First built around 1890, the Chattanooga Southern Railway ran from Chattanooga, TN, southwards through the northwest corner of Georgia, and into Gadsden, AL. The line eventually came under the ownership of the Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia Railway in 1911, the Southern Railway in 1971, and finally Norfolk Southern.
The line mainly survived on coal traffic generated by mining at Lookout Mountain. When mining production there decreased in the 1950s, the line continued as a bridge line for other railroads.
As traffic along the line diminished, so did the need to maintain the line; under Southern's ownership, parts of the line began to be abandoned. Today, only the northern 23 miles of the line are still operated by the Chattooga and Chickamauga Railway in order to serve a chemical plant at Hedges, GA (near Kensington). Otherwise, the rest of the line has since been abandoned, all the way to the southern end of the line at Gadsden.