Southern Railway No. 4501 Rebuild Update

southern-railway-logoBy 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, 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…”

Update courtesy of the Southern Railway Historical Association.

Southern Railway No. 4501 Restoration

southern-railway-logoThe 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.

All photos courtesy of the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

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