Railfest Train Image - Southern 630

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Railfest Chattanooga

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  1. Event Details
  2. Cost
  3. Food Choices
  4. Train Times
    1. Dinner on the Diner
    2. Missionary Ridge Local
    3. Chickamauga Turn

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Event Details:

Railfest is TVRM’s celebration of the crucial role railroads played in the creation and development of our community. Enjoy local food and craft vendors, as well as educational exhibitors displaying crafts and industries that were revolutionized or changed by the advent of trains. Chattanooga - once a village - was transformed into a booming city by railroads and innovative minds settling our beautiful city.

The music during Railfest represents the folk music traditions that influenced so many railroad and traveling songs. Everything about Railfest, from the music, local food vendors and crafting displays to the regular train schedule and special equipment displays represent a community built, revolutionized and transformed by railroads. (All times are Eastern Daylight Time.)

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Event Details

  • Friday Night: Railfest Kick-off concert
  • Saturday and Sunday: rides and exhibitors


  • $65/person includes: Friday night kick-off concert with access to VIP lounge which includes: Office Car 98, Sleeper Car Clover Colony, and Observation Car 6604. Chattanooga Whiskey will be set up in 98 dining room. Hutton and Smith will be set up in 6604. VIP guests receive free beverage tastings as well as meal voucher from one of the food vendors. VIP ticket includes access to all Railfest activities on Saturday and Sunday.
Best value ($25 Adults and $20 Child) includes Friday night concert and Event access Saturday and Sunday.
  • $25/Adult $20/Child includes: Friday night kick-off concert, entry to Railfest on Saturday and Sunday.
Fun Value ($25 Adult and $20 Child) Event access Saturday and/or Sunday
  • $25/Adult $20/Child includes: Entry to Railfest on Saturday and Sunday.
Photography Pass($10) access for photography only (Saturday and Sunday Only)
  • No train rides

September 7, Friday Night: Railfest Kick-off concert:
  • 5:30 p.m. - gates open. Food and Beverage vendors available
  • 5:30 - 6:55 p.m.: Special Photoshoot with star Steam engines 630 and 4501 at Grand Junction station
  • 7:00 p.m. - Frank Fairfield and Meredith Axelrod take the stage
  • 8:00 p.m. - Jake Leg Stompers take the stage
  • 9:00 p.m. - Concert concludes

Dinner on the Diner:

Dinner on the Diner include a three-course dining experience usually on board a restored 1924 dining car. Excursion trains will depart from Chattanooga's Grand Junction Station in the evening, traveling at a leisurely pace through portions of urban East Chattanooga before reversing direction and returning to Grand Junction.

Dinner on the Diner Tickets


Listen to our Youtube playlist of the featured artists


Food Vendors:

(Chick-N-Nooga, Rub On My Shoulder, Clumpies Ice Cream, Hot Chocolatier, Hutton and Smith Brewing, Chattanooga Whiskey)



Saturday and Sunday:

Throughout each day, Missionary Ridge Local trains will operate on a convenient, frequent schedule. The Local runs from Grand Junction through Missionary Ridge Tunnel to East Chattanooga and return. Railfest ticket holders can ride these trains on an unlimited basis as space allows. Steam locomotives #630 and #4501 are expected to rotate in service on Missionary Ridge Local trains, with the possibility of several types of diesel participating...some of which might be a surprise!
Daily Missionary Ridge Local Schedule:

  • 9:30 departure (Saturday only)
  • 10:40 departure
  • 12:05 departure
  • 1:15 departure
  • 2:25 departure
  • 3:35 departure


Extended Shop Tours:

Extended shop tours (approx. 1 hour) are available of Soule Shops at East Chattanooga as an upgrade of $15 to your VIP or Railfest ticket.

  • 9:30 a.m. (Saturday only)
  • 10:40 a.m.
  • 1:15 p.m.
  • 2:25 p.m.


The Chickamauga Turn excursion train will operate on Saturday to historic Chickamauga, Georgia and return.  Check into upgraded tickets which include the dining car luncheon!  The expected motive power for this trip is Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia Railway GP38 #80, the "John A. Chambliss".

Just interested in buying tickets for the Chickamauga excursion?  Click below for a link.  Your Chickamauga excursion ticket includes Railfest admission!




Highlighted this year will be locomotives from the Southern Railway (part of today's Norfolk Southern.)  In addition to our two classic steam locomotives #630 & #4501 which will be in operation, "tuxedo" painted GP30 #2594 will be viewable.  Several other locomotives will be on display as well --- newly-painted Southern "Crescent" E8 #6914 will make its public debut on Saturday!



Operating model railroads and exhibits will be presented by Chattanooga Model Area Model Railroad Club, Coosa Valley Model Railroad Association, Georgia Garden Railway Society, Chattanooga Modular Modelers, Tennessee Valley Lego Club, and the Chattanooga Society of Model Engineers.  Try out an old-fashioned “pump car” courtesy of TVRM member Mark Fuhrman.  There will be coloring pages, play tables, blacksmith demonstrations, bounce house, and more.  Holes to Go will provide a fun miniature golf course.  Other exhibitors include Choo Choo Forge Blacksmiths, Poppy Creek Farm (conducting a "sheep to shawl" demonstration), antique automobiles and tractors, track work demonstrations, a miniature "live steam" version of 4501, and a "Rosie the Riveter" historic reenactor.


The first and last move of the day will be "double-headed" steam as #630 and #4501 run together making positioning moves.

A "locomotive parade" is planned to close out the festival on Sunday afternoon.


TVRM thanks our Railfest sponsors: Chattanooga Times Free Press, Coca-Cola and Pizza Hut.

Buy Your Tickets Now!

All Aboard at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum!

Aboard the Tennessee Valley Railroad, you will ride a rolling time machine providing the sights and sounds of yesteryear.