Friday, May 21, 2021

Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation Adds Rare Diesel Locomotive to Collection

Huntington, West Virginia — This week, Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation accepted a donation of a former Louisville and Nashville diesel locomotive, former CSX 7067, a C30-7 type engine built by General Electric in 1980. The engine is a gift from the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, which announced the donation at their May, 2021, board meeting.

The locomotive, which is one of the last remaining of its kind in the United States, 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, 7067 was painted in Marshall University colors by the CSX Huntington Locomotive Shop and was used for years in the Huntington 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.

“This is an exciting and unique addition to our collection,” said Chris Campbell, Kentucky Steam founder and president. “7067 represents a quickly-vanishing era in railroading that is in many ways being forgotten, and this locomotive has historical relevance to our region as it and many others like it were once based at our facility in Estill County, Kentucky.”

The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation was founded in 2015 with the intent to restore and operate historical 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, 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 paint the non-operable locomotive back to its original “L&N Family Lines” paint scheme and make it an interactive display at their developing rail-based campus, likely parked on the fuel platform where it once was serviced.

“As we develop our railroad campus, 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 more recent era, one in which several of our members actually participated.”

As the C.P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society works on pairing down their asset list, they were intent on finding a worthy recipient of the 41-year-old locomotive and are happy to have found a partnership with Kentucky Steam.

“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.

Kentucky Steam plans to work on moving the engine later this summer, and will be hosting a fundraiser to pay for prep costs. Campbell said Kentucky Steam is happy to accept the donation of the 7067, although the acquisition was not foreseen before this spring.

“We are very appreciative to the CP Huntington group for considering us for this donation. While 7067 is a welcomed addition to our collection, it’s also not something we budgeted for in 2021,” said Campbell. “It’s a good challenge to have.”

A formal fundraising effort for 7067 will be announced in the coming weeks.

On June 12th, Kentucky Steam will host an open house to the general public, and will give visitors the opportunity to see the continued progress on the restoration of the C&O 2716. For more information, membership and sponsorship opportunities or to make a tax-deductible cash or in-kind contribution to the project, visit

We are thrilled to have been selected for a half-million-dollar Federal EPA Brownfields grant to help move along our important economic development project centered around the historic Ravenna, KY rail yard and its redevelopment. Read the press release and list of recipients here:

Kentucky Steam Acquires Historic Water and Tool Cars From Indiana Transportation Museum

March 5, 2021

Irvine, KY

In a landmark deal, the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation has acquired a historic water tender and accompanying former-Pennsylvania Railroad Railway Post Office car from the Indiana Transportation Museum.

Both cars, along with a former former-Pennsylvania Railroad baggage car, were transported from Indiana to the KSHC property in Irvine, Kentucky, in late 2018. The cars were part of a package deal when ITM was evicted from its longtime home at Forest Park in Noblesville, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis. The transaction solidifies ownership for all three pieces of equipment for Kentucky Steam.

Kentucky Steam President Chris Campbell said the transaction of the cars from ITM to KSHC helps to further the organization’s efforts in the ongoing restoration of former-Chesapeake and Ohio steam locomotive 2716 to operation.

“The water car itself is a valuable addition to the eventual operations of C&O 2716 and has historical relevance to Eastern Kentucky, particularly the communities of Irvine and Ravenna,” Campbell said. “We have been glad to provide a safe haven for it but now, we believe its future is even more secure, as are the futures for the two Pennsylvania Railroad cars.”

KSHX 6565
KSHX 6565 is a 1910-built Pennsylvania Railroad RPO. It was most recently the tool and crew car for NKP 587. It was moved from the Forest Park site by Hulcher Services in 2018

In July 2018, various preservation groups scrambled to acquire and move equipment from ITM’s Forest Park museum grounds with days to spare before the property was repossessed by the City of Noblesville for redevelopment. The marquee attraction of that scramble was the dismantling and subsequent movement of 100-year-old steam locomotive Nickel Plate Road No. 587. The engine now resides on KSHC’s Irvine campus, partially dismantled and in safe storage.

Kentucky Steam inked a deal to coordinate the relocation, storage and eventual restoration of the 587. During ITM’s move away from Noblesville, however, the organization encountered debilitating financial responsibilities, moving artifacts to a potential new home in Logansport, a museum site that has not materialized. In the wake, many former museum pieces have been sold off to other entities or returned to their respective owners.

The water car acquired by KSHC from ITM was originally the coal and water tender for L&N locomotive No. 1958, which operated out of Ravenna, Kentucky — one of the two communities encompassing KSCO’s campus development — during much of its operating life. After the L&N 1958 was scrapped, the tender was saved and assigned to maintenance-of-way service by the railroad. It was later acquired by the Southern Railway and converted into a water car. Later in its life, it operated as Norfolk Southern's auxiliary tender for famed steam locomotive N&W 611 before being retired in 1989 and donated to the Indiana Transportation Museum where it was used again as a water car, this time for Nickel Plate 587 until 2003 when the engine was taken out of service.

Kentucky Steam leased the car in late 2018 and moved it from an isolated industrial siding in Arcadia, Indiana, with the help of Hulcher Services. The car, along with the two ex-Pennsylvania Railroad cars, was set on CSX tracks where all three were extensively rehabbed for transport on the CSX mainline. The two Pennsy cars were included as consideration in the deal with 587’s restoration estimate.

KSHC Water Tender
KSHX 291958 was originally a tender for L&N "Big Emma" 1958 which was stationed in Ravenna, KY. KSHC officially acquired the car this week.

Kentucky Steam’s official acquisition of the water car, baggage and RPO car coincides with a multi-entity deal that also includes ownership change for Nickel Plate 587. The veteran excursion engine, which was restored and operated from 1988 until 2003, has been sold to a private individual who intends to continue the trajectory originally planned when the 1918-built Baldwin locomotive was moved to Kentucky two years ago.

Kentucky Steam President Chris Campbell said the deal is an excellent outcome from what could have become a very unfortunate situation.

“When we moved 587 and the three support cars in the summer and fall of 2018, it was a major win for railroad preservation as the four pieces were saved from legal trouble and potential scrapping,” he said. “This deal ensures the long-term safekeeping of these cars, and gives a new sense of urgency with the restoration of Nickel Plate 587.”

NKP 587
NKP 587 was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and was returned to service in 1988.

The new owner of 587, who wishes to remain anonymous, plans for the engine to remain in Ravenna for the foreseeable future. Kentucky Steam will work closely with the owner as plans materialize for fundraising, and potentially transferring the locomotive into a newly-formed nonprofit designed specifically for the engine, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the meantime, Jason Sobczynski, KSHC Chief Mechanical Officer and CEO of Irvine Kentucky-based Next Generation Rail Solutions, will collaborate with the owner to develop a mechanical plan.

"It's wonderful to see the future of the 587 looking brighter than it has in some time,” Sobczynski said. “While there is some major repair work ahead, it is a rare opportunity to return a locomotive to operation which needs what once was considered scheduled maintenance."

Updates on the 587 will be limited as logistics are established. For more information, including a full roster of Kentucky Steam’s equipment, visit, or visit Kentucky Steam’s social media channels.