Civil War Railroad Tunnel TourCivil War Railroad Tunnel Tour
Construction began on the tunnel in 1848, during which time the population of Tunnel Hill grew to supply accommodations to railway workers. The tunnel, which spans 1,477 feet, was dug through the base of the Chetoogeta Mountain. Hundreds of Irish immigrants poured blood, sweat and tears into what would be deemed a modern marvel of its time. Two teams of workers constructed the tunnel and both worked on opposite sides drilling their way through until finally reaching the middle together. After construction, the two sides were less than an inch off square.
On May 9, 1850, the first Western and Atlantic train passed through the tunnel and the new town of Atlanta became one of the railway’’s major hubs. The tunnel was part of the rail system that connected Chattanooga and Atlanta together.
The tunnel became part of several historical events during the Civil War (one of which was the Great Locomotive Chase), before heavy railroad traffic and larger train cars getting stuck in the tunnel led to the building of a larger parallel tunnel, ending the use of the tunnel in 1928.
The tunnel faced possible destruction from 70 years of neglect until, in 1992, steps were taken to preserve it. After a lengthy period of restoration and rehabilitation, the tunnel was opened to the public in 2000, just in time for its 150th anniversary.
Today, the Historic Railroad tunnel stands as a monument to a simpler time, when mighty stream engines blew through towns fascinating young and old alike. The tour takes you through the over 1,400 foot long tunnel via a luxury golf cart that can fit up to eight people. Your knowledgeable guide will relay fascinating facts regarding the tunnel and the people who lived during the time of its use. The tour will also take you to the Clisby Austin house, also located on the property as well as an old 1900’s General Store and the Civil War Railroad Museum and gift shop.
In 2017, Legendary Films chose the Historic Civil War Railroad as a location for scenes in their upcoming feature film, Godzilla: King of Monsters set to be released in 2019. The Dalton Convention & Visitors Bureau, as well as the City of Tunnel Hill staff, worked tirelessly with Legendary Films and Georgia Film to provide the best experience possible. Several scenes were filmed at the Historic Railroad Tunnel, with one appearing in the official movie trailer (See 1:41).
Tours are given Monday through Saturday, from 9AM – 5PM.
Cost of Tours
$6 for individual tours, and $10 for all three tours which include the Historic railroad tunnel, the Clisby Austin House, and the Old General Store.
215 Clisby Austin Road Tunnel Hill GA 30755 United States