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...

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!


  1. hey jeff,
    i work at channel 10 and our heartland crew did a piece on this a few years ago, and the photo was in it......

    i'll try to see if they can show it soon.....


  2. Cool beans! Dwight is supposed to get me a copy of the boiler in operation. It stood vertical rather than horizontal.

    1. Husband and I tried to find this today, following your directions. No cairn was anywhere to be found, we walked over a mile, well past the 1/4 mile in as you stated. Never saw a railroad bed area, or a flat grade even. Obviously, we have just missed it completely. Can you advise us any further?

  3. yeah.......from my memory of the piece, it stood straight up......and there was some other metal piece (maybe a hotbox or something like that) right below it..

    it could be the same photo.......

    i'll let ya know when the heartland will run it (i've talked with them and when it comes around in a "theme" they said they'd run it)...


  4. hey jeff,
    the heartland piece is now up.....

    on, check under heartland........