Tennessee Narrow Gauge

Tennessee Narrow Gaugecover

A & R Productions

Length: 70 minutes

Time Period: 1942- 1950

Locations:Johnson City, Elizabethton, Doe River Gorge, Blevins, TN – Cranberry, NC.

Sources: Vince Ryan and Jack Alexander

MSRP: 30.00

Eastern Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad. That name is a mouthful. WT&WNCRR. Still, too long. Tweetsie? Yes, this was the common nickname. This narrow gauge line interchanged with Clinchfield and Southern Railway at Johnson City. Last operating 3 foot gauge in this part of the country.

ET&WNCRR Historical Society had a collection of these rare films. A&R Productions agreed to produce this program. First collection was from 1942 to 1943. Second collection dates from 1949.

1943 elizabethton 9Ten Wheelers do put on a fine show. Number 9 smokes it up on the scenic Tweetsie.

Ted Dalaku narrates a well written script. Assorted viewpoints and creativity from the cinematographers. Color 8mm film that has a clean appearance. Audio is full of train sounds, some nature and more. Banjo music spices up the soundtrack. A handful of fun shots that feature the two photographers add a little humor.

tweetsie mapHistory of Tweetsie and trackage are thoroughly explained with this map.

11 gorgeFascinating 1942 train ride onboard the caboose and steam locomotive 11. Elizabethton to Blevins, via spectacular Doe River Gorge. Train continues to destination at Cranberry. Brief scenes of engine servicing and switching are included. Travel westbound from Cranberry too.

tweetsie 11 loco gorgetrainDoe River Gorge is memorable. Many views give a great sense of traversing the line here.

1943 cranberry 11 passengerCameras returned in 1943. Action is centered around Cranberry. More Doe River Gorge. Similar in style, but different facets are shown. Wartime passenger service has been required by the War Board. Shots from onboard the trains have an excess of shaky views. Not as smooth overall, as the 1942 footage. Increased variety of trains in this year.

1950 last run 11The Last Run by Number 11 in 1950, was the curtain call for the Tweetsie.

tweetsie caboose

Tennessee Narrow Gauge does provide a detailed overview of the railroad. A & R has a nicely produced program.  An interesting visit to a bygone time.

Rating: 4 Stars

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