herald_souChattanooga Choo Choo

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The Terminal Station seemed destined for the similar fate of Union Station (parts of which were built before the Civil War) at the center of town, which was demolished in 1973. But Terminal Station was saved from the wrecking ball by a group of local businessmen who were inspired by the theme of the "Chattanooga Choo Choo." They invested $4 million before its new grand opening on April 11, 1973, and the beautiful Terminal Station once again opened its doors to welcome visitors to Chattanooga - this time as a unique vacation complex. With its listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974, the Chattanooga Choo Choo Historic Hotel is considered one of the city's first historic preservation projects.

In 1989, a group of Chattanooga investors, known as Choo Choo Partners, Ltd., brought new management and invested another $4 million+ dollars in renovations to the complex. In the summer of 2014, the Chattanooga Choo Choo began a redevelopment of the entire hotel property, including new and vibrant restaurants, exciting music venues, and an on-site apartment conversion. The Chattanooga Choo Choo Historic Hotel, famous in history and song, has become the ultimate district for entertainment in the region. Today there is again the bustle that was so familiar in the railroad days!

Chattanooga Choo Choo

ccc_state Occupying the Southern Railway terminal station erected in 1908, the Chattanooga Choo Choo is today a hotel and retail shopping complex featuring a number of stationary passenger and sleeper cars. The site also features a former New Orleans streetcar and a large HO model railroad layout.

Click to see the Chattanooga Choo Choo hotel area plotted on a Google Maps page

Trolley

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In 1924, Pearly Thomas Car Works of High Point, NC, built the Choo Choo's trolley. The reversible seats were constructed in Philadelphia, PA. The Trolley operated on the Canal Street Line in New Orleans from 1924 to 1960. The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum obtained the Trolley and brought it to Chattanooga in 1964. After being restored in Georgia, the Trolley began operating from the opening day at the Chattanooga Choo Choo in 1973 and provides one of the most unique experiences on the property.

Chattanooga Choo Choo

Chattanooga Choo Choo #953

  • builder:Pearly Thomas Car Works
  • type:2 truck closed trolley
  • built:1924
  • notes:
  • blt for New Orleans Public Service #959
    retired from Canal Street line, 1964
    to Tennessee Valley Rwy Museum, 1964
    to Chattanooga Choo Choo, 1973
    renumbered #953
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    Given his roots in the city, and his love for all things streetcar (trolley) related, my father has always been on a quest to find, photograph, and ride all of the retired NOPSI New Orleans cars that are scattered around the country at various trolley museums. I remember well my father's glee when we caught up with #953 in the Chattanooga Choo Choo complex in 1986. Despite the yellow paint, she still sports the classic Pearly Thomas lines of the 900 series NOPSI cars that still ply the St. Charles and Riverfront lines in New Orleans. Nice to know #953 is still doing her thing, albeit several states away from her home rails.

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    Song

    Chattanooga Choo Choo - Glenn Miller / YouTube

    Links / Sources

    This page was updated on 2017-09-02