TVRM Steam Trains To Ride The Norfolk Southern Rails Again

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Norfolk Southern Corporation is in negotiations with the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum with regard to the operation of a limited schedule of steam locomotive event appearances and passenger excursions beginning later this year.

“21st Century Steam” would highlight milestones in rail history and provide an opportunity for audiences to learn about today’s safe and service-oriented freight railroads. The program would feature three venerable coal-powered steam locomotives:

Southern Railway 4501: Built in 1911 by Baldwin Locomotive Works, 4501 served Southern Railway in freight service in Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, and Indiana, before being sold to a short line railroad. No. 4501 was retired from revenue service in 1963 and enjoyed a second career in the excursion program operated by Southern Railway and Norfolk Southern from 1966 until 1994. This Ms (Mikado superheated) Class locomotive has 63-inch driving wheels.

Southern Railway 630: Built in 1904 at the Richmond, Va., works of American Locomotive Company, this Consolidation-type locomotive has traveled throughout the Southeast, often in the company of 4501 and sister locomotive 722. An extensive six-year rehabilitation to Federal Railroad Administration standards is being completed at TVRM’s Soule Shops complex in Chattanooga.

Tennessee Valley Railroad 610: Built in 1952 by Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton for the U.S. Army, 610 has been the mainstay of TVRM steam operations since 1990. It also appeared on several Norfolk Southern steam excursions from 1990 to 1993. No. 610, also a Consolidation type, was one of the last steam locomotives built in the U.S.

“This is the right time for steam to ride the Norfolk Southern rails,” said CEO Wick Moorman. “We have a fascinating history, and we have a compelling message about how today’s railroads support jobs, competition, and the economy. It is a forward-looking message that resonates with people everywhere.”

“21st Century Steam can help introduce historic and modern railroading to a broad new audience of supporters,” said TVRM President Tim Andrews. “We are pleased to be developing this relationship with Norfolk Southern for the purpose of preserving and interpreting the steam age, and of bringing today’s railroad closer to people young and old, in communities large and small.”

The launch of 21st Century Steam would coincide with key dates. 2011 will be 4501’s 100th birthday and TVRM’s 50th. The year 2012 will mark Norfolk Southern’s 30th anniversary.

21st Century Steam’s initial appearances and runs tentatively could take place in the Chattanooga area this fall, with locomotives 610 and 630. No. 4501 could join the program sometime in 2011, after rehabilitation. Exhibit dates, ticketing, and other details will be announced later.

“The sights and sounds of a steam train are powerful enough to catch the public’s attention in this busy and complex age,” said Jim Wrinn, author of Steam’s Camelot: Southern and NS Excursions in Color, and editor of Trains Magazine. “A steam train is a living piece of American history that teaches volumes about this exciting industry that has much to offer our country today. Once the door is open with the steam locomotive, you’ve got an opportunity to teach a new generation how railroading is the right transportation solution to so many challenges facing us.”

Later this year, Norfolk Southern and TVRM plan to launch a website in support of the program. Correspondence can be addressed to 21stcenturysteam@nscorp.com.

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum was founded in 1961 in Chattanooga to create an interpretive operating museum of historic equipment and artifacts in an authentic setting. Today it operates an extensive schedule of historic and scenic trains in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia, supported by its East Chattanooga locomotive and car shop complex. TVRM is the largest operating historical excursion railroad in the Southeast.

Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.


Collegedale Celebrates First National Night Out Tuesday

The city of Collegedale will be participating in its first annual National Night Out on Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. at Southern Adventist University's Campus at Thatcher South and Iles Drive. The Collegedale Police Department will be joined by the Tri-Community Fire Department, Hamilton County EMS, Hamilton County 911 and Southern Adventist University's Campus Safety.   The ... (click for more)

United Way Supporter Goes Over The Edge

When Over the Edge starts sending Chattanoogans over the top ofthe SunTrust Building Thursday, KMT Creative Group’s Digital Brand Strategist Noelle Omer will be among those viewing the city from a whole new angle.   KMT Creative Group is a corporate supporter of United Way of Greater Chattanooga and its mission of advancing the common good.  “Supporting ... (click for more)

Teen, 17, Charged With Aggravated Rape In Attack On 69-Year-Old North Chattanooga Runner

A 17-year-old has been charged with aggravated rape in connection with an attack on a 69-year-old runner in North Chattanooga on Monday morning. The teen was identified by Juvenile Court officials as Diontae Smartt. Authorities said he has given a confession. Smartt has a detention hearing Thursday at 12:30. The incident happened at approximately 7:30 a.m. ... (click for more)

Berke Implements New Pay Plan For Chattanooga Fire Department

Mayor Andy Berke joined the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and leadership of the Chattanooga Fire Department to unveil the department’s new pay plan Wednesday afternoon. At a press conference at Fire Hall #1 on Main Street, Mayor Berke and IAFF Local 820 President Jack Thompson signed a memorandum of understanding which sets forth regular raises for fire ... (click for more)

Leaders Lead On Amendment 1

This week the Hamilton County Commission was faced with what I believe may be one of the most important votes they have cast during their tenure.  Granted, the vote was over a "mere" Resolution that resulted in no overt action or new law in our county.  But there are times when simply speaking Truth and taking a stand on a foundational Principle is paramount and as such ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My October Garden

Hark! It is the first day of October and, as I make my monthly stroll through the garden, I find a growing numbers of leaves and acorns. Autumn leaves are beautiful while acorns are nuts, thus you will get the idea as we make our monthly awards: A PRETTY LEAF to Phil Hughes after the Minnesota Twins pitcher came within one inning of earning a $500,000 bonus this season. The deal ... (click for more)