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Johnson City in Washington County, Tennessee — The American South (East South Central)
 

Passenger Service

 
 
Passenger Service Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2021
1. Passenger Service Marker
Inscription.  
The East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC) was primarily constructed to provide freight service between Johnson City and the iron ore mines of Cranberry, NC, but passenger and mail service became important as well. The railroad also became famous for its special excursion trains into the mountains. The timetable to the right, from The Johnson City Comet newspaper on July 3, 1890, shows the daily schedule at that time, listing fourteen stops between Johnson City and Cranberry. The eastbound morning train left Johnson City at 7:30 a.m., reached Elizabethton by 8:15 a.m., Roan Mountain by 10:00, and Cranberry by 11:00. The entire route was about 34 miles long.

Passenger service on the railroad became especially important during World War Two, as the railroad operated multiple daily trains to transport workers to and from the vital rayon factories in Elizabethton. After the war, with improved highways and increased automobile ownership, the demand for passenger service declined and the service ended for good in 1950.
—Department of Appalachian Studies, East Tennessee State University
 
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Department of Appalachian Studies, East Tennessee State University.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWar, World II. A significant historical date for this entry is July 3, 1890.
 
Location. 36° 18.684′ N, 82° 19.569′ W. Marker is in Johnson City, Tennessee, in Washington County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Alabama Street and Legion Street. Marker is located on the Tweetsie Trail, 7/10 mile east of the Johnson City Trailhead. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Johnson City TN 37601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Narrow-Gauge Railroad (here, next to this marker); The Music of the Rails (here, next to this marker); The Robertson Home, Site of First Court of Washington County (approx. 0.4 miles away); First Court of Washington County (approx. 0.4 miles away); Trail Geology (approx. 0.6 miles away); Story of the Tweetsie (approx. 0.6 miles away); Robins’ Roost (approx. one mile away); Tipton-Haynes Cemetery (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Johnson City.
 
More about this marker. Access to this marker is via bicycle or foot on the Tweetsie Trail.
 
Also see . . .
1. East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad
Marker detail: A color tourist brochure from the late 1910s or early 1920s. image. Click for full size.
ETSU Archives of Appalachia
2. Marker detail: A color tourist brochure from the late 1910s or early 1920s.
East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad
and
Linville River Railway
The Scenic Route through
the Heart of the Blue Ridge
. The East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad, affectionately called the "Tweetsie" as a verbal acronym of its initials (ET&WNC) but also in reference to the sound of its steam whistles, was a primarily narrow gauge railroad established in 1866 for the purpose of serving the mines at Cranberry, North Carolina. In 2012 the rails and ties were removed to make way for a rail-trail. This trail was named the Tweetsie Trail. (Submitted on October 17, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad. While World War II offered the ET&WNC strong traffic this rapidly declined following the conflict as the local remaining iron and timber industry disappeared. With no reason to continue operating its route between Elizabethton and Cranberry, the section was abandoned with the final train operating the line on a warm but somber October 16, 1950. What remained was about a 10-mile section between Johnson City and Elizabethton that primarily served the rayon plants and had already been operating as a dual-gauge line for several years. (Submitted on October 17, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Marker detail: One of the daily ET&WNC trains prepares to leave Johnson City in the 1930s. image. Click for full size.
ETSU Archives of Appalachia, Cy Crumley Collection
3. Marker detail: One of the daily ET&WNC trains prepares to leave Johnson City in the 1930s.
The last car is Combine #15, which carried passengers, freight, and a railway post office.
Marker detail: A map showing the ET&WNC railroad after it was extended to Boone, NC. image. Click for full size.
ETSU Archives of Appalachia
4. Marker detail: A map showing the ET&WNC railroad after it was extended to Boone, NC.
Marker detail: Interior view of an ET&WNC passenger car in the 1930s. image. Click for full size.
ETSU Archives of Appalachia, Cy Crumley Collection
5. Marker detail: Interior view of an ET&WNC passenger car in the 1930s.
Passenger Service Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, May 15, 2021
6. Passenger Service Marker
(leftmost of three markers at this location • Tweetsie Trail on the right)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 19, 2021. It was originally submitted on October 17, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 173 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on October 17, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Jul. 18, 2024