Altitude: 1,560 feet
Railroad construction into western North Carolina’s mountain terrain posed a number of challenges to engineers. In addition to having to overcome the steepness of incline necessary to traverse the region, rail engineers also sought means of avoiding protracted detours while essentially paralleling rivers or their tributaries. One method employed was the use of tunnels to breach the mountains rather than follow the course of the river. Near the site of a later rail station that would be named Whiting was Indian Ridge Tunnel, a six hundred foot tunnel that allowed the railroad to avoid a bend in the Little Tennessee River. In other instances, as in the attempt to breach the mountains at Red Marble Gap into Cherokee County, N.C., the soil would prove too malleable to support a tunnel.
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