In 1960, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum was founded by Paul H. Merriman and Robert M. Soule along with a group of local railway preservationists who were concerned with saving steam locomotives and railway equipment for future historical display and use. In 1964, Mr. Merriman and Mr. Soule found out that the Kentucky & Tennessee Railroad was converting to diesel. With this in mind, they raised $5,000.00 and purchased K&T Nos. 10 & 12. The latter of the two engines originally belonged to the Southern Railway as 4501. Engine No. 10 was renumbered 6910. It ran for a short while after restoration. In October 1965, the engine made a fan trip to Cleveland, Tennessee from Chattanooga. I thoroughly enjoyed working with this engine back in 1978 & 1981. Currently, the engine is in storage at the TVRM.
The silent video of this historic trip is courtesy of HawkinsRails.net via YouTube.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum‘s quarterly “Smoke & Cinders” newsletter, Volume 53, No. 2, included a special writeup on the commemoration of Southern Railway No. 4501’s movement to Chattanooga in 1954 — fifty years ago!
On Saturday, June 7, 2014, an important milestone was commemorated: An event that took place fifty years ago and ultimately (if unintentionally) influenced the Southern Railway to return steam locomotives to their lines.
The full writeup begins on Page 3. (Click the small images below to view the full-size newsletter pages.)
It’s time for another update on the Southern Railway No. 4501 Rebuild from the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum‘s “Smoke & Cinders” newsletter. (Click the small images below to view the full-size newsletter pages.)
The introduction reads:
STEAM UP! — In early March, and for the first time in sixteen years, Locomotive #4501 had a fire in its firebox. Several years of work went into getting the boiler to this level of completion and it passed its steam test for the FRA. After checking out the boiler, the locomotive was rolled back into the shop to continue its reassembly. Smoke from the stack was an impressive sight, but there would still be plenty of work to be done before the engine could undergo actual operational testing. Each week it seems that more “task items” are erased from the white board by TVRM’s very talented craftsmen. (All photos by Steve Freer unless otherwise noted.)
STEAM RESOLUTION – Work continued on #4501 throughout the Fourth Quarter of 2013. As the calendar clicked over to the New Year, many tasks had been marked off the Project 4501 to-do list. All flues, tubes, and superheater elements and the final driving wheel had been installed, firebox arch tubes inserted, and a hydrostatic test of the boiler concluded. With the hydro complete, attention was turned toward a long list of details including installation of appliances, application of air, steam, and lubrication lines, and much more. When finished in a few months, #4501 will be what Southern Railway envisioned the locomotive to be had they completed similar updtes done to many of their other Ms Class Mikados. In anticipation of adding a feedwater heater, Southern incorporated a plate into the new steam chest installed in 1945, which would allow attachment of steam lines for the heater. This long-ago planned performance upgrade was never completed…until now. Blank areas on the cylinder saddles had to be machined for attachment of pipes by TVRM’s restoration crew, but without Southern’s plan for the future this would not have been possible. When she rolls out of Soule Shops in East Chattanooga, the locomotive will be more efficient and powerful. Only a few short years ago, many thought this locomotive would never run again. Now we’ll be privileged to witness an all-new, never-before-seen #4501 roar to life! (All photos by Steve Freer unless otherwise noted.)
4501 Restoration #4 Pg 1
4501 Restoration #4 Pg 2
4501 Restoration #4 Pg 3
Kentucky & Tennessee #12(Ex-Southern Rwy #4501) @ Stearns KY – 1962 (Credit: Tom Gildersleeve)
Big Wheels, Bigger Work – Even though casual onlookers might not notice without closer examination, restoration has been moving ahead steadily on Southern #4501. Employees, volunteers, and contractors have been toiling away on everything from front to back and top to bottom on the locomotive. During the week of August 26, a milestone was reached as three of the four driving wheel axles were reinstalled into the frame. (The fourth set’s insertion would be delayed until further firebox work could be completed.) Much of the progress up to this point seemed to be less noticeable on a daily basis, but when the driving wheels went back under the boiler, that made a major visual impact. Each axle was installed individually over the drop pit after the frame was positioned properly and the yellow rail bridge moved (seen in photo). The overhead crane was used to lift each wheelset onto the hydraulic jack inside the pit. Then the jack was rolled under the frame and the axle raised into position. Although this sounds easy, it is a tedious process with every close clearance tolerances, which makes it tricky to say the least. The shop crew was glad to finally get some driving wheels back under #4501. More images of wheel installation are on page 2, and additional work is shown on pages 3 and 4. When she rolls out of Soule Shops in 2014, TVRM will have quite a workhorse to be enjoyed by thousands (millions?) of fans in Chattanooga and throughout NS lineside communities. (All photos by Steve Freer unless otherwise noted.)
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)