In General
Getting Here
Fire & Police


In General

Location / Name:
Chattanooga TN, Chattanooga County

What's Here:
the Chattanooga Choo Choo and Hotel
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
Norfolk Southern has a large presence
CSX has a smaller presence
NS's DeButt Yard
CSX's Wauhatchie Yard
Plenty of other non railroad sights, see below

GPS Coordinates: as needed
Phone A/C: 423
ZIP: 37402

Access by train/transit:
None, Amtrak only stops in Memphis and Newbern/Dyersburg TN, on the west side of the state

The Scoop:

Chattanooga is nestled away in the very southern part of Tennessee, and easy to get to from just about anywhere, but especially from Atlanta, Nashville, and Knoxville.

While the Chattanooga Choo-Choo is technically not a museum, it is still very worthwhile stopping here for the things it does has and the depot which is now a hotel.

Chattanooga is the home of the NMRA, the National Model Railroad Association.  More info below.

Heading north out of Chattanooga beyond Knoxville and Oak Ridge is a Norfolk Southern line nicknamed "the Rathole" for the plethora of tunnels on the line.... mostly inaccessible railfanning in a very mountainous area in Tennessee and Kentucky, on its way to Cincinnati.  Denver Todd has put together a great guide to the Rathole at the link below.

In another "Choo Choo" related item, Choo Choo VORTAC, a radio aid to airplane navigation, is sited near Chattanooga at 34.5741, -85.9120.

Denver Todd
Ed Painter
Google Maps
Open Railway Maps
Open Street Maps

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area: Tour of the NS line heading south out of Cincinnati

Getting Here

These are directions to the Chattanooga Choo Choo.....

From the east, and western Virginia via I81:  coming south on I81, it will turn into I40 about 30-40 miles out of Knoxville.  Continue through Knoxville on I40. After passing thru Knoxville, in about 15 miles, you'll hit I75, head south on it.  From there, it's about 85 miles to exit 178, Market St.  About 5 miles from the exit, we will find ourselves trading in I75 for I24, which heads west (if you decide to stay on I75, you'll wind up heading south towards Atlanta).  The Hotel is north of I24 about a mile.

From the south and Atlanta via I75: Heading north on i75, a few miles into Tennessee, you come to the junction of I75 and I24, follow the signs for westbound I24, and in 4 or 5 miles, you'll come to the Market St exit, exit 178.  Head north on Market to the Hotel on your right in about a mile or so.

From the west: come into town via I24 from Nashville, and take exit 178 north, which will put you on Broad St.  Take any of the streets over to Market, like 20th, 17th, or Main St (a right turn).  From Nashville, you have I65 running north into Kentucky (Louisville), and south into Alabama (Birmingham and Hunstsville - altho from Huntsville, I would be tempted to get here via US72 east out of town).


Chattanooga Choo Choo & Hotel
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway
CSX's Wauhatchie Yard
NS's DeBuff Yard
Rock City GA
See Seven States GA
Ruby Falls TN
Chattanooga Hunter Museum of American Art
NS's Rat Hole Division

  Chattanooga Choo Choo and Hotel

GPS Coordinates: 35.037285, -85.306892
1400 Market Street. Chattanooga TN 37402 Excellent history of the station and railroads in Chattanooga Excellent page, loads of great pictures! Info on engine #206

The hotel is in what used to be the former Terminal Station under the Southern Railway, and saw it's last train in 1970.  The depot was built in 1908, and saw it's first train in 1909.  It opened as a hotel in 1973.

In addition to staying at the hotel, you can stay in half of a restored passenger car (of which there are several).

There are several places to eat at the complex, including a top rated diner in a restored dining car, the main restaurant, or a sandwich shop which is open when everything else is closed.

From the Hotel's website: The Terminal Station seemed destined for the similar fate of Union Station (parts of which were built before the Civil War) at the center of town, which was demolished in 1973. But Terminal Station was saved from the wrecking ball by a group of local businessmen who were inspired by the theme of the "Chattanooga Choo Choo." They invested $4 million before its new grand opening on April 11, 1973, and the beautiful Terminal Station once again opened its doors to welcome visitors to Chattanooga - this time as a unique vacation complex. With its listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, the Chattanooga Choo Choo Historic Hotel is considered one of the city's first historic preservation projects. Now 46 years later, the Choo Choo is still going strong, providing travelers with beautiful and comfortable accommodations in unique Pullman Train Cars and traditional hotel rooms. The property is also a hit with locals and features two full service restaurants and numerous bars, two music venues, a comedy club, a distillery plus various retail outlets.

The Song: A newspaper reporter dubbed the huffing and puffing little steam locomotive the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Although the Chattanooga’s Terminal Station was significant in its role of the train era with its “Track 29”, little was known about the first Chattanooga Choo Choo. Only after Glenn Miller's orchestra made the catchy song popular in the late 1940's did the name become world famous. Introduced in 1941 by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the song was featured in the movie "Sun Valley Serenade" and performed by Tex Beneke and the Modernaires. Harry Warren wrote the original music score, while Mack Gordon takes credit for the rhythmic words. The Chattanooga Choo Choo song traveled fast throughout the circles of Europe during World War II, and today it is an international favorite.

Picture found on several websites - from soon after it's opening.

This is a Mogul type (2-6-0) locomotive built in 1904 as #9 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia PA, for the Genesee & Wyoming Railroad.  It had a relatively short stay with the G&W and, in 1918, was sold to the locomotive dealer Southern Iron & Equipment in Atlanta GA, who sold it the following year to the Butler County Railroad in Pine Bluff MO.  In 1927, the BC sold #9 to the dealer Georgia Car & Locomotive in Atlanta, who sold it on to the East Texas & Gulf, where it was renumbered #57.  Two years later, the ET&G sold the locomotive to the dealer Birmingham Rail & Locomotive who then sold it to the Tennessee & North Carolina where it became #206.  The T&NC operated #206 until selling it to the Smoky Mountain Railroad in Sevierville TN, in 1937.  The engine weighs 107,000 lbs, 91,000 lbs on its 50” drivers.  It has a driver wheelbase of 11’ 6” and engine wheelbase of 19’ 4”.  With Stephenson valve gear and 18” x 24” cylinders, it has a 20.7 sq ft grate, 118.9 sq ft firebox and total heating surface of 1,263 sq ft.  Operating at a boiler pressure of 180 psi, it delivered 23,795 lbs tractive effort.  From

From Hawkins Rail


About the Trolley:  In 1924, Pearly Thomas Car Works of High Point NC, built the Choo Choo's trolley.  The reversible seats were constructed in Philadelphia PA.  The Trolley operated on the Canal Street Line in New Orleans from 1924 to 1960.  The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum obtained the Trolley and brought it to Chattanooga in 1964.  After being restored in Georgia, the Trolley began operating from the opening day at the Chattanooga Choo Choo in 1973 and provides one of the most unique experiences on the property.  As of 2019, the New Orleans streetcar operation has been removed from the Choo Choo grounds.  Some of the trackwork remains, as well as some of the overhead catenary hangers, but all of the trolley wire has been removed and some of the track has been paved over in the parking lot area.  Informal conversation with the hotel staff indicates that the streetcar itself was moved to a nearby apartment development for use as an outdoor bar. (from Hawkins Rails dot net)

 Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

GPS Coordinates: 35.066980, -85.206117
4119 Cromwell Rd, Chattanooga, TN 37421
Phone: 423-894-8028

 Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

GPS Coordinates, top: 35.005969, -85.343297
GPS Coordinates, bottom: 35.009650, -85.328492
Lookout Mountain Station (Top), 827 East Brow Road, Lookout Mountain TN 37350
St. Elmo Station (Bottom), 3917 St. Elmo Avenue, Chattanooga TN 37409
Phone: 423-821-4224
Open Monday-Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm. Last car leaves 40 minutes before close.

One of the "cooler" attractions around, but that's coming from a railfan! :-)

 CSX's Wauhatchie Yard

GPS Coordinates: 35.00166, -85.37996 (at entrance from Wauhatchie Pike)
500 Wauhatchie Pike, Chattanooga TN 37419

 NS's DeBuff Yard

GPS Coordinates: x
1600 Riverside Drive

Norfolk Southern's Harry A. DeButts Yard is a hump type classification yard.  It was formerly Southern Railway's Citico Yard.  It is the 2nd largest classification yard on the NS system according to Wikimapia.

 the NMRA

GPS Coordinates: 34.973602, -85.349582
P.O. Box 1328, Soddy Daisy TN 37384-1328
8414 Gulf View Drive, Soddy Daisy TN 37384
Phone: 423-892-2846 // Fax: 423-899-4869
A.C. Kalmbach Memorial Library: Same Address, Phone: 423-894-8144 // Fax: 423-899-4869

The NMRA is a non-profit corporation.  It has a President and other officers and a Board of Directors.  The Headquarters of the NMRA are in Soddy Daisy TN (near Chattanooga), with several paid staff members.  Many of the functions of the NMRA are performed by the Departments, which are staffed by volunteers.  The NMRA holds a National Convention each year, and regions sponsor conventions in their areas as well.  The picture below from Google is 6 years old, so I don't know if there is a sign out front or not.

 Rock City GA

GPS Coordinates: 34.973602, -85.349582
1400 Patten Rd, Lookout Mountain GA 30750
A particularly beautiful waterfall in a beautiful setting.

 See Seven States GA

GPS Coordinates: 34.973850, -85.347644
1400 Patten Rd, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750
This is part of the Rock City attraction.

 Ruby Falls TN

GPS Coordinates: 35.019080, -85.339372
1720 Scenic Hwy, Chattanooga, TN 37409

A beautiful underground waterfall.  In 1928, Leo Lambert and a team of excavators found a breathtaking waterfall located over 1,120 feet below the surface of Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN.  Lambert named the falls after his wife, Ruby, and opened the area as a public attraction in 1930.  Today, Ruby Falls welcomes thousands of visitors each year.  Come tour the falls for yourself and see why it has been one of the best Chattanooga attractions for over 85 years.

 Chattanooga Hunter Museum of American Art

GPS Coordinates: 35.055862, -85.306411
10 Bluff View, Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: (423) 267-0968

 Chattanooga Track 29

Interesting graphic.  That's why it's here.  Track 29 is Chattanooga's premier concert venue.

 NS's Rathole Division
You will find my maps all over the place :-)

Although not a railroad item of note around Chattanooga, Northbound Norfolk Southern trains "may" eventually find their way in/on the Rathole once they have passed through Knoxville or Oak Ridge.


Welcome to.....


I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in :-)

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given!  Please be NICE!!!  Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


New DEC01/2022, DEC02/03/04/05/06/2022
Last Updated: 12/06/2022