SMOKE & CINDERS QUARTERLY 2021: TVA DONATION & MORE!
In this bustling quarter, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’ blog has kept its readers on their toes. Here’s a concise recap of what we delved into:
- TVA Donation: We kicked off with an in-depth look at the generous donation by TVA, shedding light on its historical and contemporary significance for rail enthusiasts and Tennessee’s rail infrastructure.
- Rail Camp 2021: An exclusive peek into the highlights and experiences from Rail Camp 2021. From hands-on workshops to interactive sessions, Rail Camp was a grand success!
- New Ticketing System and Web Site: Embracing technology, we introduced our new ticketing system and a revamped website, designed for a user-friendly experience.
- Do You Know?: Our trivia section tested the knowledge of our readers and introduced them to lesser-known rail facts.
- Elsewhere in Steam Preservation: A segment that took readers on a global journey, exploring steam preservation efforts from different corners of the world.
- History Shared: A nostalgic trip down memory lane, recalling iconic moments in rail history.
- In the Gift Shop: Showcasing the latest souvenirs and memorabilia for rail aficionados.
- Latest from Soule Shops: The newest innovations and projects in the works were unveiled.
- This Quarter in History: A feature that spotlighted significant rail events from the past, in this quarter.
- Meet the Team: Our readers got a chance to know the people behind the scenes, who make it all possible.
- From the President’s Desk: Closing the quarter with insights, reflections, and visions for the future from the President of Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.
Stay tuned as we chug along into the next quarter with even more exciting rail stories, updates, and features!
The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) recently announced an acquisition that not only signifies the integral role of railroads in Tennessee’s development but also underscores the intertwined efforts of the railroads and the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) contribution to powering the state’s economy.
In a joint statement from TVA and TVRM in early August, the significant donation of the Fairbanks-Morse model H16-66 #F3060 locomotive to TVRM’s collection was revealed. Constructed in 1958, this “Baby” Train Master is a 1600 horsepower variant of the 2400 H24-66 Train Master, recognized at the time as the most potent single-unit locomotive.
This rare locomotive, which once stood proud and active at TVA’s Gallatin generating plant near Gallatin, TN, played a crucial role in transporting coal from the CSX interchange to the plant. But following a switch from rail to barge delivery for coal in 1997, the locomotive was retired.
“Placing this retired locomotive with the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum means that this rare piece of history will be preserved for years to come,” voiced Carol Eimers, TVA regional vice president, east region. She further expressed her pride in the joint effort with TVRM to safely transport the locomotive from Gallatin Plant to Chattanooga, which is also poised to be a centerpiece for the 60th-anniversary celebration.
Diving deeper into its history, the Fairbanks-Morse model H16-66 #F3060 is a marvel, with only eleven of its kind preserved today. The design boasts two pistons in each cylinder, allowing for an unparalleled horsepower production. Despite its uniqueness, the design’s intricacy also led to its decline, as maintaining such a locomotive in the strenuous railroad environment proved challenging.
After almost forty fruitful years at the Gallatin plant, TVA reached out to TVRM in 2019 with a proposal to donate and preserve the locomotive. With no rail service to the plant, a comprehensive plan was developed to transport the locomotive via highways to Chattanooga. TVA provided crucial support, lifting the partially disassembled locomotive onto a specialized truck.
As the clock ticks down to the start of the year-long 60th Anniversary celebration on October 13, 2021, the locomotive is expected to be a showstopper, taking center stage at TVRM in Chattanooga.
- What is the significance of the Fairbanks-Morse model H16-66 #F3060 locomotive?
- It is a rare locomotive, a 1600 horsepower variant of the powerful H24-66 Train Master.
- How many of these locomotives are preserved today?
- Only eleven of these locomotives are preserved today.
- Why was the locomotive retired in 1997?
- Coal shipments transitioned from rail to barge delivery, leading to its retirement.
- When is the 60th-anniversary celebration of TVRM?
- The celebration begins on October 13, 2021.
The Fairbanks-Morse model H16-66 #F3060 locomotive stands as a testament to the significance of railroads in the growth and development of Tennessee. Its donation to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum ensures that future generations will have a chance to witness and learn about this intertwined history of railroads and electricity.