Chattanooga Choo Choo

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Chattanooga Choo Choo

Everyone has heard about the Chattanooga Choo Choo.   However, most people have no idea about it’s history and even more of us have never actually seen it in person. The Glenn Miller Orchestra brought interest to the train with their catchy song in the early 40’s. The song was also featured in a movie called Sun Valley Serenade. 

On a visit to the southeast, I decided this would be the trip I stop in the city of Chattanooga in Tennessee and get that photo-op with the world famous train.

At first, there’s a bit of confusion when your GPS announces you’ve arrived.  The first thing you see is the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel right off the street.  The voice in your head says “Wait.. They were singing about a hotel in all that old song!?  I’m so confused!”

The hotel was built in 1973.  But, the train is displayed behind the building. Tourists don’t have to stay at the hotel to see it.  In fact, it was incredibly simple to park my car and walk over to check it out.  I met another tourist from North Carolina who happened to be in town that was also taking some photos.

After some digging, the current train on display is apparently not the original Chattanooga Choo Choo.   The official website proclaims: “The Chattanooga Choo Choo engine now on display at Terminal Station is the same type of wood-burning train used on that first run from Cincinnati to Chattanooga in 1880.”

So…. where the heck is the friggin’ Chattanooga Choo Choo train?!

 

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Bill is a travel journalist, broadcaster and freelance writer based in Saint Louis, Missouri. Bill travels all across the country doing positive stories, highlighting people and places making America great. He's the host of the weekly Rediscover America podcast and author of the new book 100 Things To Do In America Before You Die! Bill enjoys parks, talking to strangers, eating medium-rare steaks, playing Pickleball and telling good jokes.