CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – When the Incline Railway was built in 1895, the idea was to complete a cheap means for traveling to the top of Lookout Mountain.
It worked, but it outlasted its intended purpose. This one-of-a-kind railroad helped make Lookout Mountain a popular summer vacation destination and continues to attract visitors by the thousands more than a century later.
Known as “America’s Most Amazing Mile,” the Incline Railway is one of the more unique offerings, not just in Chattanooga, but anywhere. The railroad whisks adventure-seekers up the side of Lookout Mountain, and its 72.7 percent grade near the top of the mountain makes it the steepest railroad in the world.
The viewing platform at Lookout Mountain station offers a great view of the city, the surrounding region, and also of the Great Smoky Mountains roughly 100 miles away. At the Lookout Mountain station, visitors can tour the railroad’s machine room to see the gears and cables that are the railroad’s backbone.
The Incline Railway has been designated as a National Historic Site and a National Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark.