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.


New Hamilton County Marriage Licenses

Here are the new marriage licenses from the County Clerk's office: JONATHAN ALEXANDER PRUITT                         KAILYN ELIZABETH SNYDER 35 OSCEOLA ... (click for more)

Dr. Mary Headrick Calls For Voters To Get Involved

 Dr. Mary Headrick says in a Labor Day speech, “Grassroots participation in elections is the only thing that stands in the way of billionaires and corporations taking over democracy in the United States of America.” In her keynote speech at the East Tennessee Labor Day Picnic, the candidate for the 3rd US Congressional District addressed the audience of over 200.  She ... (click for more)

Greg Beck Asking County Commission Chairmanship; Others Seeking Post Behind The Scenes

Long time County Commissioner Greg Beck is seeking the chairmanship of the Hamilton County Commission, he said. Several other commissioners are working behind the scenes to try to get the top commission post. The job opened up after the unexpected defeat of Commission Chairman Fred Skillern in the August primary election. Larry Henry, who has held the chairmanship several ... (click for more)

1 Dies, 4 Injured In 2-Vehicle Crash At Soddy Daisy

One person has died in a wreck Sunday at Soddy Daisy in which four other people were injured. The wreck happened at 12:35 p.m. when a vehicle traveling north struck another vehicle that was pulling onto the highway. A small red truck was badly damaged in the crash. It happened at 12130 Dayton Pike near Tavern Sports Bar and Grille. One person was airlifted, while the ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)