Mount Mitchell Railroad and Toll Road

by Jeffrey Lovelace
From Mount Mitchell: its railroad and toll road, 1994.
Copyrighted material. Reprinted with permission.

Mount Mitchell Railroad; marker #: P-72. Image courtesy of NC Markers, North Carolina Office of Archives & History. Short line mountain railroads are often miracles of construction. Built primarily for shipping logs, the Mount Mitchell Railroad was no exception. Within a span of 21 miles, the road climbed 3,500 feet, but utilized only three trestles and nine switchbacks, while maintaining a grade of five and a half percent. Access to the mountain, located in Western North Carolina, was slow and difficult; but after completion of the railroad, a timbering industry was born. The railroad also provided tourists with scenic trips along its rugged contours. When passenger service was discontinued, a motor toll road was built over much of the same route. Its completion marked the first time visitors could travel to Mount Mitchell using their automobiles.
 

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References:

Lovelace, Jeff. 1994. Mount Mitchell: its railroad and toll road. Johnson City, Tenn: Overmountain Press.

Image Credit:

Mount Mitchell Railroad; marker #: P-72. Image courtesy of NC Markers, North Carolina Office of Archives & History. Available from http://www.ncmarkers.com/Markers.aspx?ct=ddl&sp=search&k=Markers&sv=P-72%20-%20MOUNT%20MITCHELL%20RAILROAD (accessed May 25, 2012).

Additional Resources:

"Mount Mitchell Railroad." N.C. Highway Historical Marker P-72, N.C. Office of Archives & History. http://www.ncmarkers.com/Markers.aspx?sp=Markers&k=Markers&sv=P-72 (accessed March 7, 2013).

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