Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Southern Railway 630

About Southern Railway 630

The American Locomotive Company, also known as ALCO, built the 630 as a Class K for the Southern Railway in 1904. The wheel arrangement of this locomotive is a 2-8-0, also known as a Consolidation. When new, the 630 lacked superheaters, and also featured Stephenson valve gear and flat valves. In 1917, the locomotive was upgraded with superheaters, piston valves, and Southern Valve Gear. It was at this time the locomotive was reclassified as a Ks-1. The 630 primarily served the Southern Railway on the Asheville Division, working mainly on the Murphy and Lake Toxaway Branches, until it was retired in June of 1952 with 48 years of service.

The locomotive was then sold to the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad in Johnson City, Tennessee, working the route between Johnson City and Elizabethton. While under ownership of the ET&WNC, the 630 was renumbered to 207.

In 1967, the Southern Railway traded a diesel locomotive to the ET&WNC to reacquire the 630 for use in the expanding Southern Railway Steam Excursion Program. The 630 continued working as a mainline excursion star until 1978, when train length really began to exceed the capacity of the small 630. The Southern Railway was in favor of using only larger and more powerful locomotives for the heavier trains, such as the Southern Railway 4501 (also in TVRM’s collection) and Southern 610, originally the Texas and Pacific 610.

It was at this time in 1978 that the 630 came to TVRM, and operated here under a lease from the Southern (later Norfolk Southern) Railway. The locomotive would operate at TVRM until November 1989, when it was retired seemingly for good, being in need of a major overhaul. In 1999, Norfolk Southern donated ownership of the 630 to TVRM, and restoration began in 2001. The locomotive returned to service in 2011 after a 10 year restoration, and approximately $750,000 of work. TVRM was awarded for the restoration work on 630. The restoration of 630 is often referred to as one of the most extensive overhauls on a steam locomotive since the end of the steam era. Today, the Southern Railway 630 can be found at TVRM, as motive power for the Missionary Ridge Local, and occasionally on the Summerville Steam Special.


Locomotive: Southern Railway 630

Locomotive Type: Steam

Operators: Southern Railway, East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Class: Ks-1

Builder: American Locomotive Company

Builders Number: 28446

Date Built: 1904

Date Retired: 1967 (Revenue Service), 1989 (1st Excursion Service)

Date Rebuilt: 1968 (1st Restoration), 2011 (2nd Restoration)

Wheel Arrangement: 2-8-0 Consolidation

Driver Diameter: 56 in

Locomotive Weight: 214,000 lb

Fuel: Coal

Boiler Pressure: 190 psi

Cylinder Size: 24 in x 30 in

Valve Gear: Southern

Tractive Effort: 46,700 lbf

Paint Scheme: Black

Status: Operational