Tennessee Valley Railroad

Day 1343

     Pardon me boy, is that the Chattanooga choo choo? I am sorry, but this song is racist, it will have to be removed.

     Chattanooga welcomed its first rail line with the arrival of the Western and Atlantic Railroad in 1850. A few years later, in 1858, the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad also arrived in Chattanooga. The city quickly became a railroad hub with industries springing up in the area to take advantage of the new transportation corridors.

     The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, was founded by a small group of local residents in 1961 who were intent on trying to save some American history by preserving, restoring, and operating authentic railway equipment from the “Golden Age of Railroading.”

     The museum operates 3 miles of tracks near the original East Tennessee, Virginia & Georgia Railroad right of way.

     We rode locomotive 4501 which ran for Southern Railway throughout East Tennessee during its career. It is a 2-8-2 Mikado-type steam locomotive built in 1911 by Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia.

     The name “Mikado,” a Japanese word meaning “emperor,” came about because the first engine of this type was sold to the Japanese state railways. “2-8-2” refers to the wheel arrangement: two small pilot wheels in front, eight large drive wheels, and two small trailing wheels in the back to help support a large firebox.

     We rode this train from Grand Junction

to East Chattanooga and back.

     Since there is only 1 track between the two stations, when we got to East Chattanooga the engine and coal car are disconnected from the passenger cars and placed on a turntable which rotate it around so it can go on a parallel tract to take it to the other end of the passenger cars for the return trip.





      The last car of the train, in which we were riding to East Chattanooga, now becomes the first car on our return trip. 

Uh-Oh, this fell off, do you think it will effect anything?

     Barbara still goes for those guys in uniform. 

6 thoughts on “Tennessee Valley Railroad

  1. The funny thing about coal fired steam engines is back in the day if you were in the first few open cars, you needed those face masks. they were ahead of their times, ha,ha. I learned that on the Durango & Silverton in Colorado a few years ago. Glad the train was open! Are you finding most attractions this week open or closed?

  2. Great trip.
    Just being around working steam trains is fun – riding on one is an experience to remember.
    As was mentioned earlier, glad you didn’t breathe too much soot on your return trip.
    Fun time.

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