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Tennessee Valley Railroad News

smoke & cinders

Smoke & Cinders (2020) – 2020, Certainly Not The Year We Planned

2020, Certainly Not The Year We Planned To our members, annual pass holders, supporters and friends – It’s hard to write a newsletter that spans from the end of the fourth quarter of 2019 (by most measurements a good year) through four quarters of 2020 that doesn’t make the Coronavirus Pandemic the central story…

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June 3, 2021

Smoke & Cinders (1st Quarter 2018) – Hiwassee River Railroad: Always an Adventure

Hiwassee River Railroad: Always an Adventure The Hiwassee District of TVRM had a banner year 2018. We set an attendance record of over 18,000 passengers, established a new ride option for schools and a new-to-us Dome Car was put in service in September. We also completed needed additions to our infrastructure at the Gee Creek…

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April 12, 2021

Smoke & Cinders (2nd Quarter 2018) – It All Started with A Birthday Party

It All Started with A Birthday Party Second of two part series The 6914’s restoration is the first, complete diesel locomotive restoration done at TVRM. Refurbishing the cab was one of our biggest hurdles. Before TVRM began work on the E8, the cab had been almost completely stripped. There was no floor, no brake equipment,…

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April 12, 2021

Smoke & Cinders (3rd Quarter 2018) – Doubleheading at TVRM

Doubleheading at TVRM If there’s anything more exciting than a train powered by a steam locomotive, it’s a train powered by two steam locomotives. Some of our most popular excursions include TVRM’s Summerville Steam Specials, when Southern 630 and 4501 are on the point. While these trips provide a lot of sensory stimulation, a more…

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April 12, 2021

Smoke & Cinders (4th Quarter 2018) – Thirty Tons of Archives

Thirty Tons of Archives The Southern Railway Historical Association was formed at the former Southern Railway’s Spencer Shops, now The North Carolina Transportation Museum, in 1986. Almost immediately individuals and Norfolk Southern recognized “SRHA” as a group that was strongly focused and interested in preserving the history of Southern Railway. TVRM and SRHA’s mutual interest in the Southern has led to many people with memberships in both. The merger of Southern and Norfolk & Western in 1982 led to many changes in both railroads. Company records were reviewed for future use with many moved to different NS offices or identified as not being needed. Fortunately, both SRHA and the Norfolk & Western Historical Society were available and ready to receive and preserve drawings and files for “their” railroads. As the SRHA collection grew (and grew) we had to keep looking…

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April 12, 2021

Smoke & Cinders (2nd Quarter 2017) – What it takes to put on an event

What it takes to put on an event While about 70% of our ridership comes from passengers on our “regular” trains (Missionary Ridge Local, Hiwassee and North Georgia), the remaining 30% come from special events. Those 30% of our riders represent 57% of our passenger revenue due to the higher prices charged for the events. Each special event requires a high level of advance planning and close supervision to ensure an extraordinary experience for our guests. At TVRM each special event has an event coordinator. Whether it be Steve Freer for Day Out With Thomas or Jennifer Ennis… 2nd QTR 2017 web

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April 12, 2021

Smoke & Cinders (3rd Quarter 2017) – Riding in Luxury

Riding in Luxury In the last issue of Smoke and Cinders we talked about the special events that are used to boost TVRM’s income. While these events generate a higher ticket price (and cost) they represent a relatively small part of our operating schedule. For a much longer part of the year we operate off site excursions in North Georgia and on the Hiwassee. These trains have constraints on the number of cars that can be handled, so how does TVRM maximize the revenue from those trains? In addition to the cars with standard coach class seating TVRM offers Premium seating in one of five specialty cars. Included are the observations cars at the end… 3rd QTR 2017 web

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April 12, 2021

Smoke & Cinders (4th Quarter 2017) – Being in Select Company – TVRM Joins the SHA

Being in Select Company – TVRM Joins the SHA Biltmore Estate…Shenandoah Caverns…The Blowing Rock…Rock City…Ruby Falls. These iconic heritage attractions bring to mind the very best of historic and scenic destinations, but they have something else in common. Each of these locations is a member of the prestigious Southern Highlands Attractions, or SHA – a group of exceptional, largely independently-operated, travel attractions along the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains. SHA membership comes by invitation only, meaning the current member attractions must formally vote to extend a membership opportunity to TVRM S&C 4th qtr 2017 web

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April 12, 2021

Smoke & Cinders (1st Quarter 2017) – The First 55 Years

The First 55 Years I remember the day that steam locomotive 630 rolled out of the shop for test runs in the spring of 2011. Shop Foreman George Walker had the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis wooden caboose hooked up behind 630 so that employees could go for a ride behind the newly-restored steam engine. I was sitting in the cupola waiting to depart when a green suburban rolled up the driveway. I had been around long enough to know that vehicle, and I had seen pictures many times of Bob Soule sitting in it. Penelope, Soule’s daughter, stepped out from behind the wheel, her camera in hand. Her mother, Joyce Soule, waited calmly in the front passenger seat while Penelope took pictures of the 630 under steam. As Penelope came near the cupola I leaned out to speak to…

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April 12, 2021

Smoke & Cinders (2nd Quarter 2019) – Equipment Acquisition

Equipment Acquisition The spring of 2019 has seen several items added to the TVRM rolling stock collection. Although not all are yet on the property we expect to see them over the next few months. Southern Dining Car 3307 Acquired from Amtrak through the generous contributions of several TVRM members and Southern Railway fans, the car will be used in Dinner train service at TVRM. Louisville and Nashville Alco S1 24 Acquired from a private collector this is believed to be the only surviving non re-engined Alco locomotive. It is the first piece of L&N motive power in our collection and will complement other Alco locomotives in our fleet. TVRM has a long history with Alco first generation locomotives as our first “big” power were former Army Alco RSD1’s. Walking Horse and Eastern EMD FP7 806- Donated by Iron…

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April 12, 2021

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