We took a large group on the train trip in October. We made advance reservations through Chattanooga (there is a $1.50 per ticket charge for doing this) since we were a large group, but there was plenty of space to have waited until the last day. We did call the Etowah station in advance and make sure they had a sufficient number of buses to get us to the State Park to start the trip. The lady appreciated that call. They use old buses to drive you to the train. It was possible to drive to the state park and pick up the start of the train. Parking at the Etowah Station can get tight; some people then parked along the street in Etowah and walked a few blocks to the station.
There were people in wheelchairs able to take the trip and there are ramps to help with mobility needs.
The museum is free and takes only a few minutes to walk through at the Etowah station. It doesn't really matter which side of the train you sit on, as it changes sides at the top. However, some people were pretty tired for the return trip (and it's not quite as sunny), so sitting on the side furthest from you when you get on the train for the trip up might be just a bit smarter. The snack bar is very limited, so we would encourage you to take along some food and beverages. You can get up and move around easily on the trip. There is a little unexpected entertainment along the way which was nice. The only thing that could have been improved on is that the commentary over the speaker could not be heard in some of the cars. We had people change cars to hear better. Sit back, relax and enjoy! The people who work on this trip, from the reservations to the station and the train were all very welcoming and appreciated. Don't forget to leave a tip in the can at the end of the trip.
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