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Tennessee Valley Railroad News

Smoke & Cinders (2020) – 2020, Certainly Not The Year We Planned

2020, Certainly Not The Year We Planned To our members, annual pass holders, supporters and friends – It’s hard to write a newsletter that spans from the end of the fourth quarter of 2019 (by most measurements a good year) through four quarters of 2020 that doesn’t make the Coronavirus Pandemic the central story line….

DAY OUT WITH THOMAS™ IS PULLING INTO TENNESSEE VALLEY RAILROAD MUSEUM FOR AN OUTDOOR PARTY YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS! Chattanooga, TN 04.14.21 All aboard! Thomas the Tank Engine will be hosting outdoor events at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum on May 1, 2, 8, 15, & 16, 2021. With extensive health and safety protocols in place, this fun-filled…

Smoke & Cinders (1st Quarter 2018) – Hiwassee River Railroad: Always an Adventure

Hiwassee River Railroad: Always an Adventure The Hiwassee District of TVRM had a banner year 2018. We set an attendance record of over 18,000 passengers, established a new ride option for schools and a new-to-us Dome Car was put in service in September. We also completed needed additions to our infrastructure at the Gee Creek…

Smoke & Cinders (2nd Quarter 2018) – It All Started with A Birthday Party

It All Started with A Birthday Party Second of two part series The 6914’s restoration is the first, complete diesel locomotive restoration done at TVRM. Refurbishing the cab was one of our biggest hurdles. Before TVRM began work on the E8, the cab had been almost completely stripped. There was no floor, no brake equipment,…

Smoke & Cinders (3rd Quarter 2018) – Doubleheading at TVRM

Doubleheading at TVRM If there’s anything more exciting than a train powered by a steam locomotive, it’s a train powered by two steam locomotives. Some of our most popular excursions include TVRM’s Summerville Steam Specials, when Southern 630 and 4501 are on the point. While these trips provide a lot of sensory stimulation, a more…

Smoke & Cinders (4th Quarter 2018) – Thirty Tons of Archives

Thirty Tons of Archives The Southern Railway Historical Association was formed at the former Southern Railway’s Spencer Shops, now The North Carolina Transportation Museum, in 1986. Almost immediately individuals and Norfolk Southern recognized “SRHA” as a group that was strongly focused and interested in preserving the history of Southern Railway. TVRM and SRHA’s mutual interest…

Smoke & Cinders (2nd Quarter 2017) – What it takes to put on an event

What it takes to put on an event While about 70% of our ridership comes from passengers on our “regular” trains (Missionary Ridge Local, Hiwassee and North Georgia), the remaining 30% come from special events. Those 30% of our riders represent 57% of our passenger revenue due to the higher prices charged for the events….

Smoke & Cinders (3rd Quarter 2017) – Riding in Luxury

Riding in Luxury In the last issue of Smoke and Cinders we talked about the special events that are used to boost TVRM’s income. While these events generate a higher ticket price (and cost) they represent a relatively small part of our operating schedule. For a much longer part of the year we operate off…

Smoke & Cinders (4th Quarter 2017) – Being in Select Company – TVRM Joins the SHA

Being in Select Company – TVRM Joins the SHA Biltmore Estate…Shenandoah Caverns…The Blowing Rock…Rock City…Ruby Falls. These iconic heritage attractions bring to mind the very best of historic and scenic destinations, but they have something else in common. Each of these locations is a member of the prestigious Southern Highlands Attractions, or SHA – a…

Smoke & Cinders (1st Quarter 2017) – The First 55 Years

The First 55 Years I remember the day that steam locomotive 630 rolled out of the shop for test runs in the spring of 2011. Shop Foreman George Walker had the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis wooden caboose hooked up behind 630 so that employees could go for a ride behind the newly-restored steam engine….