Summerville Steam: Dive into Historic Rail Travel
Mar 23
Nov 03

Summerville Steam Special

Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Chattanooga, TN

Learn more about Summerville Steam Special .

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The Summerville Steam Special: A Unique Rail Experience

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Embark on a unique journey back in time aboard the Summerville Steam Special, an emblematic fusion of history, engineering, and breathtaking landscapes.

What is the Summerville Steam Special?

The Summerville Steam Special isn’t just a train—it’s a living testament to the grandeur of the railway age. Born in an era where locomotives were the epitome of travel luxury, this train captures the essence of a bygone era, combining heritage, regional pride, and the brilliance of railroad innovation.

The Route to Remember

The Summerville Steam Special provides its passengers with a picturesque tour of the Georgian countryside:

  • Starting Point: The journey kicks off at the historical Grand Junction depot in Chattanooga, a monument to the illustrious past of rail travel.

  • Key Stops: Along the route, experience the thrill of the Missionary Ridge Tunnel, the beauty of Rossville, the historical significance of the Chickamauga & Chattanooga Military Park, and the rustic charm of towns like Chickamauga, Rock Spring, and LaFayette. The trip culminates in the historical town of Summerville.

Travel in Style and Comfort

While the exteriors are authentically vintage, the interiors of the Summerville Steam Special guarantee a luxurious journey. The cars, complete with plush seating and panoramic windows, echo the elegance of yesteryears, while the attentive crew ensures a top-notch experience. It’s not just a ride, but a voyage back in time.

Special Features

  • Seasonal Views: In autumn, the landscapes are a riot of colors, making the journey even more mesmerizing.

  • Layover in Summerville: Here, passengers can explore the town’s charm or enjoy a meal. However, be informed that the Summerville station lacks a ramp, meaning passengers will need to use the train car stairwell.

  • Locomotive Rotation: In Summerville, the locomotive is serviced and prepared for its return journey to Chattanooga.

Important Journey Details

  • Typical Locomotive: While Southern Railway No. 4501, a Mikado-type locomotive from 1911, usually leads the journey, occasionally Southern Railway No. 630 from 1904 might take the lead.

  • Crew: A dedicated team, including an engineer, fireman, conductor, trainmen, stewards, attendants, and cooks, ensures a smooth and comfortable journey.

  • Speed: Expect an average speed of 20 MPH on the TVRM stretch and 15 MPH on the G&W portion.

Cultural Insights

The route reminisces the former Central of Georgia Railway. Today, various entities, including Norfolk Southern, the State of Georgia, and the Genessee & Wyoming, manage different track stretches. TVRM extends its gratitude to all partners for making these trips possible.

Why Choose the Summerville Steam Special?

If you’re a history enthusiast, train aficionado, or just someone seeking a unique travel experience, the Summerville Steam Special promises an unforgettable journey. With a combination of heritage, luxury, and beauty of the country side, it offers more than just a trip—it's an experience.

Before purchasing your ticket, consider the unparalleled experience on offer, the season to truly enjoy the Georgian landscapes, and any accessibility needs. Join us for a ride into history!



About Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum:

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a railway museum located in Chattanooga and Delano, Tennessee. It was established in 1961 to preserve and operate historic railway equipment for the education and enjoyment of future generations. The museum features a variety of vintage trains and railcars, including steam locomotives, diesel locomotives, passenger cars, and freight cars. Visitors can experience the history of rail travel through excursions, exhibits, and hands-on activities. The museum operates on a historic rail line, offering scenic rides through the Hiwassee Loop and providing a unique perspective on the region's history and culture. With its rich heritage, educational programs, and engaging events, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a must-visit destination for railway enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

What should you know before you go?

Before you embark on the Summerville Steam Special Train Ride, there are a few things you should know. First and foremost, the train only runs on specific days, so be sure to check the schedule before you plan your trip. Tickets can be purchased online or at the station, but we recommend booking in advance to ensure availability. Finally, be sure to bring your camera, as there will be plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

Customer Reviews:

If you want a long, leisurely ride take the next trip to Summerville via a steam locomotive!!! It was an unbelievable experience!! If you arrive early you get to watch the locomotive hook up to your train. While in route, if you are in first class you get breakfast and lunch. Both meals were excellent!!!! At Summerville, you get to watch the locomotive being turned around on the turntable. I have a nice vide of that for my keepsake. It is a long trip, 9 hours, but worth every minute. The employees were very friendly 😊 Enjoy!!! Eric V - Google Review

Excellent, 2 friends n myself enjoyed the ride from Chattanooga, TN to Summerville, GA n return behind former Southern Railway engine 4501. It's a trip not to miss. I will definitely take another trip like that again. Robert H - Google Review

We have been on almost every train ride TVRM offers and we have not been disappointed yet. We really enjoy the dinner trains and the Summerville steam special. I would highly recommend anyone to try out their trains. TEF - TripAdvisor Review

Additional Questions:

You can reach us through email at, by phone at 423-894-8028, or by clicking on the chat button located in the lower right corner of our website at

Did you know that when you purchase a ticket with the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, you are helping to preserve the history of railroads?

As a non-profit organization, it takes a lot of resources to restore and maintain our vintage trains and equipment. In fact, it can cost up to $1.5 million to completely rebuild a steam engine, which must be done every 15 years or sooner. Your support helps us to continue to share this important piece of history with the community. So not only are you enjoying a unique and memorable experience, you are also contributing to the preservation of railroad history.

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Summerville Steam Special
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