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Southern Railway 3170

About the Iconic Southern Railway 3170

Crafted by General Motors in April 1971, the Southern Railway 3170 was the pioneer in a series of 31 SD40 locomotives designated for the Southern Railway. This impressive machine, boasting a 3,000 horsepower turbocharged diesel engine, dedicatedly served both the Southern and subsequently, the Norfolk Southern Railway companies. After retiring in 2007, it took a brief hiatus, residing in storage at Altoona, Pennsylvania.

Recognizing its historical resonance, the locomotive was handpicked for preservation in 2014. The meticulous restoration to operational status took place at the renowned Juniata Locomotive Shops in Altoona. Further, it was adorned with its original Southern Railway “Tuxedo” livery at the Chattanooga Paint Shop. Post-restoration, 3170 rejoined the ranks of Norfolk Southern, navigating freight routes system-wide and symbolizing goodwill by gracing various museum events. Notably, its services also extended to the 21st Century Steam program, aiding the Southern Railway 4501 on memorable journeys from Bristol, Virginia in 2015.

In a significant 2016 announcement, it was revealed that this locomotive gem would find its new home at TVRM. Upon its esteemed arrival, it dutifully functioned in freight service at the Enterprise South Industrial Park. However, early 2017 saw its temporary sidelining due to mechanical challenges. As we await its triumphant return to service, enthusiasts can marvel at this locomotive behemoth, TVRM’s most potent asset, proudly exhibited at Grand Junction.


Locomotive: Southern Railway 3170

Locomotive Type: Diesel-Electric

Operators: Southern Railway, Norfolk Southern Railway, Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum

Model: SD40

Builder: General Motors Electro-Motive Division

Date Built: 1971

Locomotive Weight: 360,000 lb

Prime Mover: EMD 16-645-E3

Fuel: Diesel

Horsepower: 3,000 hp

Status: Display