Monday, February 14, 2011

Chattanooga Choo Choo!

During our recent visit to Chattanooga Tennessee, we came across the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. This 390+ room hotel occupies the former Terminal Station and it's a member of the Historic Hotels of America. It was built in 1908 - 1909 and it was in the passenger train business from 1909 until August 11, 1970. The last train out was the Birmingham Special, on it's way to Washington, D.C.

The photo is a bit dark but if you expand it, you can see the terrific arched window with all the beautiful details that are built in. At least 3 Presidents came through this depot...Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The ceiling at the peak of the dome is 85 feet high. The building cost $1.5 million to build.

I especially like these doors...each with a train & track designation. There were 14 tracks feeding this passenger depot. At it's peak, almost 50 trains per day stopped here. By 1948, that count was down to a steady 35 per day.
Looking for something special!? There are 48 Victorian Railcar Rooms available for guests...all set in the period with the modern conveniences.

Behind the Terminal/Hotel are several tracks still in use. One of them is used by Terminal Station Trolley #36. This trolley is open for business and it takes you for a old time narrated ride. This particular unit was built in 1924 by the Perley A. Thomas Car Works, Inc. in High Point, NC. It served for many years in New Orleans before being relocated to Chattanooga.

This is a 1906 Baldwin Locomotive, also on display behind the Hotel. It is a 2-6-0 'Mogul'...named for the Mohammedan Empire (India), where they were first built. Worldwide, over 11,000 of these engines were built between 1864 and 1910. For more information on the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel and entertainment complex, go to

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