CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is famous for its rail operations that include a number of different excursion options.
One of the standbys is the Missionary Ridge Local takes passengers from Grand Junction Station to East Chattanooga, where they can watch the crew turn the engine — either a steam locomotive or a vintage diesel — on an historic turntable. After a quick tour of the museum shops, passengers then board for the return trip to Grand Junction.
One of the true highlights of the trip is the Missionary Ridge Tunnel (also know as Whiteside Tunnel). Measuring more than 900 feet in length, the engineering marvel was completed in 1858 and named after Col. James A. Whiteside, a Chattanooga resident and major stockholder of the East Tennessee and Georgia Railroad.
The heritage railroad returned the line to service in 1971.
TVRM 1824, the GP-7 at the head of this train, was built by EMD in the early 1950s. The U.S. Army used the locomotive to switch cars at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant in Kingsport, Tenn.