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.
A newspaper reporter dubbed the huffing and puffing little steam locomotive the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Although the Chattanooga’s Terminal Station was significant in its role of the train era with its “Track 29”, little was known about the first Chattanooga Choo Choo. Only after Glenn Miller's orchestra made the catchy song popular in the late 1940's did the name become world famous. Introduced in 1941 by the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the song was featured in the movie "Sun Valley Serenade" and performed by Tex Beneke and the Modernaires. Harry Warren wrote the original music score, while Mack Gordon takes credit for the rhythmic words. The Chattanooga Choo Choo song traveled fast throughout the circles of Europe during World War II, and today it is an international favorite.