If you haven’t been keeping track, trains are weaved throughout Chattanooga’s history and still influence the city’s current path.
May 8 is National Train Day, so let’s get rolling on the city’s locomotive history + current must-do train excursions.
DYK: Amtrak created National Train Day in 2008 in an effort to promote train travel and share the history about it.
Currently: Amtrak announced plans for potential new routes that include services to Chattanooga + Nashville. The proposed route would connect Chattanooga with both Nashville and Atlanta.
🚂 All aboard
- The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum isn’t so much a museum as it is a series of restored trains that cover more than 100 miles of track in the area.
- You can ride a vintage short line for $22/person on the Missionary Ridge Local ride, which is one of the museum’s most popular excursions and lasts about an hour.
- Children + families can participate in an annual Day out with Thomas — Thomas the Train, that is. It costs $24, and is happening May 15-16.
- There are also dinner trains ($70/person) and summer camps in June + July ($400).
🚂 Choo-choo me home
Much like the city itself, the Chattanooga Choo Choo has revamped its look + offerings over the years. We suggest:
- A stroll in the Glenn Miller Gardens — ICYMI: Glenn Miller’s 1941 version of “Chattanooga Choo Choo” became world-famous.
- Grab a beer from American Draft, a pour-your-own beer hall inside an old train car
- The Incline Railway takes you 1 mile up the side of Lookout Mountain in a rail car.
- You board at the bottom in St. Elmo + tickets cost $7-15.
- Chattanooga, Tennessee: Train Town (Teaching with Historic Places), National Park Service
- Chattanooga Train History, Chattanooga Tourism