Lots of people think that the rail in the gorge now is the old ET&WNC rail, but it isn't. It was pulled up and scrapped in 1951, but they left in the double bridges so if there was a forest fire down in there they could get in the upper end of the gorge to fight it. The rail that L&S put in was bought from the receivers of the Smoky Mountain Railroad, A. J. King Lumber down in Sevierville. The poor old Smoky Mountain Railroad ran from the Knoxville Southern Railway station up to Sevierville, and at one time had run all the way to McCookeville, halfway between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg. It wheezed along and finally starved to death sometime in the early 1960's, and King had the rail at a racehorse price. A lot of it is pretty worn out, but it will last us a long time up in the gorge.
Below I am with my friends Allen and Dana Goodwin just after Loest & Stanley relaid the track in the gorge in 1968 I think. This is on the "over bridge", on the Johnson City side of the double bridge tunnel