Scenic train rides in Tennessee include the southeast's largest operating scenic rail excursion, theTennessee Valley Railroad. The TVRM offers special theme train rides including a Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine. Look for first class service on the180 mile round trip scenic train rides between Nashville and Cookeville during the fall, on the Tennessee Central Railway.
The Secret City Scenic Excursion Dinner train runs out of Oak Ridge.
Tennessee steam train rides can found on theThree Rivers Ramblerout of Knoxville.
Theme park narrow gauge steam train rides run on the Dollywood Express. Tennessee is home to 30 steam locomotives, including 4 that are operational, including special scenic train rides behind the 2-8-0 Southern Railway #630.
Tennessee steam locomotive rides can be found in Chattanooga. And the Tennessee train museum in Nashvillle also hosts scenic train rides.
See the original home of Casey Jones at the Casey Jones Railroad Museum. For the Volunteer state's 2595 miles of Class I railroads. Norfolk Southern Railway serves 850 route miles, while the CSX and the additional 18 short lines, make up the rest.
The first railroad was the Nashville & Chattanooga, chartered in 1845. Amtrak's City of New Orleans makes daily stops at Memphis.
The famous engineer Casey Jones is buried in Jackson.
The Cookeville Depot museum displays the Middle Tennessee Railroad HO scale model train exhibit. Other exhibits include a renovated L&N Caboose, with the exhibit-"Working on the Railroad: The Right Tool for the Right Job." The "Rolling Wheels of Steel" exhibit focuses on the locomotives owned and operated by the Tennessee Central Railroad from the earliest steam engines to the massive diesels in use when the Tennessee Central went out of business. Admission is free.
The Cowan Railroaad Museum is housed in a restored century old depot with photos, relics and memorabilia from the age of steam locomotives. Various types of model trains on display. Outside in a wonderfully landscaped park setting is a complete full-size train headed up by a 1920 Porter steam locomotive of the rare “Columbia” wheel arrangement (2-4-2), a flat car and an authentic wooden NC&StL bay window caboose. Directions.
No train ride here, but a unique vacation experience. While staying in Chattanooga, you can sleep aboard an authentic Victorian train car. Traveling across the nation by private railroad car was the height of luxury in the early 1900's. The railroading excitement of a bygone era is still alive on board any one of 48 beautifully restored Victorian train car hotel rooms at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel complex. All train car hotel rooms accommodations offer modern conveniences including high speed wireless internet access. Each car includes a queen size bed, and some cars also have a daybed with a pull out trundle bed. The only thing missing from your night in a Victorian Train Car is the "clickety-clack" of the rails! You can also ride around the complex aboard the Choo Choo's authentic New Orleans trolley. Directions
Lookout Mountain Incline Railway is known as “America’s Most Amazing Mile,” The Incline’s trolley-style cars climb through the natural beauty surrounding historic Lookout Mountain at a breathtaking 72.7% grade – straight up! In operation since 1895, the Incline is a National Historic site and Mechanical Engineering Landmark.The original coal-burning steam engines were replaced by two 100-horsepower motors in 1911, but other than that the railway hasn’t changed very much in its more than 100 years of operation. Directions.
The largest operating railroad in the southeast, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum offers a variety of scenic train rides. Theme train rides include Valentine Dinner Trains, a Halloween Eerie Express, and a Father's Day Dinner Train and a North Pole Limited.
Limited steam power is provided by locomotive No.630, a Southern Railway 2-8-0, built in 1952. Six mile train rides depart from Grand Junction Station, run to East Chattanooga Depot and back.
The 100 mile Autumn Leaf Special also includes a sit down lunch. Daily all-day train rides include trips to Summerville, Georgia or the beautiful Hiwassee River Gorge. During the magical holiday season, trains take riders on an imaginary journey to the North Pole. Directions
The Casey Jones Railroad Museum features the original home of Casey Jones that was built in the 1800's along with a railroad museum and a train station. Museum guests walk onto a platform as they exit the back door of the Train Station as if to board a train in 1900 and are able to climb into the cab of a 130 ton locomotive engine very similar to Ole #382 that Casey Jones rode to fame. Collection also includes a baggage car and caboose. Directions.
The Three Rivers Rambler is a ninety minute round trip train ride aboard vintage cars headed by the restored 1923 Baldwin 2-8-0 Consolidation steam locomotive ex-Washington & Lincolnton #203. Three Rivers Rambler scenic excursion train rides include an Autumn & Pumpkin Express and a Christmas Express train ride. Three Rivers Rambler also operates Southern Railway 2-8-0 No. 154. Charters are also available.Directions.
This Nashville facility is home to a unique collection of historic equipment. The Tennessee Central Railway museum also operates scenic train rides to a variety of destinations in middle Tennessee, providing a unique opportunity for everyone to experience the joys of rail travel. A typical scenic train ride has a capacity of approximately 400 passengers, all carried in air-conditioned streamlined stainless steel equipment. The museum's buffet lounge car has facilities for preparing everything from snacks to complete meals. The slumber coach contains private sleeping accommodations for up to 42 people on overnight trips. Excursion train rides include Murder Mystery, Super Fall Foliage Trip, and North Pole Express train ride. Also available is a Day out with Thomas the Tank Engine. Directions.
The Southern Appalachia Railway Museum's Secret City Scenic Excursion Train generally runs on the first and third Saturday of each month from April-September. In October, November, and December trains runs on Satudays and Sundays of selected weekends. Travel this 14 mile scenic train ride aboard an air conditioned 1940's era restored passenger and dining car. Located in the birthplace of the atomic age, the Secret City scenic trains normally run at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm on Saturdays, and 1pm and 3pm on Sundays. Also available, a catered two hour Dinner Train ride in a fully restored 1950's vintage diner car that offers a romantic setting. Excursion trains are typically pulled by vintage F7 and E8 diesel locomotives.
The Southern Appalavhia Railway Museum is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and operation of historical railroad equipment,and the preservation of the railroad history of the Southern Appalachia Region.
The Dollywood Express is a theme park train ride that features an authentic 110-ton coal-fired steam engine that takes you on a breathtaking five-mile journey through the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains where you'll enjoy pastoral scenery and some of the most beautiful views that nature has to offer. Close your eyes and enjoy a fascinating trip back in time when travel in and out of the mountains of Pigeon Forge relied on trains like the Dollywood Express. Dollywood Park runs 2 three foot narrow gauge steam engines, former White Pass & Yukon 2-8-2's, a 1939 BLW built No.70 and a 1943 Baldwin Works No.192. Dollywood Exress train rides run April through December. Directions.