Chattanooga Station FAQs
Who owns the railroad?
The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit, an educational corporation which is membership based. Every ticket sold is a fundraiser to allow the continued operation of our historic trains. The train crews are made up of trained volunteers or TVRM staff.
What is the purpose of TVRM?
The mission of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) is to collect for preservation, operation, interpretation, 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.
Can I ride a real train?
TVRM runs full-sized, historic trains upon which you can purchase a ticket and take a ride. It is an educational and entertaining experience. The trains are pulled by vintage diesel engines or steam locomotives, depending on the service type, date selected, or operating conditions.
Does the train run if it is raining?
Tennessee Valley Railroad trains operate rain or shine. The coaches are fully covered, enclosed from the elements, and have heat if needed.
Where do I board the train?
All trains beginning in Chattanooga must be boarded at Grand Junction Station unless otherwise specified. Chattanooga Grand Junction Station is located at 4119 Cromwell Road near the intersection of Highway 153 and Jersey Pike, in Chattanooga, Tennessee 37421. Get Directions to Chattanooga Grand Junction
Are there restroom facilities on the train?
Restroom facilities are available at our depots for Missionary Ridge Local, Day Out With Thomas, and North Pole Limited passengers. For longer train rides such as Chickamauga Turn, Dinner in the Diner, Summerville Steam Specials, and some others, restrooms are available on the train.
Is it like riding in a bus?
It is similar as far as boarding because you enter by climbing stairs and then walk down an aisle between rows of seats. Unlike a bus however, some of the train car seats can be turned to make a group of four.
Can I reserve tickets in advance?
Missionary Ridge Local tickets are sold on a “walk up” basis at the depot before each departure time. However, advanced tickets are sold online for most of our longer trips such as Chickamauga Turn, Dinner in the Diner, Summerville Steam Specials, and others. Many of our most popular events, including the North Pole Limited, Day Out With Thomas, and Halloween Eerie Express will require pre-purchase and will sell out well in advance.
Can we get up and walk around on the train?
Depending on operating conditions, passengers can move about on the train.
Is the train air-conditioned or heated?
Most of our coaches are air-conditioned and heated. A few are adjustable window cars on which the windows are raised to allow airflow.
Can I visit the museum but not ride the train?
TVRM is not a typical museum with a building and glass cases of artifacts on display. We are a museum in motion, so the operating train is the museum. Patrons are required to purchase a ticket to ride. This is TVRM’s source of income to allow continued railroad preservation work.
If we are running late, will you hold the train for us?
Unfortunately, as much as we try to accommodate all our visitors, we generally can’t delay a train full of passengers. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Note that Chattanooga is in the Eastern Time Zone.
Can I smoke on the train?
Smoking is prohibited on all trains and in all stations by State law.
Will the expected locomotive, car, or schedule be available?
TVRM reserves the right to substitute equipment or motive power and to alter published fares, times of operation, and destination as mechanical or operating conditions require, without notice.
Can we bring our pet on the train?
For the comfort of all passengers, only professionally trained service animals are allowed on the train.
Is food available on the train?
There is no food service on board Missionary Ridge Local trains, however, you can purchase food or snacks in the Grand Junction Depot Deli. Our longer rides such as Chickamauga Turn and Summerville Steam Specials generally include a commissary car which sells food, snack items, and souvenirs. Of course, dinner trains and some other trips with appropriate ticketing include a specified meal.
Can I bring food and beverages on the train?
Food and beverages may be consumed while on board all trains. Please help keep our trains clean and use trash receptacles. Report any problems to the conductor or train crew. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on TVRM property or trains.
Is there room for a camper truck or trailer in the parking lot?
TVRM has a large parking lot with plenty of room. Only on the busiest of days might there not be convenient parking for oversized vehicles such as Day Out With Thomas or other special events.
Do you accept monetary donations?
All contributions to TVRM are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated. We recognize all contributors by a letter of receipt, and a listing in the organization’s publication, Smoke & Cinders.
What other attractions are nearby?
After you’ve enjoyed your ride at TVRM, consider visiting the other wonderful attractions offered around Chattanooga and the surrounding area. You can check with the Chattanooga Area Convention & Visitors Bureau for more information: www.chattanoogafun.com
Where should I stay overnight?
Chattanooga has many options such as campgrounds, bed & breakfast locations, and hotels. See the Chattanooga Area Convention & Visitors Bureau website for more information: www.chattanoogafun.com. Consider the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel complex if you’d like to stick with a railroad theme! www.choochoo.com
I have tickets for a Hiwassee train trip. Do I go to Chattanooga first?
Hiwassee River Rail Adventure trips must be boarded in Etowah, Tennessee. It is approximately a 90-minute drive from Chattanooga to Etowah.
Is the train accessible for wheelchairs?
Historic rail cars and stations were built before the advent of technology which accommodates people with special needs. Our rail cars and the Summerville station were not designed to accommodate wheelchairs safely. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recognizes the limitations of such historic rail equipment and expressly exempts trains and stations of this type from accessibility requirements. Though we cannot accommodate wheelchair use or access within our historical passenger cars, all persons who can board the train themselves and occupy a standard passenger seat are welcome and encouraged to ride.
Are online ticket purchases secure?
You can rest assured that communications (e.g. credit card numbers) between your browser and this site's web servers are private and secure when the session is activated. Your privacy is important to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Personal information will not be sold, rented, shared, or made available at any time to any outside party.
I still have questions, how do I contact you?
If there is something else we can help you with, please contact us!