Prototype / Industrial Tours

Discussions are ongoing with several of Chattanooga’s major industries, many that are rail served. Prospective tours include ADM’s trans-load facility, Signal Mt. Cement,  and Kamatsu.  Additional details and registration for these extra fare activities will be added to the website in early 2019.

The industry tours will be accessed by chartered bus only, individual vehicles will not be allowed on industry property.  The industry tours are not handicapped accessible .

Go to the Prototype/Industrial Tours Page for more details

See the online Prototype Tour Registration form at the bottom of this page.

Tours may be cancelled if not enough participants register, a full refund will be made in case of cancelation.

Industrial Tour #1 - $30

Price includes the cost of a ticket to ride the TVRM's Missionary Ridge Local


ADM Sweetener Terminal

This tour starts with a visit to Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Chattanooga Sweeteners Transload Facility. Chattanooga and the surrounding communities are the home to a concentration of pastry and candy companies including M&M, Little Debbie, Moon Pie and other regional and national manufactures. These plants need large quantities of sugar, both granular and liquid. The transload facility receives both tank cars and covered hoppers. Many carry the ADN logo but other shippers cars appear occasionally.  The sugar is transloaded to trucks for “last mile delivery” to local customers. The facility is switched by the Tyner Terminal Railroad, a part of TVRM’s for profit railroad operations.  Cameras permitted.

  Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum Steam Excursion

The second stop will be at The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum home of steam locomotives 4501 and 630. Upon arrival there will be time to view the static displays of vintage railroad equipment, railfan the NS main line that passes within yards of TVRM’s depot. Your tour includes a ride on TVRM’s Missionary Ridge Local thru a historic Civil War tunnel and a visit to the “back shops” where the restoration of vintage locomotives and cars is performed.


Industrial Tour #2 - $15

Tour # 2 will visit two local industries.

Buzzi Unichem Cement Plant

Buzzi Unichem, formerly Signal Mountain Cement, transforms lime stone quarried a few miles down river from the plant. The crushed rock is barged to the dock and conveyored   to the kilm.  Buzzi uses a modern vertical kilm. The finished product is mostly shipped in bulk although I have occasionally seen flatbed trucks with pallets of bagged cement. The bulk cement is normally shipped in dedicated semi trucks. They also ship about 15 covered hoppers railcars a day. The plant is served by Norfolk Southern’s  Chattanooga “north shore” industrial spur. 

JIT Steel Service Center

JIT, is owned by Macsteel, a national steel service center. The business receives large coils of steel by rail. Frequent seen, in addition to  Norfolk Southern, are coil cars from the mid western RR’s including Indiana Harbor Belt, Elgin Jolliet & Eastern. JIT receives full size coils and custom cuts them to customer specs as to width or length. They also occasionally load and unload barges. Most finished product appear to be shipped out by truck


Click on the link to go to the online Prototype Tour Registration Form