IF YOU GO
What: National Train Day.
When: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, 4119 Cromwell Road.
Admission: Free (Missionary Ridge Local tickets $9 children age 3-12, $15 adults; Dinner on the Dinner tickets $56 per person).
SEE AND DO
Among the features of the Norfolk Southern Exhibit Car:
* Simulator of engineer’s point of view
* Models of Southern, Norfolk and Western, and Conrail trains
* Interactive dispatch center showing train movement
* Monitors showing scenes from transportation network
* Map of company’s service territory of 22 Eastern states, District of Columbia and Ontario, Canada.
* “Thoroughbred Service” video
* Continuously moving model train
* Photos of services the company offers
Saturday will be a special day for train fanciers at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.
Norfolk Southern will host National Train Day at the attraction’s Grand Junction Station, with the railway offering modern locomotives, exhibits, collectibles and staff available to speak with guests.
“We’ve been building a partnership with Norfolk Southern,” said Steve Freer, marketing director for TVRM. “This is another way to partner with them to bring some of their equipment in a public accessible area.”
Among the locomotives, he said, are the Norfolk Southern Exhibit Car, created from a restored 1971 passenger coach, which details the history and operations of the railway system; Norfolk Southern’s environmentally friendly Evolution car; and TVRM’s Eden Isle business car.
The most popular display in the Exhibit Car, according to Freer, is a simulator in which visitors can see from the engineer’s point of view as they take a seat inside a locomotive mock-up and in front of a realistic control panel with a horn, throttle and brake. Guests use the control panel and computerized animation to demonstrate the danger inherent in trespassing on railroad property or ignoring highway/rail-grade crossing warning devices.
To date, some 1.5 million people have boarded the Exhibit Card in 300 communities.
To accentuate safety issues, Norfolk Southern will have an exhibit on Operation Lifesaver, designed to emphasize railroad safety, and the outsized Brainy mascot will bring a similar message for children.
In addition to the Norfolk Southern displays, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Missionary Ridge Local trains will have five departure times (10:40 a.m. and 12:05, 1:15, 2:25 and 3:35 p.m.), and its Dinner on the Diner train will depart the Grand Junction station for East Chattanooga at 5:30 p.m.
TVRM’s Depot Deli and gift shop also will be open during National Train Day.
Children, according to Freer, will be given coloring sheets and temporary tattoos
“National Train Day is going to be a lot of fun, a little different,” he said. “We’re trying to reach out to young people and families with younger children.”
Tickets to the upcoming Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine (May 14-15, 20-22) also will be for sale.
Clint Cooper is the faith editor and a staff writer for the Times Free Press Life section. He also has been an assistant sports editor and Metro staff writer for the newspaper. Prior to the merger between the Chattanooga Free Press and Chattanooga Times in 1999, he was sports news editor for the Chattanooga Free Press, where he was in charge of the day-to-day content of the section and the section’s design. Before becoming sports ...