4501 being retiredgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread
I just visited the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum's website and was dissapointed to see that they are taking the 4501 out of service indefinately and that they are going to restore the Ks-1 2-8-0 630, what i don't understand is 4501 was built in 1911, while the 630 was built in 1904, why would they replace 4501 with an older engine? Does 630's size and mechanical condition have something to do with it? As of now the last scheduled excursion for 4501 is set for September 19th.
-- Steven Ashley (St82@juno.com), August 19, 1998
To answer these questions, size does have a lot to do with it. I am a part time conductor at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and have been with the museum for the past five years. Incidentally, I was the conductor on 4501's last run, September 20, 1998 in local service. We are indeed considering restoring the 630 and did recieve an extension to our lease on the locomotive. However, as of late, the situation has changed completely and we are considering either acquiring another locomotive of similiar size and capability or restoring other steam locomotives that the museum already owns. We would like to see the 630 stay with us and be returned to steam, but that is contingent upon our acquisition of the 630 as property of the museum or some favorable agreement being reached by museum management and the owners of the 630. This will play out over the next few weeks.
As for the reasons that the museum would consider restoring a smaller locomotive instead of the 4501, the reason is simply that the 4501 is too large for our railroad's local operations. She is simply too large to operate on the three mile mainline that the museum employs for it's local operations, given that the train only consists of three coaches. She is subject to at least two speed restrictions in curves due to her wheelbase and can be difficult to turn on the 80 foot turntable. Also, her daily fuel consumption is literally twice that of the 610 and as she is a hand fired locomotive, that adds up to twice the work for the fireman. Unfortunately, both 4501 and 630 will require extensive wheel work and both locomotives need a fair amount of boiler work performed before they will be able to return to service. Also, 610 will be approaching 10 years in operation soon and has some heavy repairs that are needed too. That is one of the reasons that we are looking to acquire other steam locomotives or rebuild one already on the property. We need a locomotive that can be put into service as soon as possible. One option would be our Louisiana and Arkansas 4-6-0, No. 509.
However, we too would like to have 4501 back in operation as soon as we can get it done. However, given the current status of things at the museum, I have to be realistic and say that the 4501 will not run again in the 20th Century. A realistic time period would be two to five years, two at the minimum as we have other, more immediate projects that require our attention at this time. The primary project is the completion of the steam locomotive wheel shop. At this stage, that is primarily the installation and restoration of the machines still unfinished. The locomotives will unquestionably remain out of service until the wheel shop is up and running as their return to service is contingent upon needed wheel and running gear work being completed, in addition to their needed boiler repairs. Also, our pool of passenger equipment is undergoing some needed repairs/renovations and without the passenger income, there would be no TVRM or steam locomotive excursions here in the Tennessee Valley.
-- Alan Walker (email@example.com), October 09, 1998.
As the last person to move the 4501 under her own power and next to the last to fire her on September 20, 1998, I can attest (Alan Walker will back me up on this) the '01 still has plenty of life left, but she does need some TLC. Alan Walker covered everthing well and his estimation of two to five years is very accurate considering what she needs. There is nothing that warrants her "retirement" but she does need a lot more immediate attention than, say, the 630, and she is not economical to run in local service. However, we do need a big engine (relatively speaking, of course) to pull our Northwest Georgia trips down the old CofGA so the '01 is very much in need. I will say that TVRM's immediate future is brighter than it has been in years and you should expect that we will have five or six locos under steam in the next ten years including the Lady from Philadelphia, Ms Mikado #4501.
Mike Brown Fireman, Conductor, Student Engineer TVRM
-- Mike Brown (Southern4501@compuserve.com), December 09, 1998.
As an employee of the Kentucky and Tennessee Railway Co., of Stearns, Ky., the last home of the '01, i will say that the 4501 is in need of serious repairs. When she was bought from us by Paul Merriman in 1964 (about 15 years before my time, but I have read about her anyway), her next-to-last drivers had no wheel flanges on the wheels, due to the fact she had to negotiate 20 degree curves, and a 3.5 percent ruling grade, hauling coal. Although we hated seeing her go, we had no choice but to do so, because our four Alco S-2's had arrived on the property in 1964. Only two of those S-2's still exist on the K&T, seeings how we are now the owner of the Big South Fork Scenic Railway, since the coal indutry has moved out tof the area. As far as the '01's retirement, the old woman has seen 88 years of service, so she will damn sure be around for another 88. I will miss riding behind her in the interim, but I still have those memories, ohh, those fond memories.
-- Jerry D Strunk (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 18, 1999.
The Tennesse Valley Railroad plans to bring Old #4501 back to operational service for the long Dixieland trips. The locomotive needs $200,000.00 of repairs before it can be taken in for repairs. The boiler needs retubing and the drivers need turning so a lot of work must be done before the locomotive runs again. Right the #610 is runing and is doing very well but it is too small to haul such a long train down to Georgia, so #610 is mostly used for the local 2 mile runs while most exursions to Georgia were to be pulled by a diesle. Sometimes the #610 runs on the long trips but only for special events. This would be one resone why the Tennesse Valley Railroad plans to bring it back to service. The #630 is planned to run on the local 2 mile exursions with the #610. The #4501 is a 150 ton locomotive and the #630 and #610 are a bit over 110 tons so that would be a big difference to the railroad.
-- Kashi Chris Gupta (email@example.com), October 22, 2003.
Unfortunately the last post seems slightly optimistic. While we at TVRM would like to return the 4501 to service, that is at best uears in the future. Presently TVRM 630 is undergoing its overhaul and we hope to have the locomotive in service before the end of next year. Once the 630 is back in service, it is likely that the 610 will be put in for heavy repairs. 630 has sufficient tractive effort to move the longest excursion train over the road from Chattanooga to Summerville while operating the museum's 3 mile local route more economically than 4501. With increasing focus on operating cost minimization, increased operating and repair costs versus the 630 and 610 are a mark against the restoration of the locomotive. $200k for the repairs on the 4501 are probably on the low side. Size does matter-610's on the small side, 4501's on the large size and the 630 is in the middle. It's slightly smaller than the 4501 but significantly heavier than the 610.
-- Alan Walker (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 30, 2003.
The 4501 is worn out! & 630 is a hunk of Junk!The Backshop Gang won't work on her til Bob Soule, Leaves the TVRM Preident's Office of TVRM! It is a crying shame how slow things are being done but that's the facts of life!
-- Conductor @ TVRM (TVRMCONDUCTOR610@aol.com), March 05, 2004.
That last posting re: Bob Soule is completely uncalled for. Bob is one of the class acts of SE steam preservation and has guided the TVRM through some very tumultous times. The entire paid and volunteer staff of the TVRM is to be commended for what they have done in the past and what they continue to accomplish to this date. We can't always have what we want when we want, but the business viability of the TVRM by far trumps the individual want of a particular locomotive to be running at any given time, especially when said loco can be a money pit.
-- Matt Bumgarnre (email@example.com), March 05, 2004.
I am sooo glad to hear that the BackShop Gang will not be working on the 630 until Bob Soule departs. That means that the welding we just completed on the new boiler section will have to be redone. And the new knuckle patch for the rear tube sheet will also have to be trashed. I guess we better tell Doug Karhan not to return at the end of the month to do the driving wheel work. And then I guess there is no reason to meet with Scott Lindsay next weeks about new driving boxes for the 630.
TVRMConductor610 just where in the world do you get your information? It is obviously not from the source. I'd suggest you keep your opinions to yourself and not broadcast them as fact. BTW, are you a member of TVRM and one of our qualified conductors? How about emailing me off the board.
G. Mark Ray - TVRM Leader of the Back Shop Gang.
-- G. Mark Ray - TVRM (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 13, 2004.
TVRMCONDUCTOR610 could make a positive contribution by dragging his sorry butt out to the shop and getting to work. Just think, when you help us finish 630, the passenger car work, routine maintenance and repairs, shop improvements, and a multitude of other things, we might be a bit closer to working on 4501. Do you want to help, or just get in the way? Al Phillips, TVRM Backshop Gang
-- Al Phillips (email@example.com), May 13, 2004.
As to the potentiality that 4501 will ever run again, I truly hope that she does...but for sentimental reasons. My Great-Uncle William Lennis Thompson was 1st-her fireman, and, 2nd-her engineer on the East St.Louis, MO to Princeton, IN run in the 20's and 30's. My Grandfather Wilbur Joseph Stevens ("Stevie" to his friends and fellow railroaders in/around Oakdale, TN shops) helped get her running during an early railfan excursion during the 60's-70's(?) when they had a problem with her. All that having been said and having been in business (previously) for 25 years, it is FULLY UNDERSTANDABLE that an operation, including TVRM, has to get the 'biggest bang for the buck' and therefore, delay the 'reactivation' of 4501 for a while. I've been inside the TVRM Backshops and the 'Backshop Boys' do phenomenal work! Sounds like conductor610 owes you guys an apology.
-- Bill Stevens (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 06, 2004.
Now, as to the potentiality that 4501 will ever run again, I truly hope that she does...but for sentimental reasons. My Great-Uncle William Lennis Thompson was 1st-her fireman, and, 2nd-her engineer on the East St.Louis, MO to Princeton, IN run in the 20's and 30's. My Grandfather Wilbur Joseph Stevens ("Stevie" to his friends and fellow railroaders in/around Oakdale, TN shops) helped get her running during an early railfan excursion during the 60's-70's(?) when they had a problem with her. All that having been said and having been in business (previously) for 25 years, it is FULLY UNDERSTANDABLE that an operation, including TVRM, has to get the 'biggest bang for the buck' and therefore, delay the 'reactivation' of 4501 for a while. I've been inside the TVRM Backshops and the 'Backshop Boys' do phenomenal work! Sounds like conductor610 owes you guys an apology.
-- Bill Stevens-2nd post (email@example.com), July 06, 2004.