1893 Railroad “Time Card No. 1” Offered Nine Routes and 35 Schedules
This is a continuation of last week’s column pertaining to an 1893 railroad time card that I received. The diminutive 12-page folded “card” contained 9 rail systems and 35 train schedules. A sample schedule from each rail system is as follows:
East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia (10 schedules): “No. 1 Daily” (242 miles) - Bristol (1:30 p.m. departure), Bluff City, Piney Flats, Watauga, Carnegie, Johnson City, Jonesboro, Telford, Limestone, Fullers, Afton, Greeneville, Mosheim, Midway, Mohawk, Rogersville Junction, Whitesburg, Russellville, Morristown, Talbott, Mossy Creek, New Market, Strawberry Plains, Mascot, McMillan’s, Knoxville, Bearden, Concord, Lenoir, Loudon, Philadelphia, Sweetwater, Moase Creek, Athens, Riceville, Sanford, Charleston, Tasso, Cleveland, McDonalds, Ooltewah Junction, Tyners, Sherman Heights and Chattanooga (11:15 p.m. arrival).
Embreeville Branch (2 schedules): “No. 111 Daily Except Sunday” (no mileage shown) – Embreeville (7:00 a.m. departure) and Johnson City (8:00 a.m. arrival).
Johnson City and Carnegie (1 schedule): “First car in the morning leaves Union Depot at 6:40 and arrives at Carnegie Hotel at 7:00. Cars both ways every 20 minutes. Cars connect with all 3C trains and Carnegie and all ETV&G and ET&WNC trains at Union Depot.”
Walden’s Ridge (4 schedules): “No. 9 Daily” (307 miles) - Knoxville (8:25 p.m. departure), Clinton, Dossett, Donovans, Oliver Springs, Harriman, Oakdale and Cincinnati (7:20 a.m. arrival).
CC&C (4 schedules): “No. 1 Daily” (no mileage shown) - Johnson City (Carnegie Depot, 7:30 a.m. departure), J.C. Market Street, Okolona, Fagans, Marbleton, Rose Hill, Unicoi, Erwin and Unaka Springs (8:45 a.m. arrival).
East Tennessee & Western N.C. (4 schedules): “No. 1 Daily” (no mileage shown)- Johnson City (7:45 a.m. departure) Milligan College, Watauga Point, Gladeland, Elizabethton, Valley Forge, Hampton, Pardee Point, Blevins, White Rock, Crab Orchard, Roan Mountain, Shell Creek, Elk Park, Hotel, Cranberry (11.00 a.m. arrival).
The “No. 5 Daily” and “No. 6 Daily” runs of the ETV&G Railway involved the use of a Vestibule train. These popular passenger trains that operated between the 1880s and 1890s were designed such that each end of a car was equipped with an enclosed vestibule as opposed to normal open platforms. Passengers could travel the entire length of the train without being exposed to the elements. Prior to that, riders were confined to one car while the train was in motion. Crossing between cars with the train in motion was fraught with hazards such as falling on the track.
The 35 schedules show how vital trains were to this section of the country in 1893 and how Johnson City and other locations were staunchly served by rail service. After a peak in passenger train service in 1944, the end came within a few years when patrons began choosing the family car over the railcar.