Two classic steam locomotives are powering the excursions. Southern Railway No. 630 was built in 1904 by American Locomotive Company at Richmond, Va., and has been a mainstay of 21st Century Steam excursions after having been rebuilt in TVRM’s Chattanooga shops. Nickel Plate Road No. 765 was built in 1944 by Lima Locomotive Works at Lima, Ohio, and is familiar to many railroaders, having been in excursion service on and off since 1979.
On June 7, TVRM will operate the Steam Anniversary Special in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the 1964 train from Stearns, Ky., to Chattanooga that led to Southern Railway’s launch of a steam excursion program the same year. The June 6, 1964 train was powered by Southern Railway Locomotive 4501, which now is being rebuilt at TVRM’s Chattanooga shops. Southern’s excursion program operated from 1964 to 1994.
In 2010, Norfolk Southern and TVRM announced plans to launch 21st Century Steam “to highlight milestones in rail history and provide opportunities for audiences to learn about today’s safe and service-oriented freight railroads,” NS said. The inaugural excursions took place during Labor Day weekend 2011, powered by the 630.
Tickets for the trains listed on tbe schedule are available through the websites of TVRM (www.tvrail.com) and FWRHS (www.fortwaynerailroad.org). Some trains are Norfolk Southern employee specials as noted on the schedule and are not available to the general public. All excursions are round trip.