Pardon me boys, is that the Chattanooga Choo-Choo? In 1941, the famous Glenn Miller song, “Chattanooga Choo Choo,” was heard over radio stations across the nation, describing the journey of a train travelling from New York City along the Eastern Seaboard until its end at Terminal Station in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Terminal Station was opened in 1909 and was the largest and most modern station that the city had ever seen. Donn Barber, a student of the École des Beaux-Arts, designed the station, which featured a large, arched main entrance as well as a ceiling dome with a skylight. Brass chandeliers completed the rooms, bestowing an air of grandeur. During the 1950s and 1960s, rail traffic decreased significantly until 1970, when the last passenger train, the Birmingham Special, left Terminal Station.
A group of businessmen bought the station and surrounding property in 1972, renaming it, “The Chattanooga Choo Choo,” after the Glenn Miller song. The flashing neon sign can be seen for miles around downtown.