Brian Boyd's "The Tallulah Falls Railroad, A Photographic Remembrance" is a triumphant work of railroad photography. What railroad enthusiast isn't drawn to the cover with "old 78" making its way across a trestle? This is a fun work, and we are glad Brian has given us permission to reprint our favorite portion of the book, a piece he calls:
Perhaps the most distinguishing single characteristic of the Tallulah Falls Railroad was its fascinating variety of trademark trestles. Forty-two of these massive wooden wonders had to be negotiated along the scenic fifty-eight mile journey from Cornelia (Georgia) to Franklin (North Carolina), each having to bear the full weight of a 140,000 lb. locomotive and its heavy load. It is these forty-two trestles which created much of the line's personality, and more than any other single feature dramatically reflected the type of country that the TFRR served - rugged, wild and often dangerous.
The trestles of the Tallulah Falls Railroad were quite varied. The shortest of the trestles was approximately 25 feet in length, while the longest is generally considered to be the 940 feet long scenic wonder which skirted the rooftops over the town of Tallulah Falls. The only exception to the wooden trestles along the line was the massive 585 feet long steel and concrete bridge spanning Tallulah Lake.
Though numerous accidents and mishaps occurred along the many TFRR trestles, most were rather minor. The dangerous reputation these structures held came primarily from two collapses: in 1898 at Panther Creek and in 1927 at Hazel Creek. Both mishaps resulted in fatalities. The accident at Hazel Creek produced some of the railroad's most memorable and dramatic photographs.