NEWS

July 25, 2019


RAVENNA, KENTUCKY — In partnership with the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation and several other railroad preservation groups, CSX will transport a 75-year-old historic steam locomotive across Kentucky July 26-28. The C&O 2716, a 450-ton “Kanawha” type locomotive, will be moved across CSX and R.J. Corman rails from New Haven to Ravenna. 

The journey across the Bluegrass State — termed the “Heritage Highball” — begins with an excursion on Friday, July 26, held at the Kentucky Railway Museum. From there, the locomotive will travel east to Frankfort, Midway, Lexington and eventually Ravenna, making stops for public display in each city. The journey will end with a public ceremony held in Ravenna on Sunday, July 28 at 3:30 p.m. 



C&O 2716 will be accompanied by two other pieces of CSX heritage, both recent special projects turned out by the CSX Huntington, West Virginia locomotive shop. The train will be led by 1948-built Clinchfield 800, an F-7 diesel-electric locomotive that was restored and repainted by CSX in 2017. The engine is operated by the Southern Appalachia Railway Museum. The train will also feature a 50-year-old caboose that was donated to Kentucky Steam earlier this year after a complete restoration, also performed by crews in Huntington. 

The C&O 2716 locomotive was built by the American Locomotive Company in December 1943 and operated for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, a predecessor of CSX. It was retired in 1957 and was donated to the Kentucky Railway Museum, then located in Louisville. It was one of 90 such locomotives built for dual service, having the ability to haul freight and passengers with power and speed. 


The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation leased the locomotive from the Kentucky Railway Museum of New Haven with plans to restore the engine and operate it as a tourist attraction. In October of 2018, Kentucky Steam purchased a retired rail yard and car shop from CSX in Estill County, Kentucky, and has based operations there. The engine will be torn down and rebuilt in the former CSX facility, utilizing volunteer labor while partnering with local tech schools to make the rebuild and maintenance of the engine a training ground for vocational students.  


The locomotive will be the center attraction in a new multi-dimensional economic development project initiated by the Kentucky-based non-profit Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation.


Fore more up to date information on schedules and progress, visit Kentucky Steam on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kentuckysteam or Facebook at www.facebook.com/kentuckysteam




Lexington, Ky. July 18, 2019


A locomotive that rumbled down the streets of downtown Lexington more than sixty years ago is making a triumphant return to the bluegrass, and the city of Lexington has literally brewed up an event to celebrate.  A mammoth 75-year-old steam engine will roll into town, thanks to the generous cooperation of the R. J. Corman Railroad Group and CSX Transportation. On Saturday, July 27, Chesapeake and Ohio steam locomotive 2716 will be on static display on Manchester Street, across from the Pepper Campus from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the public is invited to get up close and personal with a piece of the past, while sipping on a beer brewed in honor of the historic event.


Back on Track Steam Beer is being brewed collaboratively by Mirror Twin and Ethereal Brewing, both of Lexington

The 400-ton engine is being transported to Irvine/Ravenna, Kentucky, and is slated to be restored to operation, taking center stage at the The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation’s Kentucky Rail Heritage Center, a blossoming Eastern Kentucky economic development project based in Estill County. 


The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is spearheading efforts to help revitalize the regional economy in Appalachian Kentucky with a multi-faceted rail-based initiative. The locomotive’s move will be a mobile kick-off for the project, allowing the public to view of a piece of the region’s history, and what may be a key part of its future.


Ethereal Brewing, located in the Pepper campus just a few feet away from the display location, has partnered with Mirror Twin Brewing to brew a special steam-style beer in honor of the project. “Back On Track Steam Beer” will be served at the event from beer trucks placed adjacent to the engine, as well as in the taprooms at each brewery. A portion of the sales of each pint will go to help fund the Kentucky Rail Heritage Center project.

Brandon Floan, co-founder of Ethereal Brewing, said his brewery is happy to get in on the action and are having fun co-brewing a beer in a style that happily coincides with the “steam” theme.


“After hearing about the tour of a historic steam-powered locomotive, we (and Derek DeFranco of Mirror Twin Brewing) immediately thought of brewing up a “steam beer” to commemorate the event,” Floan said. “This style is also a gem from America's past; it's an easy drinking amber lager featuring classic American hops and brewing techniques.”

Derek DeFranco, head brewer at Mirror Twin, said that when initial plans fell through to display the engine in front of their brewery (located on National Avenue), the collaboration with Ethereal came up naturally.


“We had told Kentucky Steam that we would brew the beer, and when the display location needed to be changed, we thought it would be a great idea to partner with another awesome brewery and make this a reality,” DeFranco said. “In the end, we are excited to be a part of the event and are glad that the spirit of collaboration that anchors Kentucky Steam’s project can continue through the beer we’re brewing to honor it.”


Downtown Lexington Partnership is co-hosting the festivities, which will kick off with the arrival of the locomotive around 3 p.m. on Saturday, July 27. Ethan Howard, Placemaking and Economic Development Manager, said the city is happy to collaborate with both the Estill County-based non-profit and Lexington area businesses.


“We are pleased to partner with the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation as they bring Locomotive 2716 and their exciting project through the Distillery District in Downtown Lexington,” Howard said. “We’re grateful to the local partners, especially R.J. Corman Railroad Group, for making this event a reality and for their ongoing support of Downtown throughout the year.”


A similar engine to 2716 poses at the old Union Station in Lexington in 1952. This area is now a parking lot.

The city has elected to open up additional parking, opening the lot at the Lexington Recycling Center, located off Manchester at Thompson Road. The Lexington Fire Department will also contribute to the festivities, displaying multiple apparatuses from past and present operations. Included in the LFD displays will be the first motorized truck purchased by the city in 1911, a 1948-built truck and a modern, state-of-the-art engine.  

The entire event has been made possible by groundbreaking support of two large railroad companies. Thanks to CSX Transportation and Nicholasville, Ky.-based R. J. Corman Railroad Group, the vintage locomotive will be transported from the Kentucky Railway Museum, in New Haven, to Estill County from July 26 through 28. Several public viewing stops are planned, and a public excursion on July 26 kicks off the weekend, the proceeds from which will be shared by Kentucky Steam Heritage and the Kentucky Railway Museum, both non-profit entities.


R. J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC President and CEO Ed Quinn said, “The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation is working hard for the community of Ravenna, Kentucky, and we are proud to partner with their organization to take part in the historic move of the C&O 2716. Being able to work together with CSX, local businesses and community organizations to help Kentucky Steam Heritage make this move and the surrounding events a reality has been exciting and we are fortunate to be able to participate.” 


Locomotive number 2716, was built in 1943 and visited the bluegrass region frequently while in service until its retirement in 1956. It was one of the largest locomotives to ever run on the line between Louisville and Ashland. After being retired, it was donated to the Kentucky Railway Museum, now located in New Haven, Kentucky. Kentucky Steam Heritage, an Estill County-based non-profit entity, leased the engine in 2016 with plans to eventually operate it on excursions and use its operation as an educational tool. 


The locomotive is slated to be on display in Frankfort in front of the old Capital on Friday, July 26 from 6-8 p.m.; In Downtown Midway on July 27 from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and in Lexington July 27 from 3-6 p.m. The weekend will conclude on Sunday, July 28 as 2716 arrives in Estill County; a welcoming ceremony is planned to be held at Veterans Memorial Park in Ravenna, starting at 3:30 p.m. The schedule is subject to change. 

Both The Kentucky Railway Museum and Kentucky Steam Heritage will have booths at many of the events, promoting rail tourism on both sides of the state. Also, both CSX and R. J. Corman will be sponsoring Operation Lifesaver tents, a program aimed at promoting rail safety.


A handful of tickets still remain for the “Heritage Highball” excursion on Friday, July 26 at the Kentucky Railway Museum. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.heritagehighball.com


For up-to-date info about the move, visit Kentucky Steam on the web and on social media:

www.kentucktysteam.org

www.facebook.com/kentuckysteam

www.twitter.com/kentuckysteam

www.instagram.com/kentuckysteam

July 11, 2019

Chicago Ill

Paxrail, a Chicago-based private rail passenger car company, has agreed to contribute the use of four rail cars​, ​supporting the move of historic locomotive C&O​ ​2716 from the Kentucky Railway Museum to Ravenna, Kentucky. 

The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation, a 501(c)(3) public charity, is spearheading ​an effort to help revitalize the regional economy in Appalachian Kentucky with a multi-faceted rail-based initiative. The locomotive’s move will be a mobile kick-off for the project, allowing the public to view of a piece of the region’s past, and what may be a key part of its future.

​Jim Evenson, CEO of Paxrail, has agreed to allow Kentucky Steam the use of several pieces of equipment for the escort train​ which will provide a mobile home for KSHC crews during the move. A crew/power generation (HEP) car and a dormitory car are both to be included in the celebratory train as it parades across the Bluegrass. Both cars are former members of the famous Ringling Brothers Circus Train and were purchased by Paxrail after the circus disbanded in 2017. They have been fully reconditioned by Crossroads Railcar Services in Stearns, KY and th​e cars' trip behind C&O 2716 will be their debut outing ​for Paxrail ​after their re-fit.

Two Paxrail cars, freshly shopped by Crossroads Railcar Services

"We're proud to play a small part in this historic movement of the C&O 2716," said Evenson on Thursday in a prepared statement. "The vision of the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation is one we are happy to support." Paxrail will also be including the use of two flat cars, which will enable Kentucky Steam to transport several pieces of heavy equipment to Eastern Kentucky from The Kentucky Railway Museum.  ​Thanks to the generous cooperation from CSX Transporation and the R.J. Corman Railroad Group, the locomotive and accompanying train will be moved across the Bluegrass State over a three-day weekend, making stops in Frankfort, Midway, and Lexington before the final destination of Ravenna, a 100-year-old community originally founded by the L&N Railroad in the early 1900s. The trip will kick-off on Friday, July 26th with an excursion originating on Kentucky Railway Museum grounds. Proceeds from the "Heritage Highball" excursion will be shared by both the museum and the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation. For more about the project and details about the event, visit www.kentuckysteam.org

For more about Paxrail, visit www.paxrail.com

499 Kirkland Ave  
Irvine, KY 40336
1-833-KY STEAM
The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation (KSHC) is a Kentucky based 501 c(3) non-profit organization operating with the intent to educate, entertain and inspire past, current and future generations by operating historic rail equipment. The hallmark of our efforts is the restoration of Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Steam Locomotive 2716 to operation. The restoration and operation of 2716 and other historic pieces will prove to be living history and will serve as an educational tool, enhancing heritage tourism and stimulating economic growth.
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a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization