, but apart from that very little has
changed on the line since its opening.
Due to the tremendous scenery it passes, the railway is
sometimes referred to as "America's most amazing mile". The line is
also loved by railway enthusiasts as in places it reaches an
incline of 72.7% - making it one of the steepest passenger railways
in the world.