What a Trip!

What would your life be like without commercial transportation? Whether by boat, plane, barge, or train, transportation plays a key role in our lives. The Tennessee-Tombigbee Intermodal Transportation Museum explores this vital link, focusing on the man-made canal between the Tennessee River and Tombigbee River, known as the Tennesseee-Tombigbee Waterway.

Wilderness Graphics planned, designed, fabricated, and installed educational exhibits for the museum in Columbus, Mississippi. Check out the video below to see it come to life, or explore the gallery!

The Pilot House

The Pilot House was a small existing structure that we completely redesigned. We enclosed it and turned it into a small theater. Using local talent, we wrote, filmed, produced, and edited a 3-screen video aimed at children and adults, alike. The production recruits visitors as crew for a virtual river barge journey down the waterway, including entering and exiting a lock. Console equipment offers interactive opportunities between shows.

The History of Transportation

This gallery explores the beginnings of transportation to what it is today. It focuses on roads, railroads, and waterways. A "living newspaper" shows early shots of the Tenn-Tom Waterway construction. We incorporated an existing model of the Vienna steamboat, adding furnishings to complement the wood textures of the exhibit. Printed substrates include Sintra® PVC and wood.


1. Mixing Wheel

The mixing wheel features artifacts from the opening ceremony of the Tenn-Tom Waterway on June 1, 1985. Visitors turn the wheel to watch the waters of the Tenn-Tom's tributaries "mix."

2. Lock Game

This fun interactive computer game prompts visitors to operate a lock system on their own to figure out how a barge is "locked through." Only a certain button sequence will work!

3. Locate the Locks

A 3-D map printed on acrylic displays all 10 locks of the Tenn-Tom Waterway -- but without identification labels! Visitors must press a lock button for a striking red laser to point out its location on the map.

4. Intermodal Transportation

This three-tiered structure gives tribute to trucks, trains, and barges. With a moving train and audio, it teaches about the relationship between these three modes of transportation and how their cargo capacities compare. You won't believe the differences!

Follow the Route

Follow the Route tracks one resource, steel, from its beginnings as scrap to its end products. This intriguing video reveals how many forms of transportation are used to move the metal -- from port to mills to commercial businesses around the globe.