Railfest Information & Schedule

Tennessee Valley Railfest 2017

Tennessee Valley Railfest is a special celebration of railroading and a great opportunity to visit the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum to see the railroad history which has been preserved over the last 56 years! Trains will be running throughout each day: Missionary Ridge Local and other special excursions. Special exhibits and displays highlight Railfest, making it a wonderful time to visit! The price is right: Only slightly more than the standard trip rate!  Visit during Railfest and enjoy equipment not normally open for inspection, operating model railroads, special exhibits, demonstrations, live music, train bounce, coloring pages, play tables, petting zoo, pony rides (slight additional charge), blacksmith demonstrations, and more. Festival food vendors will be present to make sure you don't go hungry! Trains will be everywhere - both at TVRM and on the adjacent Norfolk Southern line. Plenty to see and do! Cost is $25 per adult and $20 per child.

What is "photographer entry"? If you don't expect to ride any trains but want to attend Railfest for the experience and/or to take photos, this lower-cost option may be for you. This pass is available for $10 per person (even includes Saturday night photo session!)


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

Dinner on the Diner:


An evening Dinner on the Diner train will run on Saturday, departing at 7 pm for a two-hour dining experience from the "Golden Age of Railroading."



A Railfest version of 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!




Note: Due to traveling concerns related to weather on the Eastern coast, previously advertised NS Lawmen Band will not be performing at Railfest.  We apologize for any disappointment, but the situation was unavoidable.

Saturday Entertainment: AC Junction; Morgan Clark Band

Sunday Entertainment: Smooth Flight Jazz Band; Bethany Grace

Mike Edwards will entertain children each day with "balloon twisting" animals and more!



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, a special "diesel lineup" will be displayed for photographs.  These handsome locomotives are resplendent in their "tuxedo" paint scheme of black with a silver stripe (actually Imitation Aluminum): SD70 #3170, GP30 #2594, and our most recent acquisition, GP38-2 #5000.  Several other locomotives will be on display as well.



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, Tennessee/Alabama/Georgia Model Railroad, and the Chattanooga Society of Model Engineers.  An old-fashioned “pump car” will be attending courtesy of TVRM member Mark Fuhrman.  There will be coloring pages, play tables, blacksmith demonstrations, bounce house, petting zoo, pony rides*, and more.  Holes to Go will provide a fun miniature golf course, and Mr. Adams Handcars* will be on hand for kid-powered crank car rides.  Representatives from Operation Lifesaver will be in attendance to discuss safety of modern railroading with visitors. Local artists Frank Crowe and Jim Jordan will display and sell their railroad-related artwork.   *slight additional charge


  • Extended shop tours (approx. 1 hour) are available of Soule Shops at East Chattanooga as an "add-on" to your Railfest ticket. These passholders will travel to East Chattanooga on a Missionary Ridge Local train and layover for their tour before riding back to Grand Junction on the following train.
  • The first and last move of the day will be "doubleheaded" steam as #630 and #4501 run together making positioning moves.
  • A "locomotive parade" is planned to close out the festival on Sunday afternoon.


Join TVRM for our inaugural Rail Baron's Bash to kick off Railfest on Friday evening!

This wonderful fundraising event includes drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and live jazz music beginning at 5:30 p.m. followed by a dinner train at 7:30 p.m. You will also be able to take a sneak peek tour of the amazing "Railroad Timekeeping" watch and clock exhibit at Grand Junction Depot and a behind-the-scenes tour of Office Car 98 (the Eden Isle). There will be entertainment on board the dinner train and also a special prize giveaway!

Your tickets will include two drink tickets, a seat on the dinner train, and a pass to Railfest.  All event proceeds will go toward the restoration of Car 98, which turns 100 years old this year.

You will not want to miss this special evening! It is the first event of its kind at our museum!


We hope to see you at Railfest!


Food will be available at the festival from TVRM's own Depot Deli (see menu) and vendors Pizza Hut and Summer Snow shaved ice. 

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