Tennessee Valley Railroad begins the 2010 season Saturday with two Missionary Ridge Local Trains. The departures from Grand Junction are at 10:40 a.m. and 12:05 p.m.
The Missionary Ridge Local offers a "bite sized" train ride. At 50 to 55 minutes, this six-mile round trip packs a lot of history into a compact time frame.
Experience one of the original rail lines into Chattanooga. Along the way witness two unique methods of turning a train around: the better known turntable, and the wye (think of doing a three-point turn with your car and you're close). One of the highlights of the trip is riding through 1858-era Missionary Ridge Tunnel, a.k.a. the Chattanooga, Harrison, Georgetown, and Charleston Railroad Tunnel, especially noted for it's uniqueness as a horseshoe tunnel. The bottom of the tunnel actually pinches in so that as it rises, the sides curve out before curving back in to form the roof.
Also receive a guided tour of the East Chattanooga Back Shop after watching the turntable demonstration.
The Missionary Ridge Local trip length is typically 50-55 minutes and the motive power is vintage diesel locomotive. The roundtrip time includes the layover in East Chattanooga where passengers view the turntable demonstration and the conductor gives a tour into the restoration shop.
Tickets at $15 for adults and $9 for children age 3-12. There is no charge for children under age three. Tickets are purchased as walk-up only on the day of the trip. The boarding location is Grand Junction Station in Chattanooga at 4119 Cromwell Road off of Jersey Pike.