All Aboard...The Chattanooga Choo Choo Rides Again

Friday, April 13, 2018 - by Kelly Allen
Passengers once boarded trains daily from Terminal Station at the Chattanooga Choo Choo.  Like the airport travel of our time, traveling from Chattanooga to other cities around the country by rail was the standard.  Not so today.

In 1970, Terminal Station closed its 14 tracks and seven boarding platforms.
Other than the occasional special event, trains haven’t left from this station since then, and most recently even the rails leading into the station have been cut off by development.

Now, almost 50 years later, new life is being breathed into the rails at the Choo Choo. A new daily train schedule will be back on the books in May, and once again travelers will be able to buy a ticket, stand and wait on the platform at Terminal Station, board a train, and take a ride on the rail.  But this is not your run-of-the-mill train ride. In fact it’s a “run-away” train ride [simulation].

Nearly a year into its planning, Runaway Train Transport, the newest escape room game being developed by Escape Experience Chattanooga, is about to open its train doors this summer at its new satellite location at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Nearly every hour, visitors will have the opportunity to test their wits by boarding an actual (stationary) train car modified to simulate an actual train ride, and play an escape room game like no other.

From inside the train car, participants will look outside the windows of the train and see the landscape rushing by on both sides.  If participants make it to the back of the train where they must jump off (not literally) to avoid destruction, they’ll see the rails and landscape receding into the distance as the train travels on.

“I wanted to capture the nostalgia of boarding a train at The Chattanooga Choo Choo, with the added excitement of an escape room game.  Repurposing an an old train car seemed like the most logical way to achieve that vision, commented Michael Rowland, owner of Escape Experience Chattanooga and a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University’s MBA program.

Escape Experience Chattanooga is holding an online competition to give away a free chance to test their new train experience. Those interested in winning the prize will need to enter the contest at: https://www.escapeexperience.com/chattanooga/runaway-train-competition/

The Runaway Train Transport experience is set to open in May this year.  



UT Arboretum Society To Host Butterfly Festival On Aug. 4

Everyone interested in both butterflies and beautiful landscapes is invited to attend the Butterfly Festival hosted by the University of Tennessee Arboretum Society. The family friendly event is scheduled for  Saturday, Aug 4 , from  10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  This event will host various speakers and activities for adults and children. Monarch butterflies will be ... (click for more)

This Week's Tennessee Tourism Round Up

 Witness fire breathers, compete in a city-wide scavenger hunt, join an interpretive hike, watch a free movie under the stars, strike a pose with yoga on the field, listen to live music or go to festivals like the Smithville Fiddler’s Jamboree. Here are the events going on across Tennessee this week. For a complete list, visit  tnvacation.com/calendar . Ongoing ... (click for more)

Red Bank Approves Short Term Vacation Rental Ordinance On Final Reading

The Red Bank Commission passed an ordinance Tuesday night on second and final reading that regulates short term rentals within the city. "Our hands have been tied because of state law," said Mayor John Roberts. Many residents, both for and against allowing these rentals, have come to recent commission meetings appealing to the commissioners for their side of the issue, ... (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Fire On Workman Road Tuesday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story ... (click for more)

Bill Lee Is Great For Tennessee

I had the opportunity to meet Bill and Maria Lee at the grand opening of his Chattanooga Campaign HQ. He delivered, what was by most accounts, a showstopper speech at the Statesman’s dinner in Nashville the night before. He and Maria should have been worn out, but if they were, they really showed very little sign of it. His energy level, for a guy that couldn’t have gotten more ... (click for more)

A Successful East Ridge Bake Sale

Saturday's event at the Camp Jordan Pavilion was nothing more than extraordinary, if not history making.  Alongside the threatening eminent domain letters the citizens of East Ridge received, a Union was formed amongst the East Ridge Police Department.  Coming to City Council the night of April 26, I had only one thing I was focused on: eminent domain.  ... (click for more)