Norfolk Southern Corporation is in negotiations with the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum with regard to the operation of a limited schedule of steam locomotive event appearances and passenger excursions beginning later this year.
“21st Century Steam” would highlight milestones in rail history and provide an opportunity for audiences to learn about today’s safe and service-oriented freight railroads. The program would feature three venerable coal-powered steam locomotives:
“This is the right time for steam to ride the Norfolk Southern rails,” said CEO Wick Moorman. “We have a fascinating history, and we have a compelling message about how today’s railroads support jobs, competition, and the economy. It is a forward-looking message that resonates with people everywhere.”
“21st Century Steam can help introduce historic and modern railroading to a broad new audience of supporters,” said TVRM President Tim Andrews. “We are pleased to be developing this relationship with Norfolk Southern for the purpose of preserving and interpreting the steam age, and of bringing today’s railroad closer to people young and old, in communities large and small.”
The launch of 21st Century Steam would coincide with key dates. 2011 will be 4501’s 100th birthday and TVRM’s 50th. The year 2012 will mark Norfolk Southern’s 30th anniversary.
21st Century Steam’s initial appearances and runs tentatively could take place in the Chattanooga area this fall, with locomotives 610 and 630. No. 4501 could join the program sometime in 2011, after rehabilitation. Exhibit dates, ticketing, and other details will be announced later.
“The sights and sounds of a steam train are powerful enough to catch the public’s attention in this busy and complex age,” said Jim Wrinn, author of Steam’s Camelot: Southern and NS Excursions in Color, and editor of Trains Magazine. “A steam train is a living piece of American history that teaches volumes about this exciting industry that has much to offer our country today. Once the door is open with the steam locomotive, you’ve got an opportunity to teach a new generation how railroading is the right transportation solution to so many challenges facing us.”
Later this year, Norfolk Southern and TVRM plan to launch a web site in support of the program. Correspondence can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum was founded in 1961 in Chattanooga to create an interpretive operating museum of historic equipment and artifacts in an authentic setting. Today it operates an extensive schedule of historic and scenic trains in Southeast Tennessee and Northwest Georgia, supported by its East Chattanooga locomotive and car shop complex. TVRM is the largest operating historical excursion railroad in the Southeast.
Norfolk Southern Corporation (NYSE: NSC) is one of the nation’s premier transportation companies. Its Norfolk Southern Railway subsidiary operates approximately 21,000 route miles in 22 states and the District of Columbia, serves every major container port in the eastern United States, and provides efficient connections to other rail carriers. Norfolk Southern operates the most extensive intermodal network in the East and is a major transporter of coal and industrial products.