On a recent trip to Nashville, we stopped in to visit the Tennessee Central Railway Museum. This is a cozy museum, housed in the former Mechanic’s office of the TC. It is filled with historical artifacts and staffed by enthusiastic volunteers. We spent a lovely afternoon talking with our guide, learning the history (and geography) of central Tennessee, and spending a short bit of time in the rail yard. They are actively restoring rolling stock and on weekends offer passenger excursion trains.
The Tennessee Central was a freight and passenger line that ran East-West across the state. The other two lines ran North-South. TC had a difficult history due to animosity from the other companies and was comprised of patchwork of lines purchased from other defunct railroads, at its height it ran from Harriman to Hopkinsville in Kentucky. Its heyday was prior to WWII when it ran freight from the mines and during the war when Troop trains and war equipment gave it some added life. It went into final bankruptcy and was dissolved in 1968. A nice history is written up at Tennessee History for Kids
Today, Nashville has a Commuter Rail.
Tennessee Central Railway Museum
220 Willow Street
Nashville, TN 37210
See website for hours.
There is a hobby shop housed within the museum stocking N and HO scale models. (Note: this doesn’t interest me so I didn’t peak into the shop.)