As you can see, I am standing on the flat grade. From the Clingmans Dome parking area take the trail toward Andrews Bald. Turn right onto Forney Creek Trail. Go about a 1/4 mile and look for a cairn on teh right. The old RR grade is pretty obvious. Turn right off Forney Creek trail onto the grade. You will see rails, coal, etc and then will come upon the boiler. So, its a MYTH....a train did not wreck on Clingmans Dome! HOWEVER there is a boiler there!
Norwood Boiler below Clingmans Dome
When I was growing up I heard about a train that wrecked on Clingmans Dome and rolled down the mountain. Of course that was a definate legend to chase! So, a few years ago I found that it was a MYTH. Here is the story as I know it. Before 1926 the Norwood Lumber Company clear-cut basically the south side of Clingmans Dome. I do not know how far down however. What I do know is that there is a lot of evidence remaining. Many RR grades, skidder trails, rails, coal, etc. are all over the mountain. The "train" that is below the Dome is actually a boiler which produced steam to operate a winch to pull logs up the mountain to train cars. If you have been to the massive piece of metal it is lying in its side. I saw a picture (which I am trying to get a copy of) that has the boiler standing upright. When I get a copy I will post it. Here is the boiler...
Posted by Jeff Wadley