Pigs are flying in Norfolk

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Wed Jun 30 15:40:28 EDT 2010

Mainline steam excursions could return to Norfolk Southern rails soon

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Published: Wednesday, June 30, 2010

NORFOLK, Va., and CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Mainline steam excursions could
return to Norfolk Southern rails as early as this fall after NS said
Wednesday it is negotiating with Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum to operate
a limited schedule of steam locomotive appearances and public passenger
excursions beginning later this year.

Norfolk Southern and its predecessor Southern Railway ran an extensive
series of excursions each year from 1966 to 1994. The new program, called
21st Century Steam, marks a return to steam-powered public relations on the
big Eastern carrier and would highlight important dates in railroad history
and provide an opportunity for audiences to learn about modern freight

The program would feature three venerable coal-powered steam locomotives:

- Southern Railway 2-8-2 No. 4501, a 1911 Baldwin which began the
Southern excursions in 1966, and requires a complete overhaul at TVRM, which
owns the Mikado. TVRM President Tim Andrews said the engine could be made
ready to run in a year if enough laborers are assigned to the engine.
- Southern Railway 2-8-0 No. 630, a 1904 Alco product that also ran on
Southern excursions from 1968 to 1978. An extensive six-year rehabilitation
to Federal Railroad Administration standards is set for completion at TVRM's
Soule Shops complex with a target date of September.
- Tennessee Valley Railroad 2-8-0 No. 610, a 1952 by
Baldwin-Lima-Hamilton product for the U.S. Army. The engine has been the
mainstay of TVRM steam operations since 1990. It also appeared on several
Norfolk Southern steam excursions from 1990 to 1993.

"This is the right time for steam to ride the Norfolk Southern rails," said
CEO Wick Moorman. "We have a fascinating history, and we have a compelling
message about how today's railroads support jobs, competition, and the
economy. It is a forward-looking message that resonates with people

"21st Century Steam can help introduce historic and modern railroading to a
broad new audience of supporters," Andrews said. "We are pleased to be
developing this relationship with Norfolk Southern for the purpose of
preserving and interpreting the steam age, and of bringing today's railroad
closer to people young and old, in communities large and small."

The launch of 21st Century Steam would coincide with key dates. 2011 will be
4501's 100th birthday and TVRM's 50th. The year 2012 will mark Norfolk
Southern's 30th anniversary.

21st Century Steam's initial appearances and runs tentatively could take
place in the Chattanooga area this fall, with locomotives 610 and 630.
Exhibit dates, ticketing, and other details will be announced later.

Later this year, Norfolk Southern and TVRM plan to launch a website in
support of the program. Correspondence can be addressed to
21stcenturysteam at nscorp.com. *— Jim Wrinn*
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