The magic of a train ride can take you back in time.

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum gives passengers a glimpse into the past when railroad travel was a way of life.

If there's a train running there, chances are 18-year-old Brock Griggs is on board.

“I've been coming to the museum for years and years with my father and my grandfather and I really felt passionate about wanting to work out here,” Griggs told Local 3 News.

Griggs, a senior at Skyuka Hall School, grew up watching trains so when he had the opportunity to work part-time at the museum he jumped at the chance.

“The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum has been a huge part of my growing experience, growing up into a mature adult, and these people out here are absolutely amazing. I couldn't ask for any better workforce than this place,” said Griggs.

Griggs loves meeting passengers and talking about trains.

The teen works in the dining-car department.

“I make sure we have all the food onboard when it's time to go. We've got to make sure we have all the tablecloths and everything, silverware ready to go. If someone needs help, I'll go help them. We're all a family here. We all stick together,” Griggs told Local 3 News.

Tragedy struck the museum last month when the longtime general manager of passenger operations, George Walker, died following an accident at the shop.

Walker began working at the museum as a teenager in 1981.

“George was a leader. That sums it up for a lot of us, really. He was that person that we would go to if there was a problem or he would help you with every situation if we had a mechanical problem. We would call him and he would tell us what to do. He would have that magic touch. He was really a major part of what held us together out here,” said Griggs.

Walker was a leader, a mentor and a teacher to any young person who visited the museum.

His legacy will live on there and in the hearts of those, like Griggs, who knew him and shared his love of trains.


Lori Mitchell joined Local 3 News in February 2017 and co-anchors our morning newscasts on weekday mornings. Lori reports on inspiring stories in her weekly "Making a Difference" segment, featuring people who are making a positive impact in the community.

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