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Regional History

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is not just a testament to the golden age of railroads but also a deep dive into the rich regional history of Tennessee. From the booming industrial revolution that once steamed across its tracks to the people who built a life around the railways, the museum captures the essence of a bygone era, revealing stories that shaped the landscape of the Tennessee Valley.

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is located in a region with a rich history. Here you will find file resources so that you can enjoy the many articles that have featured our region’s history. Click the Learn More links below to access the files.


In the 1830s, the frontier that was East Tennessee needed improved transportation to  reach seaports and commercial centers east of the Appalachians. The first step, in late-1831,  was the chartering of the Lynchburg and New  River Railroad, designed to link the James River and Kanawha Canal at Lynchburg, Va., with the Tennessee River at Knoxville.


Over 50 years ago, in 1961, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) was founded by a group of Chattanooga-area railfans. Most of these guys were members of the Atlanta Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, who were tired of driving over 200 miles round trip on pre-Interstate highways just to attend the monthly meetings. A couple of years after TVRM was formed, one of the founders, Paul Merriman, purchased steam locomotive No. 12 from the dieselizing Kentucky & Tennessee Railroad of Stearns.


The year 2013 marks one of the sesquicentennial anniversaries of the Civil War. Mark Brainard, a keen Civil War historian (and re-enactment participant), is also a volunteer at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga.  TVRM owns and operates three miles of former Southern Railway right-of-way that, it turns out for Civil War aficionados, is hallowed ground.

The Historic Couey House: A Testament to Resilience and Craftsmanship in Chattooga County

The Historic Couey House: A Testament to Resilience and Craftsmanship in Chattooga County In the serene landscapes of north Georgia, one would find monuments to early American history – few as compelling as the Couey House. Constructed in the 1840s by Andrew M. Solland Couey, this house stands as one of the first pioneer homes…

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October 3, 2023

Summerville’s Historic Railroad Turntable

The Historic Summerville Railroad Turntable: A Testament to the Golden Age of Railroads In the heart of Summerville lies a relic from a bygone era, a testament to the days when railroads were the lifeblood of commerce and travel. The Summerville Railroad Turntable, a massive 90-ton steel structure, stands as a symbol of the golden…

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October 1, 2023

Breathing New Life into the F7A: Inside the Restoration of TVRM 576

Breathing New Life into the F7A: Inside the Restoration of TVRM 576 Last month, the workshops at Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum buzzed with renewed energy as a brand new project chugged into its care – the recently acquired F7A, christened TVRM 576. This locomotive, a vestige of rail history and engineering prowess, has now embarked…

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September 30, 2023