Restoration of a century-old locomotive underway in downtown Chattanooga

Part of the Lucey Boiler Co. property on South Holtzclaw Avenue in downtown Chattanooga is the new site for the historic restoration of a 102-year-old Florida steam locomotive.

For restoration work, FMW Solutions, based in Duluth, Minnesota, which operates out of Soddy-Daisy, expanded the capacities of local stores in Tennessee by leasing a portion of the Lucey Boiler Co. site. , the company said in a statement about the project.

Atlantic Coast Line Railroad Locomotive No.1504, built in 1919, traveled the East Coast for more than three decades before being retired in 1952 and donated to the city of Jacksonville, Fla., According to Kelly Lynch, director. by FMW Solutions. special projects.

Lynch said work could take three years or more on the 52,000-square-foot Lucey Boiler site, which is being redeveloped by Southern Spear Properties in Lucey Quarter, a mixed-use community gathering place. It is located next to the old Chattanooga Belt Railroad.

The locomotive and the new development will attract attention.

“Lucey Quarter will be a historic destination for residents of Chattanooga and the Southeast,” Southern Spear President Sean Compton said in a statement. “The rebuilding of this incredible machine will create a buzz and be the jewel of our historic redevelopment. FMW solutions are amazing in the work they do and take pride in applying their craft. We are thrilled with this partnership and look forward to making it a Chattanooga staple for many years to come. “

Locomotive 1504 is the largest remaining locomotive of its type on the Atlantic Coast line and was acquired from the city of Jacksonville earlier this year by Sugar Express LLC, based in Clewiston, Florida.

FMW has been working in collaboration with Sugar Express since 2019, in particular for the successful restoration of the Sugar Express locomotive No. 148, now in service at the Florida site.

Work to prepare the steam engine for a move began in July, Lynch said.

The steam engine was dismantled August 21-26 to be moved from its exhibit to the Osborn Prime Convention Center in Jacksonville with assistance from Tomahawk Crane and Rigging of Jacksonville, the cities of Chattanooga and Jacksonville, Deberardini Heavy Haul and Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum.

“Once in Chattanooga, work immediately began to further disassemble the 1504 and dismantle the boiler for ultrasonic inspection,” Lynch said.

FMW’s initial estimates call for up to three years for the work, “but the duration of a locomotive restoration may be affected by what more detailed inspections and dismantling reveal,” he said.

Photo provided by FMW Solutions / Atlantic Coast Line Steam Locomotive # 1504 has been dismantled in Florida for transport to Chattanooga for restoration work that could take up to three years or more.

When fully restored, # 1504 will operate in Florida’s Lake Okeechobee area as part of a regional rail tourist attraction, according to Sugar Express. It will join the n ° 148 there.

FMW has been busy at its Soddy-Daisy and New York stores, and the South Holtzclaw site has been a boon to the business and future development of Lucey Quarter, executives said.

“With our client’s facility being heavily involved in restoring historic passenger cars and supporting the continued operation of the Sugar Express, it was prudent and cost effective to move the engine here to a dedicated space near our facilities. and our existing employees, instead of moving our crews. in Florida for the duration, ”Lynch said.

This means passers-by in Chattanooga could see work going on on the current project.

“As Southern Spear strives to redevelop the space, the Boiler Workshop will be visible and visible to guests and visitors, so the work on 1504 will likely be part of the overall draw and be a unique feature. and the backdrop for the activities they have planned here as the site grows, ”said Lynch.“ We know the developer wants to celebrate and keep the industrial and railroad history and our work here will help meet this bill. “

In the meantime, there is a lot of work to be done to bring # 1504 back to life.

Shane Meador – FMW Solutions’ vice president in mechanics and lifelong train enthusiast who began volunteering at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum at age 13 in 1991 – said No. 1504 would now be reduced to the tiniest nuts and bolts for a full assessment.

“Really, we don’t have any records on this locomotive and it’s been outside since 1960 in Florida, which isn’t the best of environments for a piece of metal to sit outside,” he said. -he declares.

A complete appraisal and inspection of the demolished locomotive and its boiler leads to a scope of repair work and a cost estimate. The locomotive’s chassis will be evaluated in the same way, he said.

“The big drive wheels and stems are actually frozen; they don’t rotate, ”he said. “We’re going to take this all apart very carefully and take care of it.”

The work team will repair or manufacture spare parts as needed, he said.

Meador said the current plan is to do 80% of the catering in Lucey and the rest in Florida.

“Our use of the Lucey Boiler facility will also serve as a starting point for our continued growth in research and development of alternative fuels; which is another area of ​​growth for our business and signals another investment in Chattanooga,” a- he declared.

Contact Ben Benton at [email protected] or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton.

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8 train and railroad experiences in Norwich and Norfolk

8 train and railroad experiences in Norwich and Norfolk

Are you a big fan of model trains? Do you like taking a trip on a heritage railway? Or do you want to find an exciting new experience for children? Norwich and Norfolk are home to a wealth of incredible rail and rail experiences just begging to be discovered!

1. Bure valley railway

The Bure Valley Railway is the perfect experience for steam train enthusiasts. It is Norfolk’s longest narrow gauge railway, an 18 mile round trip that connects the historic market town of Aylsham and the capital of the Broads, Wroxham. As you fly over the pretty countryside, along the River Bure and across the meadows, you’ll be relaxing and having fun in no time.

Tickets for a return are £ 15 for adults and £ 7.50 for children. In addition, there are regular thematic events that you can book. This October semester kids are free with a paying adult, and at Christmas you can board the Festive Express, which will include festive treats and a visit to see Santa in his cave.

For die-hard steam train fans, you can have fun having an amazing steam driving experience. You will need to prepare the steam engine and drive it with passenger cars attached. Lunch and refreshments also included. One day course from £ 225.

Enjoy a day at the Bure Valley Railway.

2. Miniature Worlds of Wroxham

Are you more interested in model trains than real ones? There is something so fascinating about being able to reproduce such a large and powerful machine in such a small format! And you can marvel at some fantastic examples of this at Miniature Worlds of Wroxham. There are several layouts to see, replicating the railways of countries around the world. And if you like to get your hands on a little more (or have kids who do), there are interactive layouts too – giving you the ability to push the button and watch them drive. Thomas the Tank Engine’s interactive layout is definitely one of the little ones’ favorites. Adults £ 11.95, children £ 8.95.

Wroxham Miniature Worlds Railway Development

Miniature Worlds of Wroxham

3. Mid-Norfolk Railway

East Anglia’s longest heritage standard gauge railway, the Mid-Norfolk Railway is expected to be at the top of any railroad enthusiast’s list. The main railway station is in Dereham and serves Wymondham Abbey Halt station. To make it a whole day, why not book one of the dining trains and enjoy a train trip with delicious food in addition! Or you can drop by when the world famous Flying Scotsman locomotive visits the railroad in October. Round trip £ 29.50 per person, with a special fish and chips train £ 45.

4. Eaton Park

Eaton park The Miniature Railroad is perfect for families who want to spend some quality time and get some fresh air! The railway crosses a beautiful meadow, and only costs £ 1.50 per adult and £ 1 per child to ride. Trains run on Sundays from 12 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. depending on the availability of volunteers and the weather. What could be better than a pleasant picnic in the park followed by a special trip on the miniature railway?

Eaton Park is a great day out for the whole family

Eaton Park is a great day out for the whole family

5. North Norfolk Railway

Stretching from the seaside town of Sheringham to the pretty town of Holt, the North Norfolk Railway will take you through some of the county’s most amazing coastlines. Steam trains run daily in September and most days in October, and there are also a whole host of special events to get you excited about. From fleet days where all the locomotives will be on track, to food services, 1940s themed weekends and even a spooky ghost train for Halloween. You can also book a whole range of experiences, from a behind-the-scenes tour to signage and driving days.

The icing on the cake has to be the Norfolk Lights Express. From November 15 to January 3, you can experience an immersive winter journey aboard a steam train illuminated by thousands of small lights! As you navigate the trail, you will pass a series of colorful illuminated dioramas that will keep the whole family entertained. Tickets only £ 18 per person.

6. Wells and Walsingham Light Rail

For something a little more discreet, Wells and Walsingham Light Rail is a real treat. Go on an adventure on the world’s smallest public railway, which connects the seaside town of Wells-next-the-Sea and the beautiful Abbey Village of Walsingham. Your journey will take you through countryside, over and under bridges, past a hill fort, and across a real ghost platform. With tickets priced at just £ 5 per person, it’s a great way to enjoy a day on a budget. Pair it with ice cream, fish and chips or maybe even hot and fresh donuts in Wells and voila!

7. Steam and Bressingham Gardens

Steam and Bressingham Gardens has several narrow gauge railway lines and a number of steam engines for all to enjoy. The highlight is definitely the Garden Railway, which takes you on a journey through the magnificent gardens, so that you can admire their beauty in a truly unique way. The museum is also home to the National Collection of Daddy’s Army Vintage Vehicles located on a recreation of Main Street from the popular TV series. There really is something for everyone here! Tickets start at £ 5.08 for children and £ 8.17 for adults for standard entry, or £ 7.26 for children and £ 11.35 for adults for an entry with unlimited train journeys.

8. Thursford

by Thursford The Steam Engine Museum houses the finest collection of steam engines in the country and allows you to get up close and personal. Learn about the history of steam on land, on the roads and at the fairgrounds and step back in time. The museum is currently closed for the Christmas Spectacular show in Thursford, but will reopen in 2022 – so make sure a visit is part of your New Year’s resolutions!

Thursford Steam Engine Museum

Thursford Steam Engine Museum

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The locomotive returns to central Wales after nearly a century

The world’s only such steam locomotive returned to a village near Newtown after nearly a century.

About 50 people, including students from the local elementary school, gathered in Kerry to welcome Diana, also known as Kerr Stuart No 1158, returning to the village on Monday afternoon (September 13).

The steam locomotive, which carried timber from nearby forests to the main station in Glanmule, was piloted by German prisoners of war and locals between 1917 and 1925.

Carrie White, Kerry resident and local historian, said: “It’s just the most exciting thing because it’s the first time in 100 years that this locomotive has been here.

“It is a miracle that Phil Mason saved and restored it so beautifully and gave us the opportunity to see it and remember all the industry that was going on at the sawmills and in the valley.”

Phil mason

County Times: Diana the steam locomotive returned to Kerry near Newtown after almost 100 years on September 13, 2021. Photo by Anwen Parry / County Times

Diana’s current caretaker, Phil Mason, said he always wanted to bring the locomotive back to Kerry.

“I’m very proud. To be honest I didn’t think so many people would come to see a steam engine, but it’s something I wanted to do and there was a lot of interest.

“It’s a totally unique engine. None of the 50 or so other engines exist yet. It’s the only one of its kind.”

He added: “There is a lot of local history behind this.”

The steam locomotive was returning home to Amerton, Staffordshire, after visiting the Talyllyn Railway in Tywyn.

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Caterpillar, Chevron team on hydrogen energy

Written by

Marybeth Luczak, Editor-in-Chief

Hosted by Progress Rail, a subsidiary of Caterpillar, Caterpillar and Chevron demonstrate a prototype hydrogen locomotive and associated hydrogen refueling infrastructure at various sites in the United States.

Caterpillar Inc. and Chevron USA Inc. will collaborate “to confirm the feasibility and performance of hydrogen as a commercially viable alternative to traditional fuels” for line rail, ships and main power, the reports reported. companies, who said they demonstrate a hydrogen locomotive.

Caterpillar and Chevron announced on September 8 that they would develop hydrogen demonstration projects in transportation and stationary energy applications.

Caterpillar Group, President of Energy and Transportation Joe Creed

Hosted by Progress Rail, a subsidiary of Caterpillar, Caterpillar and Chevron demonstrate a prototype hydrogen locomotive and associated hydrogen refueling infrastructure. The companies said work on the rail demonstration “will begin immediately at various locations across the United States.”

“As we strive to provide customers with the ability to use the type of fuel desired in their operations, the collaboration with Chevron is a great opportunity to demonstrate the viability of hydrogen as a fuel source,” said Joe Creed, President of Caterpillar Group of Energy and Transportation. “This agreement supports our commitment to invest in new products, technologies and services to help our customers achieve their climate-related goals as they build a better and more sustainable world. “

Jeff Gustavson, President of Chevron New Energies

“Through Chevron New Energies, Chevron is seeking to create demand for hydrogen – and the technologies needed to use it – for heavy transportation and industrial sectors, where carbon emissions are more difficult to reduce,” said Jeff Gustavson, president of Chevron New Energies. noted. “Our collaboration with Caterpillar is another important step in advancing a commercially viable hydrogen economy. “

In further developments, Union Pacific’s EMD 710 and 645 series locomotives can now operate with a higher biodiesel fuel blend content. The Class I railroad reported on August 19 that Progress Rail had approved the use of a biodiesel blend of up to 20% in its units. Previously, the EMD 710 and 645 were approved to operate at 5%.

Here is more Age of the railway articles on alternative technology locomotives:

PHL will test Progress Rail EMD® Joule

Southern Railway of BC Goes Green with Switch Modernization

Wabtec, GM team on new locomotive power systems

Sera will build a hydrogen switch

BNSF / Wabtec BEL pilot: the results are there and the BNSF / Wabtec BEL pilot in progress

Zero-emission locomotives on American railroads?

Fuel cells and batteries: the future of mobility?

The “H” factor

CP embarks on a hydrogen locomotive driver (with more info here: Railway of the Year 2021: Keith Creel, Canadian Pacific and here: CP Hydrogen Locomotive Driver powered by Ballard)

Hydrogen Strategy for Canada’s Railways

OptiFuel producing natural gas switches

Cummins QSK95 for Freight

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Replacement locomotive at the steam gala

Pitchford Room. Photo Tony Goulding

GWR 4953 “Pitchford Hall” will make a special appearance at the gala after the unexpected withdrawal from service of one of the scheduled guests, LMS 6233 “Duchess of Sutherland”.

Managing Director Helen Smith said: “We are delighted that ‘Pitchford Hall’ is joining us later this month. It truly is a splendid locomotive, and its unusual BR-lined black livery is very eye-catching. He’s never raced on our line before, and we think he’s going to prove to be very popular.

“We’re sorry the Duchess of Sutherland can’t join us for our special event, but like any heritage steam locomotive unexpected issues arise. We hope to be able to welcome the 6233 to the SVR in the not-so-distant future.

Railroad engineering chief Martin White said the Duchess of Sutherland’s locomotive had undergone extensive repairs and maintenance at its base in Ripley, Derbyshire.

“Quite late in the work schedule, a problem was identified with the drive wheel axle boxes. Part of the metal bearing surface had cracked and loosened, requiring replacement. Unfortunately, this will not be completed in time for our event.

“Pitchford Hall joins the other guest locomotive, Saddlebag Tank GWR 9466 and members of the SVR National Fleet for the gala, between September 16-19. Day Rover tickets are pre-bookable at www.svr. or can be purchased on the day. “

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Up to 28% of Indian Railways’ haulage load could be operated sustainably with direct solar power – pv magazine India

A new study proposes direct sourcing from solar to rail, instead of sourcing from the grid, as an attractive route for Indian railways to achieve net zero emissions.

New study from Indian NGO Climate Trends and UK green tech start-up Riding Sunbeams says direct solar power supply is an attractive method for Indian railways to meet their net zero target by here 2030, given the rapid reduction in carbon emissions and cost benefits for the operator.

According to the study, the Indian rail network, if fully electrified, could sustainably meet up to 28% of its traction demand with the direct connection of solar photovoltaic production, without the need to connect via the network. The authors based their conclusions on current levels of energy demand. The amount of solar PV generation that can be directly connected to run the traction load is estimated at 5,272 MW. This is about a quarter of the new 20 GW solar capacity planned by Indian Railways for traction and non-traction loads as part of its efforts to reach net zero by 2030.

The direct connection of 5,272 MW of solar photovoltaic production should reduce emissions by 6.8 million tCO2 per year while supplying at least one in four trains on the national grid at competitive conditions.

Analysts pointed out that the solar power supply generated directly in the overhead lines of the railroad instead of being purchased through the power grids, reduces energy losses and saves money for the rail operator. If edge-of-line storage facilities can be integrated, an even higher proportion of IR’s planned solar generation capacity could be connected in a viable manner to the traction grid rather than the grid.

Report author, Riding Sunbeams Founder and Chief Innovation Officer Leo Murray said: “Currently India leads the world on two vital climate frontiers: rail electrification and deployment of solar energy. Our analysis shows that connecting these two key low-carbon technologies in Indian railways can boost both India’s economic recovery from the Covid pandemic and its efforts to move away from fossil fuels to cope. to the climate crisis. “

Report co-author and Climate Trends director Aarti Khosla said: “Indian railways play an important role in the life of every Indian. Not only is it the most convenient mode of transportation, it is also the most famous and the largest employer in the country. The government is injecting large sums of money to modernize the railways, which in turn will play a big role in a net zero vision for the nation. There has been an analysis that converting all diesel locomotives to electric locomotives will actually increase emissions in the short term, however, this report shows the huge opportunity to get it right the first time, by creating a direct connection from the locomotive system with solar photovoltaic installations, meeting more than a quarter of total demand.

However, the researchers also warned that achieving the goal of full electrification of all roads by 2023 could be accompanied by an increase in CO2 emissions in the short term due to the current reliance on the. India using coal to generate electricity.

The power required to move trains in a rail network is called the traction load. To assess the part of the traction load that could be satisfied by a direct solar photovoltaic supply, the energy demand of 16 of the 18 railway zones of the IR was taken into account in the study. The two areas not considered were the Metro area and the New South Coast Rail Management Area, as annual consumption data for these two areas was not available.

The team analyzed the traction energy demand on each of the 16 rail zones and compared it to the potential solar resource in each region to produce a figure for the total amount of solar energy that could be connected directly to the path. of iron to run the trains.

Higher production and utilization rates dramatically improve the profitability of direct solar traction supply. The top five areas with the greatest solar-rail potential are South Central Railway (394-625MW), Central Railway (299-475MW), Northern Railway (290-459MW), Western Railway (280-443MW) and West Central Chemin de iron (278-440MW).

The South Central Railway can connect the most solar PV generation to 625 MW because it has the highest traction power demand. The Northeast Railway has the lowest traction power demand and therefore can only connect 117 MW of solar PV generation.

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Railway line robbery union dismantled, two sentenced to four prison terms

The Konongo Divisional Police Command dismantled a railway line theft union operating in Juaso and some communities in the southern Asante-Akim district of the Ashanti region.

The union, on suspicion of successfully stealing large amounts of railroad tracks and steel ties in recent times, has been followed thanks to intelligence reports and public vigilance.

Those arrested are Yussif Hudu, who was sentenced to four years in prison, and Ibrahim Yakubu, also sentenced to three years in prison by the Juaso circuit for theft.

Chief Superintendent Shaibu Osei, commander of the Konongo Divisional Police, said four other union members currently on trial in court included Tweneboah Malik, Kwadwo Gyamfi, Daniel Appiah and Samuel Baffour.

A considerable number of stolen railway lines and steel ties had been recovered from the union following their arrest at separate locations in the southern district of Asante-Akim, police confirmed.

Chief Superintendent Osei, informing Deputy Minister of Railway Development, Mr. Kwaku Asante-Boateng, who was on a working visit to the region, said the culprits were arrested in Duampompo, Breku, Nnadieso and Asante-Praso, all near Juaso.

“Police had information that union members normally operate in the bush, especially in communities crossed by rail lines,” he said.

They reportedly cleared the bush in the afternoon and in the evening cut the tracks into pieces, transporting them to market for sale, the divisional police commander added.

He called on the population, in particular the inhabitants of towns crossed by railways, not to hesitate to inform the police of the activities of these unscrupulous elements.

Mr Asante-Boateng, who is also an MP for Asante-Akim South, expressed concern over how some selfish Ghanaians have made the theft of railway lines and steel ties their business.

“The nation has lost so much to such thefts,” he lamented, saying those involved in such illegal activities would be treated ruthlessly when arrested.

The deputy minister, as part of his tour of the region, visited police stations in Ejisu, Konongo and Juaso, where he inspected stolen railway lines and salvaged steel ties.

He also visited the Adum locomotive workshop in Kumasi, which had preserved large pieces of railway tracks recovered after their interception in Obuasi, Akrokerri and parts of the region.

It costs the government about five million dollars to build a kilometer of railway line, according to the Ministry of Railway Development.

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Two stages completed for the 35011 General Steam Navigation steam locomotive

The General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society (GSNLRS) has announced that it has made two important milestones in the restoration of its Southern Railways Merchant Marine Class No. 35011 “General Steam Navigation”.

Tractor trailer

Following discussions with various contractors, the GSNLRS accepted a quote from North Norfolk Railway Engineering for the restoration of the 35011 trailer truck.

Since the separation of the rear bogie from the rest of the main locomotive frame, the Company is preparing the rear bogie for the next stages of restoration. The volunteers did an incredible job of laying out and cleaning up, with North Norfolk Railway Engineering now taking over the rest of the work to restore the truck. GSN’s follower truck is of prefabricated construction, the only surviving example, which makes it quite unique.

The GSNLRS set up a fund called the Trailing Truck Transformers Fund Club to raise funds to cover the costs of restoring the tow truck. For more information or to donate to the fund, please click here.

Crank axle stress test image // Credit GSNLRS

Crank axle

One of the biggest challenges for the Company is to build a new crank axle for 35011, as the original was retired in 1966. Much research has been done to determine what grade of steel would be suitable for a new crank axle. crank. Together with Professor Karl Dearn from the University of Birmingham, they performed a finite element analysis and found suitable grade A4T steel for a crank axle. Work can now progress on the design work for the new crank axle.

More information on the University of Birmingham’s FEA project can be read here.

For more information or to support the General Steam Navigation Locomotive Restoration Society, please visit the Society’s website here.

Axlebox covers Credit GSNLRS
Axlebox covers Credit GSNLRS

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West Somerset Railway announces new range of Christmas steam trains

With the West Somerset Railway nearing the end of a successful and busy summer season, Christmas planning is well underway, including a new Winterlights event taking place in the evening.

In addition to the usual Santa Express trains during the day, which will run from Bishops Lydeard to Williton, on ten dates starting in early December, the 14 Winterlights trains will run with the steam locomotive and illuminated cars, as well as festive displays along the line from Bishops Lydeard to Crowcombe.

Winterlights will run from mid-November, twice a night, and tickets go on sale from today at £ 20 per person and can be booked on the West Somerset Railway website.

Winterlights trains run on Friday 19 November and Saturday 20e November, then November 26 & 27, then Friday December 3 and Saturday December 4, and weekends on December 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, plus December 21, 22 and 23.

Santa Express trains will depart on Saturday December 4 and Sunday December 5, then run on the weekends of December 11, 12, 18, 19, then Christmas week on December 21, 22, 23 and 24.

Commenting on WSR’s Christmas Train 2021 schedule, Kerry Noble, Deputy Managing Director of WSR, said: “We expect our ‘Winterlights’ trains to be popular with visitors and our workers as something new and a different and enlightening experience on the line. Our Christmas trains are essential to us because they constitute a good supplement of income which greatly helps us to get through the winter fallow period.

“Organizing successful events at the WSR always takes a lot of planning and effort, but none of this is achievable without the continued help of our amazing team of volunteers and staff, many of whom have worked so hard for us. get through the busy summer. period.”

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Jacksonville Locomotive Ready for Restoration, New Home After 60 Years

The Atlantic Coast Line 1504 is on the move again, three decades after the century-old locomotive became a static part of the parking lot at the Prime Osborn Convention Center.

But while the 80-foot-long engine and dinghy roll again, the steam won’t fuel its pistons for quite a while, as it leaves the town it has inhabited for most of its life. .

Instead, it will take about three years to be carefully disassembled and each part restored at FMW Solutions’ Southeast office and fabrication shop in Chattanooga. Then, the renewed parts of the 2,500 horsepower steam engine will be shipped 700 miles south to US Sugar’s Sugar Express Railway Museum for reassembly and testing.

Jacksonville City Council approved the transfer of the historic Jacksonville train to the US Sugar tourist attraction in June, despite concerns from some local historians about what has been called “the big train theft.”

Vintage Times-Union: When Jacksonville was the “Winter Cinema Capital of the World”

Sugar Express operations manager Scott Ogle called it a “sweet success” and said they were delighted to put No.1504 back into service. He said the effort that led to the restoration is “a continuation of the legacy upheld by the Atlantic Coast Line, CSX, the residents of Jacksonville and the North Florida Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, which all played a role in the preservation of No. 1504 over the past six decades. “

With the Clewiston Sugar Express store busy restoring the passenger cars for future use, No.1504 had to be sent to the FMW facility, Ogle said. It will eventually join a restored 1920 American Locomotive Co. steam engine in the nostalgic passenger excursions of the Sugar Express, FMW officials have confirmed.

On Monday, large cranes were used to separate the No. 1504 boiler and steam engine from its drive wheels, chassis and coal tender. On Tuesday morning, the boiler, steam engine and parts were loaded onto flatbed trucks for transport to Tennessee, where locomotive surgery will take place.

American Locomotive in Richmond, Virginia, built the 471,000-pound No. 1504, a massive vehicle requiring 10,000 gallons of water and 16 tons of coal to turn its 73-inch-high drive wheels. It was used on passenger journeys between Jacksonville Station, now the convention center, and Virginia. It even operated in the 1920s on the South Central Florida Express lines, operated by US Sugar Corp. from Sebring to Fort Pierce via Clewiston, some shared by Atlantic Coast Line.

Old Atlantic Coast Line Steam Locomotive # 1504 as it was on display in June in the parking lot of the Prime Osborn Convention Center just after being transferred to a Clewiston rail attraction.

Locomotive originally parked in the Atlantic Coast Line building

The huge locomotive was eventually pulled out and first parked in 1960 outside the Atlantic Coast Line (now CSX) on Water Street. Thirty-nine years later, it was moved to the Prime Osborn parking lot, on display near the rails it was running on.

The locomotive received $ 75,000 in renovations, then $ 10,000 in additional work when it was moved, but began to rust when the section of the railway company unsuccessfully applied for restoration grants. The local chapter of the National Railway Historical Society eventually joined other groups to win a 2015 $ 10,000 restoration grant from Trains Magazine, to which CSX corresponded,

Members of the association cleaned the rust, secured its windows and repainted it in 2015. But despite the exterior work, it has suffered from bad weather in recent years. So when Sugar Express LLC expressed interest in restoring it to join its other classic steam train in Clewiston, the company and the city agreed.

Larry Geertseme secures the cowcatcher from the front of the 101-year-old Atlantic Coast Line Steam Locomotive # 1504 onto a trailer for transport with the rest of the train for catering in Tennessee.

Gary Dickinson, a member of the Historical Society of Railways local who helped restore the exterior a few years ago, says it is the only original USRA Light Pacific steam locomotive. . In near-original condition, it was also designated a National Historic Landmark of Mechanical Engineering in 1990 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Local historian Wayne Wood had lobbied to keep the locomotive. He suggested moving it inside the Prime Osborn or exhibiting it at the Science and History Museum Project when it moves to the North Shore.

[email protected], (904) 359-4549

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