Experience a timeless blend of a traditional tea on the second floor of Grand Junction Depot and a historic train journey with the Homefront Tea Room – A Tea in the Depot Experience. Savor a full tea service replete with a selection of treats and a 65-minute train ride (on select dates); book your tickets for a memorable afternoon.
OPENING WEEKEND – STEAM MISSIONARY RIDGE LOCAL
Experience the History of Chattanooga on the Missionary Ridge Local Train Ride
- Adult Ages 13+
- Child Ages 2 - 12
- Infant Under 2
All Aboard for a Steam-Powered Historical Adventure
The buzz of anticipation is palpable as the Steam Missionary Ridge Local prepares for its grand opening on March 2-3, promising a weekend brimming with excitement and historical reverence. This event is more than just a celebration of the return of the iconic steam locomotive to the tracks; it’s a heartfelt homage to the rich legacy and enduring charm of steam railroading.
As enthusiasts and families alike eagerly await this momentous occasion, there’s a growing sense of excitement about witnessing the grandeur of the steam engine as it makes its way along the storied Missionary Ridge. This event is set to be a vivid tapestry of enthusiasm, nostalgia, and community spirit, uniting those who share a deep appreciation for the golden era of rail travel.
The Steam Weekend is not merely a ride on a train; it’s a passage through time, an enlightening journey, and a unique chance to connect with a crucial chapter in the history of transportation.
Missionary Ridge Local (MRL) Steam Schedule:
- 9:30 AM – Southern 630(tickets)
- 11:00 AM – Southern 4501(tickets)
- 12:30 PM – Southern 630(tickets)
- 2:00 PM – Southern 4501(tickets)
- 3:30 PM – Southern 630(tickets)
- 15 minute trip to East Chattanooga Depot – 3 miles
- 25 minutes for turntable demonstration (left side of map) and backshop tour (left side of map)
- 15 minute return trip to Grand Junction – 3 miles
- A 6-mile roundtrip ride
- A tour guide who will discuss local history and railroad operations
- Crossing of the Chickamauga Creek bridge
- Pass through our pre-Civil War tunnel, completed in 1858
- A demonstration of our turntable, turning the locomotive around for the return trip
The term “Local” refers to shorter trains that were once a lifeline to small towns along the railroad. Local trains featured frequent stops and services that included mail delivery, shipping of local produce, meat and dairy products, and for some children, even their daily ride to school!
Imagine as you stand on the platform as the train arrives… the train rolls to a stop with the ground rumbling beneath your feet, you feel a mounting sense of anticipation. The conductor calls the long-awaited signal: “Board!” Excitement builds as passengers scurry to their seats, looking forward to a relaxing trip aboard the train, on to their next destination. This was a regular occurrence 100 years ago… and it still is today on the Missionary Ridge Local!
Missionary Ridge Local trips begin at the Grand Junction depot and take passengers along one of the original railroad lines into Chattanooga, crossing bridges and diving through the Missionary Ridge Tunnel before arriving at the other side of our museum, East Chattanooga.
The train stops at East Chattanooga, allowing riders off the train to watch the locomotive rotating on a turntable and participate in a tour of the railroad restoration shop before re-boarding for the return trip. Round trip time is slightly less than one hour – a great introductory train ride for kids!Our wheel shop is unique because it is the only place in North America where all three of these machines can be found under one roof. Our shop is home to a 90” diameter wheel lathe, a journal lathe and quartering machine, all manufactured by the Niles Company.To date, approximately two dozen different steam locomotives have had their wheels repaired in our wheel shop, and we’ll list a few here: TVRM 610, SOU 630, SOU 4501, WMSR 1309, ARR 557, MIlW 261, UP 844, BC&G 4, GW 75, CP 2816, NCSL 576, USSC 148 and quite a few others.
Join our engineer in the cab of the locomotive for the ultimate train ride experience!
Steam locomotive: $55 for one-way ride and $80 round trip ride per person. Limit two riders per trip; age: 12-14 accompanied with an adult, 15 and up unaccompanied.
Diesel Locomotive: $35 for one-way ride and $50 round trip ride per person. Limit two riders per trip; minimum age 10-14 accompanied by an adult, 15 and up unaccompanied.
**All cab riders are required to wear long pants without rips or holes and close-toed shoes. Protective eyewear and earplugs will be available at check-in.
All cab ride tickets are first-come, first-served. Cab riders without long pants without rips or holes and close-toed shoes will not be permitted to ride in the cab.
Starting in Chattanooga, our trips are based out of the 4119 Cromwell Road location. This includes any North Georgia routes going to Chickamauga or Summerville!
Historic rail cars and stations were built before the advent of accommodations for individuals with special needs. Our passenger cars and Summerville station were not designed to safely accommodate wheelchairs. 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 are able to board the train themselves and occupy a standard passenger seat are welcomed and encouraged to ride.
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.