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Kentucky Steam Heritage has received a $100,000 grant, thanks to The Team Kentucky Non-Profit Assistance fund. The funds will specifically to be used to further the completion of track work on the Estill County railroad shop complex.

The award comes as work continues on the blossoming “The Yard” project, a railroad-based tourist attraction that harnesses the region’s rich rail history to all things Appalachian Kentucky, notably a 4500-person capacity music venue sponsored by the Hardy family of Irvine. Ground broke on the venue this summer.

Completion of the track will provide increased operational flexibility and rail storage space for the 501(c)(3)’s growing collection of regionally-relevant historic rail equipment. It will also allow track to be run to and over the inspection pit, which will be crucial for the restoration and maintenance of operating equipment such as the group’s hallmark rebuild project, the 80-year-old steam locomotive C&O 2716.

The Team Kentucky Non-Profit Assistance fund is a $75 million dollar fund that was announced as a part of Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear’s solution to help non-profits within the state recover from the financial hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund has provided one-time direct relief payments of up to $100,000 per eligible non-profit to help negate the negative impact that the pandemic has had on fundraising.

Chris Campbell, Kentucky Steam president, says the award is key to furthering the organization’s mission to positively impact the region through economic development.

“This announcement is well-timed and much appreciated, as we move into what we hope is a post-covid growth for our project. It’s no secret that the pandemic stymied our initiative, which was gaining momentum in late 2019. Investments such as this show the State’s commitment to making Appalachian Kentucky growth a priority. We are humbled to be a part of that growth.”

The award is the first win for the newly formed development committee, piloted by KSHC’s newest board members Joseph Darby and James Tully.

Darby, a General Motors Mechanical Project Engineer with the Research and Development Team, works with some of the world’s most renowned researchers on propulsion, manufacturing, telecommunications, and system integration on cutting-edge technology. He received a B.S in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and has been involved in rail preservation projects his whole life.

Tully, the Senior Director of SoF Business Development at ARMA Global-GDIT in Tampa, FL, has been recognized in several publications as an innovative leader and successful entrepreneur including features in the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post and Inc. Magazine. He served on active duty in the US Army as a member of the 75th Ranger Regiment, Training & Doctrine Command, and the 7th Infantry Division (Light). Tully’s family has deep roots in Appalachian Kentucky, and he has been a lifelong rail enthusiast.

“We are thrilled to be adding to our ranks with motivated and qualified individuals like Joe and Jim,” said Campbell. “This award is a major step forward for us and proves that we are bringing on the right people to help move us in the right direction.”

Kentucky Steam continues to solicit end-of-year donations that can either be dedicated to the restoration of C&O 2716 or contributed to the general fund. Several large announcements are coming soon that will help further the mission to restore this facility and drive economic growth in eastern Kentucky. Tax-deductible donations can be made via PayPal or by clicking here:

September 7, 2022

North Judson, IN

The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation announced Wednesday that they have executed an agreement to purchase a full set of boiler tubes and flues from the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson, Indiana. The collaboration will help the restoration of 75-year-old steam locomotive Chesapeake and Ohio 2716, and is thanks to funds provided by the John H. Emery Rail Heritage Trust.

“This purchase keeps granted funds within the rail preservation community, and helps out two motivated and progressive non-profit organizations,” said Chris Campbell, president of Kentucky Steam.

“The transaction will help us continue the restoration of C&O 2716, and will aid Hoosier Valley in their endeavors to create an excellent museum and operating tourist railroad.”

The tubes and flues, which are an essential component of a steam locomotive boiler, were targeted to be purchased by Kentucky Steam in the spring of 2020, utilizing funds allocated by the Emery Trust. Inflated prices and overall global supply chain issues brought on by the Covid-19 Pandemic halted the process of acquiring new boiler flues, and put the purchase on hold. During the same time, Campbell began talks with Todd Flanigan, Hoosier Valley president, and it was apparent that Flanigan would consider parting with the parts that were originally purchased by the museum for a potential restoration of their C&O locomotive, Kanawha-type engine number 2789.

“It wouldn’t have been prudent or financially responsible to purchase tubes in flues in mid-2020,” said Campbell. "Prices had skyrocketed to twice the pre-pandemic pricing, and we knew there may be other options out there. Todd and the HVRM board were amenable to talking about parting ways with their tubes and flues, and we kept the dialogue going over the next several months.”

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum (HVRM) was founded in 1988 when rail enthusiasts banded together to help move Chesapeake and Ohio locomotive 2789 from Peru, Indiana to North Judson. The locomotive, which is a younger sister of 2716, was considered a candidate for mechanical restoration, but that notion has since been shelved as the museum concentrates on operations and other equipment relevant to the north-central Indiana region. The tubes and flues were purchased and stored when the museum intended to eventually use them for 2789’s rebuild. HVRM currently operates both steam and diesel excursions on a stretch of former-Erie Railroad and have a museum and shop in North Judson.

Kyle Flanigan, Secretary for Hoosier Valley, helped initiate the deal, and said this is a hallmark of collaboration in the rail preservation world. "Building relationships with other organizations and helping get no-longer-needed resources into the hands of those who can use them is a trend we hope to see continue."

C&O 2789 at HVRM. Photo by Derek Zollinger

Kentucky Steam executed the purchase of the equipment early in 2022, after the HVRM board agreed to sell the equipment. The transaction was made possible by a grant from the Emery Trust, which allocated funds for the tubes and flues purchase in late-2019. Jim Fetchero, advisory committee member of the Trust, said the purchase is a win-win for the two organizations.

“The John Emery Rail Heritage Trust is delighted that Kentucky Steam and the HVRM are able to make arrangements for the use of tubes and flues for the C&O 2716. That represents a great cost savings and a great use of monies that the Trust has granted to Kentucky Steam for the restoration of the 2716. It is another example of cooperation in the steam restoration community.”

Kentucky Steam announced a similar collaboration earlier this year, when they swapped locomotive air compressors with the Pueblo Railway Museum in Pueblo Colorado. This swap allowed already-rebuilt appliances from the Pueblo group’s Santa Fe locomotive to be interchanged with Kentucky Steam’s air pumps, which were in need of a full rebuild. The Emery Trust grant’s monies helped facilitate both transactions, which are key resource and time savers for the restoration of 2716.

“With the funds that we saved in waiting for the tubes and flues transaction to transpire with Hoosier Valley, we were also able to execute a deal with the Pueblo folks to acquire their rebuilt air pumps,” said Campbell.

“We held on to make a fiscally responsible decision that ultimately has helped two other railroad preservation groups, and we couldn’t do it without the collaborative spirit of these excellent organizations. We want to thank Emery, Pueblo and Hoosier Valley in getting this done.”

Kentucky Steam will be hosting a two-day railroad-themed festival on September 10-11, 2022 on their grounds in Irvine, Kentucky where C&O 2716 is under restoration. The festival will feature over sixty arts, crafts and food vendors, and of course, train rides. More information can be found at or

For more about the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum, including museum hours and to ride one of their excursions, visit

April 25, 2022

CSX has cosmetically restored rare C30-7 diesel locomotive for Kentucky Steam Heritage

Huntington, West Virginia — This week, the CSX Huntington, West Virginia shops will roll out another freshly painted locomotive, as is done routinely by the Jacksonville, Florida-based Fortune-500 transportation company. On Monday, however, their most recent rendering is a homage to a vanishing era in American railroading; a cosmetically restored General Electric C30-7, a locomotive that ruled the rails in Appalachia over three decades ago.

Former L&N 7067, an engine that was in danger of being scrapped just a year ago, emerged from the Huntington Shops on Monday looking much like it did in 1980 when it was delivered for the (CSX predecessor) Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The transformation is thanks to an unlikely turn of events, highlighting a continued collaboration between CSX Transportation and the Irvine, Kentucky-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation.

Last May, Kentucky Steam negotiated the donation of the locomotive from the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, which was in the process of liquidating some of its assets. The engine, located in an industrial area of Huntington, was deemed as surplus. Because it was too costly to move for many rail preservation groups, the historical society was beginning to solicit bids to have the engine disposed of.

“Not having the facilities to restore it and knowing it was a rare engine, we looked for a group that had the means to restore it to its original appearance,” said Skip Reinhard, president of the Huntington, West Virginia-based railroad nonprofit.

“We did not want to scrap it, knowing its history. Kentucky Steam was the organization we found that had the facilities to restore the engine, and their leaders accepted our donation,” Reinhard said.

Chris Campbell, Kentucky Steam’s president, said the donation proved exciting, yet challenging for the fledgling organization, still only in its sixth year of existence.

“The engine is exactly what anchored the ex-CSX shop facility that we now own in Appalachian Kentucky,” he said. “But being in the midst of several resource-intense restoration projects, we viewed 7067 as an eyebrow-raiser. We wanted to save it, but didn't know when we would have the means to make it worthy of displaying at our growing railroad campus.”

Enter CSX.

In late summer, 2021, the engine was towed several miles from its display site to the Huntington shops where it was stored until it could be readied to be shipped to Kentucky. Meanwhile, a plan was proposed to have the engine cosmetically restored to its as-built paint scheme, a livery that hasn’t been seen in some thirty years. CSX worked the engine into their busy paint shop schedule and utilizing diagrams provided by the L&N Historical Society, crews turned out a shining example of what ruled the rails some 40 years ago.

“CSX has been an excellent corporate partner over the years, and this is another example of how they have shown a commitment to helping us tell the story of railroading in Appalachia,” said Campbell. “We are grateful to all the employees who have contributed to this project. CSX has proven time and time again to be a first-class organization.”

Kentucky Steam is no stranger to generosity from CSX. In 2019, they received two large donations from the railroading giant: A fully refurbished 1969 Chesapeake and Ohio Railway caboose as well as a similar-vintage operational L&N-heritage diesel locomotive, both of which are current stars for KSHC’s seasonal operations on their 40-acre campus in Estill County, Kentucky. 7067’s cosmetic revival is a significant accomplishment for the two organizations, as the engine is one of the last remaining of its kind in the United States.

7067 is one of many GE “road switchers” that ruled U.S. rails in the 1980s and 1990s. The L&N ordered 44 C30-7s between 1979 and 1980, though most of their operating life was for CSX Transportation after the L&N was consolidated with numerous other railroad companies in the early 1980s.

After it was retired by CSX in 1999, it was painted in Marshall University colors by the CSX Huntington Locomotive Shop and was used for years in the area at university functions. After several years, the engine was unable to find a long-term home, so it was given to the C.P. Huntington group in 2017 by CSX and stored in their South Yard. Meanwhile, nearly all other C30-7 engines in the United States have been disposed of.

7067 in Huntington in April, 2021

The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation was founded in 2015 with the intent to restore and operate the historic steam locomotive C&O 2716 which was leased on a long-term basis from the Kentucky Railway Museum, in New Haven, Kentucky. In 2018, Kentucky Steam purchased a large portion of a former CSX railyard in Ravenna, Kentucky, and established a rail servicing facility in the former car shop complex. The complex itself once also housed a locomotive servicing station which was host to 7067 and other locomotives like it. Kentucky Steam plans to make the engine an interactive display at their developing rail-based campus called “The Yard.”.

“As we develop our attraction, we feel that it’s important to pay homage to the various eras of railroading that have been important to the Appalachian Region,” said Campbell. “This locomotive will honor a relatively recent era, one in which several of our members actually participated.”

Kentucky Steam will receive delivery of the refurbished engine later this spring. The locomotive itself will find a prominent display spot at the “The Yard” when KSHC finalizes major renovations to their campus, partially thanks to a Federal EPA Brownfields Program award announced last year.

A dedication ceremony is being planned for later this summer, and the locomotive will be prominently displayed during the group’s summer “Engineer U” program which features an opportunity for visitors to learn how to operate a locomotive. KSHC also plans summer visitor hours which will provide the public the opportunity to see the continued progress on the restoration of the C&O 2716 and other projects. Engineer U tickets will go on sale Sunday, May 1. For more information, membership and sponsorship opportunities or to make a tax-deductible cash or in-kind contribution to the project, visit

Several engines outside the Ravenna terminal in 1989, including C30-7s

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