Passengers once boarded trains daily from Terminal Station at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Like the airport travel of our time, traveling from Chattanooga to other cities around the country by rail was the standard. Not so today.
In 1970, Terminal Station closed its 14 tracks and seven boarding platforms.
Other than the occasional special event, trains haven’t left from this station since then, and most recently even the rails leading into the station have been cut off by development.
Now, almost 50 years later, new life is being breathed into the rails at the Choo Choo. A new daily train schedule will be back on the books in May, and once again travelers will be able to buy a ticket, stand and wait on the platform at Terminal Station, board a train, and take a ride on the rail. But this is not your run-of-the-mill train ride. In fact it’s a “run-away” train ride [simulation].
Nearly a year into its planning, Runaway Train Transport, the newest escape room game being developed by Escape Experience Chattanooga, is about to open its train doors this summer at its new satellite location at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Nearly every hour, visitors will have the opportunity to test their wits by boarding an actual (stationary) train car modified to simulate an actual train ride, and play an escape room game like no other.
From inside the train car, participants will look outside the windows of the train and see the landscape rushing by on both sides. If participants make it to the back of the train where they must jump off (not literally) to avoid destruction, they’ll see the rails and landscape receding into the distance as the train travels on.
“I wanted to capture the nostalgia of boarding a train at The Chattanooga Choo Choo, with the added excitement of an escape room game. Repurposing an an old train car seemed like the most logical way to achieve that vision, commented Michael Rowland, owner of Escape Experience Chattanooga and a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University’s MBA program.
Escape Experience Chattanooga is holding an online competition to give away a free chance to test their new train experience. Those interested in winning the prize will need to enter the contest at: https://www.escapeexperience.com/chattanooga/runaway-train-competition/
The Runaway Train Transport experience is set to open in May this year.