Etowah Station FAQ's
Who makes these trips possible?
The Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association (TOHA) is our host through the support of Glenn Springs Holdings Inc. TVRM owns and operates the trains, while the railroad line is owned by our partner, the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association. This storied line has a rich history.
What is the purpose of TVRM?
The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum, Inc. (TVRM) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, educational corporation which is membership based. The mission of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) is to collect for preservation, operation, interpretation, and display railroad artifacts in an authentic setting to educate the public concerning the role of railroads in the history and development of our region. We are honored to be the operator of TOHA’s historic L&N “Old Line” through the scenic Hiwassee River Gorge.
Can I ride a real train?
TVRM runs full-sized, historic trains upon which you can purchase a ticket and take a ride. It is an educational and entertaining experience. The trains are pulled by vintage diesel locomotives, most built around 1950.
Does the train run if it is raining?
Trains operate rain or shine. The coaches are fully covered and enclosed from the elements with heat or air conditioning as needed.
Where do I board the train?
You will report to the L&N Depot and Museum in Etowah, Tennessee. Shuttle buses take passengers on a short ride to the train boarding location near the Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park ranger office. It is here that passengers transfer from the bus to the train. Of course the buses will return you to the L&N Depot and Museum after the ride. The L&N Depot and Museum is located at 727 Tennessee Avenue SOUTH (Highway 411) in Etowah, 37331.
Why can’t the train be boarded at the L&N Depot & Museum?
The current CSX mainline is the only rail line running past the depot and our trains are not allowed on those tracks. CSX handles freight traffic only in this area. The “Old Line” tracks branch off the CSX near Wetmore.
Are there restroom facilities on the train?
Restroom facilities are available on the train and are never more than one coach length or so from your seat.
Is it like riding in a bus?
It is similar as far as boarding because you enter by climbing stairs and then walk down an aisle between rows of seats. Unlike a bus however, some of the train car seats can be turned to make a group of four.
Can I reserve tickets in advance?
Please purchase your tickets in advance online to avoid disappointment. Tickets are available at the Etowah Depot before the departure times only if the train is not sold out in advance. On peak days, especially during the autumn season, tickets will sell out well in advance. Check availability online and purchase your tickets in advance.
Can we get up and walk around on the train?
Yes, passengers can move about on the train.
Is the train air-conditioned or heated?
The coaches are air conditioned and heated.
If we are running late, will you hold the train for us?
Unfortunately as much as we try to accommodate all our visitors, we generally can’t delay a train full of passengers. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Note that Etowah is in the Eastern Time Zone.
Can I smoke on the train?
Smoking is prohibited on all trains by State law.
Can we bring our pet on the train?
For the comfort of all passengers, only professionally trained service animals are allowed on the train.
Is food available on the train?
You can purchase refreshments on board the commissary car which sells food, snack items, and even souvenirs. Note that snack items are included for those passengers holding tickets in the premium dome coach and dome observation seating areas.
Can I bring food and beverages on the train?
Yes, food and beverages may be consumed while on board all trains. Please help keep our trains clean and use trash receptacles. Report any problems to the conductor or train crew. Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on TVRM trains.
Why are passengers requested to swap seats at the midway point?
We request that passengers move from one side to the other at the excursion’s midway point. Since the train doesn’t turn around, this is the only way to assure that everyone gets the same views. We appreciate your cooperation.
Where do I park?
The City of Etowah has several available public lots in the downtown area, none of which are more than three blocks from the L&N Depot and Museum. There is no charge for parking in these lots.
Can I go to the Depot museum?
Be sure to visit the L&N Depot and Museum before boarding the shuttle bus. The Museum usually closes at 4:30pm, so don’t be disappointed if it is closed when you return from the train ride.
What other attractions are nearby?
After you’ve enjoyed your train ride, consider visiting the other wonderful attractions offered around Etowah and the Hiwassee & Ocoee Rivers. You can check with the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association for more information: www.tennesseeoverhill.com or the Etowah Area Chamber of Commerce: www.etowahchamber.com. For information about the Chattanooga area, see www.chattanoogafun.com
Where should I stay overnight?
Etowah and the surrounding region have numerous hotel, cabin, and other lodging options. See the Tennessee Overhill Heritage Association website under “lodging” for more information: www.tennesseeoverhill.com or the Etowah Area Chamber of Commerce: www.etowahchamber.com. Other options are available around the Ocoee River and in Athens, Tennessee, at I-75 exit 49.
Where can I find information about eating or shopping if I ride the Copperhill Special?
The Tri Cities Business Assocation has listings for some of the shops and restaurants in the joint towns of Copperhill, Tennessee and McCaysville, Georgia available on their website www.ocoeeinfo.com
What if I have tickets for a train trip based in Chattanooga?
All Chattanooga train services must be boarded at Grand Junction Station in Chattanooga (unless otherwise specified.) It is approximately a one hour and 45 minute drive between Chattanooga and Etowah.
Do you accept monetary donations?
All contributions to TVRM are tax deductible and greatly appreciated. We recognize all contributors by a letter of receipt, and a listing in the association’s newsletter, Smoke & Cinders.
I have trouble climbing stairs. What should I do?
Contact the TVRM office to inquire about a parking pass for Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River State Park where you’ll board the train. This will allow you to bypass the shuttle bus and avoid climbing stairs.
Is the train accessible for wheelchairs?
Historic rail cars were built before the advent of technology which accommodates people with special needs. Our rail cars were not designed to accommodate wheelchairs safely. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) recognizes the limitations of such historic rail equipment and expressly exempts trains and stations of this type from accessibility requirements. Though we cannot accommodate wheelchair use or access within our historical passenger cars, all persons who can board the train themselves and occupy a standard passenger seat are welcome and encouraged to ride.
Are online ticket purchases secure?
You can rest assured that communications (e.g. credit card numbers) between your browser and this site's web servers are private and secure when the session is activated. You can rest assured that communications (e.g. credit card numbers) between your browser and this site's web servers are private and secure when the session is activated. Your privacy is important to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Personal information will not be sold, rented, shared, or made available at any time to any outside party.
I still have questions, how do I contact you?
Something else we can help you with? Please contact us! You may also call the Etowah L&N Depot & Museum at 423-263-7840.