Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum Celebrates 60 Years Of Preserving Railroad History

Photo Credit – Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum / Facebook

-By Penelope Gault

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) has been preserving railroad history since 1961, and this month, it is kicking off a year-long celebration that will highlight the museum’s 60-year heritage with two weekends of special events and displays.

On Saturday, Oct. 16 and Sunday, Oct. 17, and again on Saturday, Oct. 23 and Sunday, Oct. 24, the museum will run its best-known steam engines — Engine 630 and Engine 4501 — on the Missionary Ridge Local. Called the “Local” for short, the 55-minute ride begins at TVRM’s Grand Junction Depot and runs to the East Chattanooga station and Soule Shops restoration facility.

In addition to this spectacular ride, events on both weekends will include special exhibits, blacksmith demonstrations, military reenactments, and more. The special exhibits will be located in TVRM’s new exhibit building and include “TVRM’s First 60 Years,” a Railroad Post Office car display, and two exhibits by sponsor Scale Trains.  This is the first use for this important addition to the TVRM Cromwell Road Campus.

Event tickets for one-day attendance, including one train ride, cost $30 per adult and $20 per child age 2 to 12. A grounds pass, which includes the exhibits but no train ride, costs $17 per adult and $10 per child age 2 to 12.

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Other events celebrating the museum’s anniversary include:

Rails and Reels, a family movie night featuring “Hocus Pocus” on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 7:15 p.m. in the wye, which is outside at Grand Junction Depot. Please make reservations online. Suggested donations are $10 per attendee. The rain date is Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7:15 p.m.

Night Photo Shoots on Friday, Oct. 15, and Friday, Oct. 22 only. Bring your best photography equipment to the museum for a rare chance to photograph TVRM’s steam and diesel collections on separate nights! The cost is $25 per night for this special event to celebrate the museum’s 60th anniversary.

  • On Oct. 15 at 7:15 p.m., participants will have the opportunity to photograph TVRM’s steam collection — Locomotives 4501, 630, and 610 — at the museum’s East Chattanooga location.
  • On Oct. 23 at 7:15 p.m., participants will have the chance to photograph TVRM’s Southern diesel collection — Locomotives 5000, 2594, 3170, 6914, and TAG 80 — at Grand Junction Depot.
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Tennessee Valley Model Railroaders Open House, Located in the basement of TVRM’s General Office Building, this under construction HO model layout will be operating for the public.  It will be open during regular museum hours.

Sponsors of our year-long 60th-anniversary celebration currently include McKee Foods Corporation, ScaleTrains, First Horizon Bank, HHM Certified Public Accountants, Miller & Martin PLLC, Chattanooga Coca-Cola Bottling Company, McRail/CBIZ Borden Perlman, Southern Railway Historical Association, Tennessee Valley Authority, and FareHarbor.

Celebration events will occur throughout the coming twelve months and will be announced at later dates.

For tickets and more information, visit online at tvrail.com or call 423-894-8028. Parking is free at the museum, located at 4119 Cromwell Road in Chattanooga. Special 60th-anniversary events will be announced throughout the year, and the information will be available at tvrail.com.

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is an educational, non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve railroading history for future generations. The museum is the southeast’s largest operating historical railroad and is celebrating 60 years of preserving our region’s railroad history.

Franklin

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