The Old Line Railroad is a 47-mile stretch of rail line that was once part of a railroad built in 1890 to connect Knoxville, Tennessee to Atlanta, Georgia. Winding through some of the most scenic landscapes in southeastern Tennessee, the line follows the Hiwassee Scenic River as it passes through the Historic District of Reliance, into the Cherokee National Forest, over the famous Hiwassee Loop, and on to Copperhill, Tennessee. It is now home to the Hiwassee River Rail Adventures, scenic train excursions that run from April – November.
Upon its completion in 1890, the Old Line Railroad passed through many owners, eventually becoming part of the CSX system. It remained in service until 2001, when CSX announced plans to abandon the line. In 2002, thanks to a loan from Glenn Springs Holding, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Oxy Petroleum, the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association purchased the line. In 2003 Tennessee Valley Authority repaired a 13-mile segment of the line in order to gain access to Appalachia Powerhouse, thereby opening up a segment of the line for limited passenger train service. The following year a temporary freight project made it possible to rehabilitate the rest of the line. Today, through a partnership with Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and the City of Etowah, the entire line is now open for passenger train excursions. In 2007 a 19-mile section of the line, between the historic District of Reliance and Farner, Tennessee was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Old Line Railroad Coalition, Glenn Springs Holding, Inc., Oxy Petroleum, Southeast Tennessee Development District, Southeast Tennessee Development Association, Appalachian Regional Commission, USDA Rural Development, Tennessee Historical Commission, Tennessee State Parks, McMinn County, Polk County, City of Etowah, Tennessee Valley Authority, Etowah Chamber of Commerce, and Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.