Trains, trains, and more trains at the third annual Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Railfest weekend! The weather could not have cooperated any better for TVRM photographer Mr. Mike Ray as can be witnessed by the photos from the event he has submitted. The photos would almost lead a viewer to believe it was 1940, not 2013.
SR #6133 & #2594 @ East Chattanooga – Railfest 2013 (Credit: Mike Ray)
SR #6133 @ Soule Shops, East Chattanooga Yards – Railfest 2013 (Credit: Mike Ray)
SR #6133 and SR #630 @ Grand Junction – Railfest 2013 (Credit: Mike Ray)
SR #630 NB @ McDonald, TN enroute to Cleveland, TN – 9/8/13 – Railfest 2013 (Credit: Mike Ray)
SR #630 on turntable @ East Chattanooga Yards – Railfest 2013 (Credit: Mike Ray)
BIT BY BIT, PIECE BY PIECE — Toward the end of a winter workday, Locomotives 4501 and 630 sit quietly inside TVRM’s Soule Shops in East Chattanooga. In this view from January 24, progress can be seen in the restoration of #4501, while #630 receives off season maintenance in preparation for return to service prior to Spring. Number 630’s annual inspection required separation of the coal tender from the locomotive in order to inspect the drawbar, removal of a section of boiler jacketing to repair several stay bolts, and elective modification of the main crank pins to improve lubrication over the rod brass and exterior pin surfaces. Work was completed in time for the locomotive to enter service in late February in advance of the scheduled 21st Century Steam trip from Chattanooga to Attalla on March 2 (and subsequent outings to/from Bristol, Roanoke, Norfolk, and beyond.) For #4501, its major rebuild was continuing with rebuilding of the lead truck, trailing truck frame replacement and changeover to roller bearings, final firebox repairs with the interior and exterior throat sheet patches, and continuation of the feed water heater and pump installation along with all associated plumbing. With plenty of work yet to go, the progress thus far is amazing and the level of craftsmanship is astounding. Thanks to everyone who helps keep TVRM moving forward.
(All photos by Steve Freer unless otherwise noted.)
By now, everyone knows of the success of Norfolk Southern and TVRM‘s smashing success regarding the new steam program. The rebirth of #630 and her trips last year and this past spring were nothing short of spectacular. Fortunately for SR fans, the best may be yet to come. Legendary #4501 is in the shop being rebuilt at the current time, and this report from G. Mark Ray at TVRM, courtesy of www.rypn.com, gives us the latest from the shops:
“The firebox work is complete. She’s now had 100% of the staybolts and mud ring rivets replaced, around 97% of the firebox sheets renewed (two small areas under the rear tube that were renewed in 1984 were left intact), the backhead replaced, a flush patch installed in the right side exterior side sheet, the exterior throat sheet renewed, and a flush patch put in the dome course to replace a forge weld…
“All the boiler studs and boiler fittings are applied. The tubes and flues will not be installed until she’s back on her wheels…. Finally, the new smokebox front is being fabricated using the same centerpiece pattern as 630…
“Machinery work is in full swing. All the spring rigging is sitting on the shop floor. We found the front equalizer was frozen solid at the pivot pin which made it difficult to remove. The engine truck is ready for assembly once pins and bushes are returned from the heat treater. The driving boxes are coming along quite well. Hub liners are applied, babbiting installed, and final machining is underway. The shoes and wedges are being cast and should arrive just in time for machining…”
The restoration of Southern Railway Mikado No. 4501 is progressing nicely at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Here are a few photos that were taken over the past few months of the restoration. These photos have been posted on the TVRM website and in their newsletter, Smoke & Cinders. I would have never imagined the work that is required to restore a steam locomotive until I witnessed this firsthand. When you visit TVRM, make sure to ride the Missionary Ridge Local which will take the rider to the Soule Shops at the East Chattanooga terminus. Here you will be able to see the restoration in progress.