Mon
Feb 4 2013
03:49 pm

NS teased us this morning with a Facebook post about their afternoon's release of this year's steam excursion schedule. They cruelly stated that the number 611 was included nowhere in the document.

Later, true to their promise, Beauty and the Beast were conspicuously absent.

TVRM's newly restored Southern Railway Consolidation number 630 and Nickel Plate Berkshire number 765 will be doing the honors.

51
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AnonymousOne's picture

Barely makes it into

Barely makes it into Tennessee.

Oh how I miss the days of 4501 to Asheville, Chattanooga, and Jellico.

Those were the days, my friend.

redmondkr's picture

Knoxville to Ashevile, 1972

4501 Photo Runby

As far as I know we only went to Jellico twice, both trips on the same weekend. There was a little restaurant downtown with a sign that said they could seat a thousand patrons, 29 at a time. We had about 650 on the train.

Brian A.'s picture

What days were those?

What days were those?

redmondkr's picture

TVRM runs wonderful all day

TVRM runs wonderful all day excursions from Chattanooga to Summerville, Georgia, several weekends every fall with their Autumn Leaf Specials, sold out months in advance. Well worth the time and fare with includes lunch in the Traveler's Fare dining car.

AnonymousOne's picture

Is 4501 now a static display

Is 4501 now a static display somewhere? That's the last I heard about it, and it's a little sad.

Did you get to see the American Freedom Train? I saw it down at the Ebenezer Crossing when it came through.

redmondkr's picture

4501 is undergoing a pretty

4501 is undergoing a pretty extensive restoration in the Soule Shops at TVRM in Chattanooga. She's expected to be back in steam again later this year.

She is even getting a stoker. Until now she has sported the largest hand fired boiler on the road and was a real pain to fire.

You will notice too that she is no longer 'The Green Machine'. Between 1911 and 1964 she was a freight locomotive and only Southern's passenger engines received the traditional Virginia Green and gold livery. When she was rescued from mine service in Stearns Kentucky back in 1964, Graham Claytor with Southern, who loved steam, suggested the color scheme and donated the materials to TVRM to make it so.

4501 singlehandedly began the steam excursion phenomenon in the Southeast in 1966, a program that lasted until the deaths of our benefactors, the Claytor brothers, within a few months of each other in the mid 1990s.

Fortunately TVRM worked out an agreement with the Chattooga & Chickamauga Railroad in Northern Georgia to run trains on their system with trackage rights over a short connecting portion of Norfolk Southern through downtown Chattanooga thus continuing service that disappeared from the rest of the NS system..

I shot her performing this runby in Chickamauga, Georgia back in 1996 all shiny in her new black paint. You may want to crank up the audio a bit here because it is such sweet music.

metulj's picture

I am generally an old rail

I am generally an old rail fan, but a high-speed rail lobbyist who is an acquaintance makes the point that these nostalgia rides are just propaganda to get people to remember the "good old days" by outfits like NS and the others. In other words, the "good old days" ain't never coming back, so here's some fun and don't ask for the real thing.

I don't know about that in toto, but I see his point. Rail can save us in so many ways but we are screwed by the way the structure of rail works in this country. Until you make it profitable for Big Rail to let passenger trains ride unobstructed and on schedule on quality tracks it will never happen until high-speed rail on independent ROW happens (and that is NEVER as long as schmucks like Duncan are messing around on Transportation committees).

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