The mission of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is to preserve, operate, interpret and display railroad artifacts in an authentic setting to educate the public concerning the role of railroads in the history and development of our region. Trips depart from Etowah, Tenn. as well as Chattanooga, Tenn., covering a historic 3-mile route that includes the Missionary Ridge Tunnel, completed in 1858 and on the National Register of Historic Places.
The tunnel is the primary reason TVRM runs on the section of the former Southern Railway that it does. Modern railroad equipment grew too large to pass through and the single-track tunnel. In order to avoid the resulting traffic jam, Southern Railway abandoned that portion of the line and built a new section around the end of Missionary Ridge, avoiding the tunnel altogether.
Today, TVRM preserves railroad equipment not only to preserve the beautiful machines, but to preserve the experience of rail travel as well. In providing this historic experience, TVRM hopes to educate its visitors about the importance of this industry and how it helped create the modern world in which we live.
Trips vary seasonally; check website for schedule. 4119 Cromwell Road, Chattanooga, Tenn. (423) 894-8028. Buy tickets.