top of page


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

March 7, 2022 Part of a Santa Fe engine is heading East, thanks to a creative collaboration between two unlikely preservation partners.

Later this year, two 501(c)(3) entities, the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corp. and the Pueblo (CO) Railway Foundation are partnering to swap locomotive components, a move that will bring one 78-year-old locomotive’s restoration closer to completion. The move will send two fully-rebuilt cross-compound air compressors from former Santa Fe Northern type locomotive #2912 in Pueblo, Colorado, across the country to Kentucky, where Chesapeake and Ohio No. 2716 is being rebuilt for eventual operation. In return, Kentucky Steam will send C&O 2716’s non-operational air pumps to Pueblo, and the components will be mounted on the cosmetically-restored Santa Fe engine built in 1944.

Santa Fe 2912
Santa Fe 2912 on display in Pueblo

It’s estimated that the transaction will save the restoration effort of C&O 2716 anywhere from $50-$70,000 and is a landmark partnership between two rail preservation institutions that have not collaborated in the past.

The Pueblo Railway Foundation was formed in 2003, taking over the assets and railroad preservation work of its predecessor, the Pueblo Locomotive & Rail Historical Society. The organization currently runs the Pueblo Railway Museum, and owns several historic pieces of rail equipment, including Santa Fe 2912 which was under restoration work in the 2000s. Several of the engine’s major appliances were fully rebuilt by Backshop Enterprises before the group made the difficult decision in 2011 to abandon the return of 2912 to operation and settle for a cosmetic restoration. Among the rebuilt components were two cross-compound air compressors, the exact type that was used on many American locomotives in the mid-20th century, including C&O 2716.

Air pumps – more properly termed cross-compound air compressors – are vital appliances that adorn every operating steam locomotive. In simple terms, they utilize steam power to produce compressed air, and the air is pumped into high-capacity tanks on the locomotive. The readily available reserve of air is vital to any railroad operation, as the brakes for the locomotive and each rail car are operated by the application and reduction of air pressure. The acquisition and fabrication of parts for these precise mini-powerplants is always a large portion of any historic locomotive restoration. For Kentucky Steam, the aspect of acquiring already-rebuilt air pumps was an amazing yet elusive opportunity.

2716 Air Pump
2716's left side cross-compound air compressor

Dave Dandurand, an officer with the Pueblo Railway Foundation, explained how the transaction came to be.

“Jason Sobczynski, Chief Mechanical Officer of Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation, knew about the progress of our 2912 rebuilding efforts and contacted the PRF in late 2021 to inquire about the status and availability of the air compressors,” he said. “After a quick discussion among the PRF Board of Directors, an agreement was reached whereby KSHC will bring the compressors from C&O 2716 by truck to Pueblo, and swap them with the compressors on 2912.”

Sobczynski elaborates on the reasoning behind the overture to the PRF.

“The farther we got into dismantling 2716, the more we realized that the air pumps were going to be a significant investment on both time and money,” he said. “I knew about the rebuilt compressors in Pueblo and figured we would at least inquire about a swap. Their willingness to work with us will save us a significant amount of resources, and their engine won't undergo any cosmetic changes with the old pumps from 2716. It’s really a win-win situation for us both.”

In addition to exchanging components, Kentucky Steam will present a donation check to PRF as a sign of goodwill and to help cover some of the costs associated with the completed rebuilding of the compressors over a decade ago.

Founded in 2015, The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation has a long-term lease on 2716 from its owner, the Kentucky Railway Museum. The engine, built in 1943 by the American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, New York, is the centerpiece of the organization’s ambitious rail-based tourism project based in Estill County, Kentucky. Kentucky Steam purchased a 40-acre former CSX rail yard in 2018 and has been steadily renovating the space into a railroad-centered campus which will feature the already-refurbished locomotive repair facility, as well as a concert venue, restaurant, and museum. While trains are the theme, the complex will be the hallmark of Appalachian revitalization, providing a springboard for experience-based tourism.

Organization president Chris Campbell says that the locomotive will be both an attraction at their Irvine, Kentucky-based facility, and will also go on the road often, acting as a rolling marketing tool for Appalachian Kentucky’s own tourist endeavors.

“Our hope is that the locomotive will captivate a new audience wherever it goes,” he said. “2716 will bring people to whoever is hosting us as well as eventually draw them to visit us in Kentucky.

“It’s quite the story to have our mission be able to be carried out thanks to a partnership with an organization over 1,200 miles away” he said. “We can’t thank the folks at the Pueblo Railway Foundation enough for considering our project as worthy of support.”

The Pueblo Railway Foundation’s mission is to operate, preserve, and display railroad equipment and history, focusing on Southern Colorado. By displaying historic artifacts to the public, their goal is to promote interest in railroading, as well as champion the preservation and study of railroading history of the region.

The Museum is one of the only places to feature operating artifacts from the Colorado & Wyoming Railroad. Also on display are vintage pieces of equipment from the Santa Fe and Denver & Rio Grande Western railroads. The highlight of each year is the PRF’s “Pueblo Express” Christmas train rides at the Pueblo Union Depot, a festive event with more than 1,000 attendees last December.

Reid Adams, another officer at the PRF, says that though they and Kentucky Steam are separated by distance, their collaboration is welcomed and can help both entities reach their goals.

“We are excited to work with the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation and share components of our vintage steam locomotive static display so that the C&O 2716 can become fully operational. Parts and components for steam engines are hard to find and very difficult to fabricate. Therefore, it is vital for museums and rail heritage organizations across the country to collaborate and share resources to help preserve vintage equipment. The PRF and KSHC partnership demonstrates how groups can work together to preserve historic railroad artifacts.”

For more information about the Pueblo Railway Foundation and the Museum, visit

To learn more about Kentucky Steam, visit

KRM 2716
C&O 2716 on display at the Kentucky Railway Museum

The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation team is requesting proposals to conduct cleanup activities in accordance with the USEPA Brownfield Cleanup Grant awarded in 2021. If you are interested in obtaining a copy of the RFP to place a bid, contact Sherry Weedman with Tetra Tech at

bottom of page