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Missionary Ridge Local train, featuring a historic steam engine, at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, showcasing the rich railway heritage.

Ascending New Heights: Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum Joins Prestigious Southern Highlands Attractions

Since its inception, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) has stood as a testament to the rich history and enduring legacy of our nation’s railways. Now, TVRM is proud to announce that it has joined the ranks of the Southern Highlands Attractions (SHA), an exclusive assembly of the finest tourist destinations found along the southern stretch of the Appalachian Mountains.

Being invited into the SHA is a significant honor as membership is by invitation only and extended only to organizations that meet strict operational and visitor attendance criteria. Among its members, the SHA includes iconic heritage sites such as the Biltmore Estate, Shenandoah Caverns, The Blowing Rock, Rock City, and Ruby Falls.

In early 2016, TVRM was approached with interest by the SHA. After several visits and evaluations, TVRM was unanimously voted to become the 19th member attraction in September. This new affiliation brings an additional layer of credibility to our mission and operations. It not only enhances our reputation but also raises our profile among the most renowned tourist destinations in the country.

The benefits of this membership are manifold. From exchanges in best practices to improved visibility through cross-promotion, this association with SHA also mandates a high level of service. Regular performance monitoring through secret shopper calls and on-site visits ensure we maintain our commitment to excellence.

One of the initial benefits was an invitation by PGAV Destinations, a globally recognized attraction and exhibit design firm, to its headquarters. This visit offered valuable insights into the importance of strategic master planning. Another opportunity was provided by Biltmore Estates that allowed a close look at its best-in-class customer service and employee engagement programs.

While membership to SHA brings its share of challenges, it is a challenge that we at TVRM are ready to meet head-on. We are committed to delivering unforgettable experiences to our visitors and preserving our region’s rich railway history.

We believe that through the accountability and collaborative exchange within the SHA, we will be a better organization. TVRM is excited for what lies ahead in our journey, and we can’t wait to welcome more visitors to experience our railway heritage.