Tennessee Valley Railroad
Following antebellum tracks throughout Southern Tennessee and Northern Georgia, the Tennessee Valley Railroad is a shining example of man's ingenuity and railroading history. This heritage line offers a different perspective on railway preservation, as it was founded as a museum dedicated to all U.S. rail lines, rather than focusing its mission on just one line or route. The museum was opened in 1961 on a tract of leased land, and the founders spent many of their first years reaching out to railroads asking for donations of defunct rolling stock or other railway equipment. In 1964, they received a former Southern Railroad steam engine, number 4501, which became the symbol for the museum and kickstarted the Tennessee Valley Railroad. Once restored and repainted, the engine set out upon scenic excursions aboard Southern Railroad, and later after the companies' merger, Norfolk & Western tracks for quick rides back into the golden age of railway travel.
Thanks to its immense history and stunning surroundings, the Tennessee Valley Railroad has been featured in several music videos, TV shows, and motion pictures throughout the years. Some of the most notable films to showcase its beauty include "October Sky," "Our Country," "Leatherheads," "Water for Elephants," and "42."
With an ever-growing fleet of steam engines, vintage diesel trains, and passenger carriages that span the 21st century, the Tennessee Valley Railroad is ever-changing and evolving to share a deep passion for the world's most classic form of transportation with the South.