TrainWeb.org Facebook Page
The Smoky Mountain Railroad Of Tennessee | Route
The Smoky Mountain Railroad Of Tennessee Knoxville, Sevierville & Eastern Ry. • Knoxville & Carolina R.R. • Tennessee & North Carolina Ry.
Home History Route Locomotives Rolling Stock Operations W.J. Oliver Gallery Feature E-Mail

Route Of The "Slow & Easy"

Location of Smoky Mountain Railroad and predecessor lines
Near "Rocky Top" - Location of Smoky Mountain Railroad and predecessor lines. (Friends Of The Slow & Easy graphic)

Laid to standard (4' 8-1/2") gauge with 56 or 60-pound rail, the Knoxville, Sevierville & Eastern (KS&E) Railway and its successor lines more or less followed the lay of the land across south Knox and Sevier Counties, Tennessee. In modern-day terms, the route was as follows:

Knoxville to Vestal: via the Norfolk Southern Railway's Knoxville & Augusta (K&A branch) across the Tennessee River, then roughly parallel to Blount Avenue;

Vestal to Moreland Heights community: roughly parallel to, then crossing Martin Mill Pike, then along Charter Doyle County Park's northeast boundary, passing under Magazine Road adjacent to Moreland Heights Elementary School;

Moreland Heights community to King's Gap (Ye Olde Steak House): roughly parallel to and crossing Magazine Road, then parallel to Brown Mountain, then running parallel to U.S. 441 (Chapman Highway) at Ye Olde Steak House;

King's Gap (Ye Olde Steak House) to Shooks: turning away from U.S. 441 (Chapman Highway) at Dick Ford Lane, crossing Abner Cruze Lane and State Route 168 (Governor John Sevier Highway), then bridging Stock Creek (near Breeden Lane), then crossing Tipton Station Road, then running parallel to and crossing Pickens Gap Road, then crossing Highland View Road, then turning parallel to Simpson Road and Bays Mountain, then crossing U.S. Highway 441 (Chapman Highway) in Shooks Gap;

Shooks to Seymour: roughly parallel to and periodically crossing Old Sevierville Pike;

Seymour to Revilo: roughly parallel to and periodically crossing State Route 338 (Boyds Creek Highway);

Revilo to Sevierville: through Cannon Hollow, then roughly parallel to Old Knoxville Highway, crossing U.S. 441 (West Main Street) near the railroad's Sevierville terminal.

Area map of Smoky Mountain Railroad and predecessor lines
Meandering route - Area map of Smoky Mountain Railroad and predecessor lines. (Friends Of The Slow & Easy graphic)

Although the path of the "Slow & Easy" is illustrated by the map above, the following is a 1927 Mechanics' Bank and Trust Company description of the right-of-way in legal-ese:

  • "The said right of way and track beginning at or near Vestal in Knox County, Tennessee, thence in a southeasterly direction to King's Gap in Brown's Mountain, a distance of five and one-half miles;
  • thence in a southeasterly direction up the valley of Stock Creek and passing Neubert's Mill near the end of the seventh mile from Vestal to Mud Flat School House, which is eight and one-half miles from Vestal;
  • thence in a northeasterly direction toward the head waters of Stock Creek to the property of Robert Cruze; thence in a northeasterly direction to the line between Knox and Sevier County, this line being at Shook's Gap in Bays Mountain; thence in a southeasterly direction to Pitner's Gap, the same being a divide of the waters flowing northwestwardly and southeastwardly;
  • thence down the valley leading to Boyd's Creek to a point near Fox's Store on the seventeenth mile;
  • thence in a northeastwardly direction crossing Boyd's Creek near the stone bridge on the Sevierville Pike on the 20th mile;
  • thence in a southeastwardly direction to the lands of Robert Catlett at the mouth of Cannon Hollow, which is on the 23rd mile from Vestal--in a southeastwardly direction to the foothills south of Pigeon River;
  • thence southwest and parallel to the river to a point one-half mile northwest of Sevierville, and being twenty-six and one-third miles from Vestal and the ending of the line as located."

The road was constructed in four primary phases:

Phases Of Construction

1908 - 1910 Vestal to one mile west of Sevierville (KS&E)
Early-1910 One mile west of Sevierville to first permanent Sevierville depot (KS&E)
1916 - 1920 Sevierville to McCookville (Pigeon River Railroad)
1942 Ewing to Douglas Dam site (Smoky Mountain Railroad TVA Spur)

Places Along The Line

Left-clickable map showing the exact route of the Smoky Mountain Railroad and predecessor lines "Over the river and through the woods..." - Smoky Mountain Railroad in more detail. Single left-click on any station or flagstop to go direct to its description. Use your browser's BACK button to return to the map from the description. (Friends Of The Slow & Easy graphic)

Milepost Station Remarks "Then" Photos "Now" Photos
0 Knoxville Terminal Located in Second Creek valley at 847 - 848 W. Main Street. Leased from the Southern Railway. Connected to both the Southern's Knoxville & Augusta branchline to Maryville and the Knoxville Belt (present-day Knoxville & Holston River Railroad). Facilities consisted of:
  • Former Atlanta, Knoxville & Northern (later Knoxville, Cumberland Gap & Louisville) 2-story brick depot (1910 - 1936);
  • Wooden section house replacing the brick structure (1936 - abandonment);
  • Diesel fuel tank leased from Tinsley Tire Company (1954 - abandonment);
  • Five yard tracks.
Site was incorporated in the Knoxville International Energy Exposition (1982 World's Fair) as Australian Pavilion location. Now used as a University of Tennessee parking lot.
* *
2.2 Vestal Named for the Vestal family of Knoxville, including brothers Robert, Edward, and J. Park, officers of the Vestal Lumber and Manufacturing Company. Location of the switch or turnout where Smoky Mountain trains turned off the Southern's K&A branch and onto their own railroad proper. * *
3.4 Kincaid Origin of name to be determined. Located near the railroad's Martin Mill Pike level crossing. * *
About 3.7 Crusher Wye / Atlas Spur Located on Martin Mill Pike at the present-day Charter E. Doyle city park. Atlas Spur (off the east leg of the wye) served Royal Knox Marble Company quarry and crusher just off Stone Road to the northeast. Westbound locomotives turned here and backed the remaining three miles to Knoxville Terminal (to be headed in the correct direction for the next eastbound run to Sevierville) Just east of this location, powder magazines (hence the name, Magazine Road,) serving the quarry were constructed into the hillside below present-day Mooreland Heights Elementary School. Short, parallel railroad siding serving the magazines still visible in the ravine beneath the school. * *
4.9 Ford Named for the family owning the surrounding property. Located at intersection of Chapman Highway (U.S. 441) and Dick Ford Lane. * *
6.8 Clear Spring (formerly Lola) Named for one of the numerous springs located in the vicinity. Located just west of Houser bridge over Stock Creek. * *
8.4 Neuberts Named for the family owning the surrounding property. Located near the intersection of Tipton Station and Pickens Gap Roads. Key service point on the Smoky Mountain line. Facilities consisted of:
  • Water tank;
  • Handcar shed.
* *
9.4 Klondike Origin of name to be determined. Located on Pickens Gap Road at Bowman Mountain. Trains purportedly picked up and dropped off milk cans at Klondike. * *
12.2 Shooks Named for Shooks Gap in Bays Mountain. Located just east of Shooks Gap on Chapman Highway (U.S. 441 / S.R. 71). Rock cut, completed by Carolina, Knoxville & Western Railroad construction crews in 1887, was key in determining the route of the KS&E route. Facilities included:
  • Small depot;
  • Six-carlength siding, which housed Pacific #110 until its purchase by Mr. Terry Bloom in 1972 for restoration.
* *
15.0 Pitner Origin of the name to be determined. Located at the intersection of Old Sevierville Pike and Sundial Road. * *
17.6 Seymour Originally Newell's Station, later named Seymour in honor of W.A. Seymour, chief designer of the Knoxville, Sevierville & Eastern. Located just east of Trundle's Crossroads on Boyd's Creek Highway. First of three crossings of that highway by the Smoky Mountain line. * *
18.5 Oak City Origin of name to be determined. Location of a small settlement paralleling Boyd's Creek Highway to the south. Included a prosperous broom and chair factory, short siding, and general store. Second crossing of Boyd's Creek highway at grade located just to the east. * *
21.0 McMahan Origin of name to be determined. Located in center of present-day Boyd's Creek community. * *
22.6 Boyds Creek Named for the stream requiring construction of the largest trestle on the line (85 feet high, 100+ feet long). Located just north of the present day highway bridge over the Boyd's Creek. Unconfirmed location of a water tank. * *
25.0 Revilo Named (in reverse) for William J. Oliver, KS&E founder. Located at present-day Revilo Farm, near the northern mouth of Cannon Hollow. Ol' Smoky's third and final crossing of Boyd's Creek Highway. * *
27.6 Ewing (formerly Henderson) Origin of name to be determined. Located on Old Knoxville Highway near the southern mouth of Cannon Hollow. Location of switch leading to the Douglas Dam spur (1942-1943), a short siding, and rail bridge slightly east. * *
30.0 Sevierville Terminal Facilities consisted of:
  • Original (temporary) KS&E depot (early-1910), located on A.C. "Andy" Love property, just south of present-day Sevier County Fairgrounds;
  • Second (and first permanent) depot (early-1910 - circa 1918), located behind present-day Big Lots shopping center on W. Kilby Street;
  • Third depot (built for Pigeon River Railroad (circa 1918 - circa 1929), but jointly used by KS&E/K&C/T&NC), located on E. Bruce Street near the gas company (on the property of the former Murphy College;
Terminal itself, located behind present-day Foothills Wholesale Furniture store at Main Street (U.S. 441) and E. Kilby Street:
  • Freight house and final depot (circa 1940 - abandonment);
  • Engine house;
  • "Armstrong" turntable;
  • Water tower;
  • Coaling ramp;
  • Little Pigeon River rail bridge;
* *

Sidings (Other Than Knoxville and Sevierville Terminals)

Using maps, photographs, correspondence, and verbal information, the following sidings have (so far) been identified on the Smoky Mountain Railroad. Although this list may grow as new information is received, it is, in all likelihood, about 90%-complete.

Siding Milepost Length Capacity* Remarks
Lester Road (2 sidings) 2.9 500' and 500' 7 cars each Mainline and both sidings crossed Lester Road. Mainline was center track. North siding was dead end-type, accessed from the west. South siding was double-ended. One siding contained a car scale, possibly used for weighing of marble and crushed rock loads leaving Crusher Wye.
Atlas Spur 3.7 500' 9 cars Served as north leg of Crusher Wye for engine turning. Also served Royal Knox Marble Company quarry operation.
Mooreland Heights 3.9 120' 2 cars During KS&E-era, served powder magazines built into the hill. After construction of Mooreland Heights School just above, dead-end siding apparently was retained, possibly as a storage track. Accessed from the east.
Shooks 12.2 350' 6 cars Double-ended siding served store at the former Burnett's Station. Coal hoppers were spotted at Shooks when store proprietor Mr. Burnett sold coal to local residents.
Oak City 18.5 400' 7 cars During early-20th Century, dead-end siding served broom and chair factory. Siding was accessed from the east.
McMahan 21.0 600' 11 cars Double-ended siding served local farmers. Livestock loading ramp was probably located at this siding.
Ewing 27.6 Unknown Unknown Jim Holloway's location of a third rail confirms existence of this siding, used to spot cars supporting 1942-1943 construction of Douglas Dam.
Stokely Cannery 29.0 600' 11 cars Double-ended siding served the cannery, perhaps the line's most supportive shipper.
West Sevierville (2 sidings) 30.0 500' and 350' 9 and 6 cars East siding and mainline crossed U.S. 441 / 411 (Main Street), while west siding was dead-end. Original (permanent) KS&E depot was located here. In later years, west siding served a coal yard.
Temple's Feed & Seed 30.8 150' 2 cars Dead-end siding, accessed from the west, served Temple mill operations.
A.J. King Lumber 32.0 500' 9 cars Actually a short spur, dead-end track was accessed from the east. Lumber trains backed into the A.J. King property at about a 30-degree angle from the mainline.
* In 40' car lengths

For more detailed information about the "Slow & Easy," please E-mail us!

Website design and graphics copyright © 1999 - 2012 Friends Of The Slow & Easy

TrainWeb.org Facebook Page