The Chattanooga Choo Choo engine now on display at Terminal Station is the same type of wood-burning train used on that first run from Cincinnati to Chattanooga in 1880.
The first Chattanooga Choo Choo Train was Cincinnati Southern Railroad's small wood burning steam locomotive that started its journey through history from Cincinnati, Ohio on March 5, 1880. Nearly all trains traveling to the South passed through Chattanooga. The wood-burning "Choo Choo" was the first to provide non-stop service.
The men who stood at the controls of these early steam locomotives were rugged individualists. They were men who were willing to withstand the hardships and personal sacrifices associated with this demanding profession. The Chattanooga Choo Choo train engine now on display at Terminal Station is the same kind of wood-burner used on that first run from Cincinnati to Chattanooga in 1880. Built at that time by Baldwin, it was last used in service by the Smoky Mountain Railroad between Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains in the 1940's. Completely refurbished, she is the only engine of her kind now in the city. Two similar engines - The "General" of Civil War fame, and the "Best Friend of Charleston" - were for many years in Chattanooga but were put on display elsewhere by their owning railroad companies.