NEWS

Midway, KY - June 6, 2019


Midway Heritage Day Flyer. Click on the image for a larger view

A picturesque Central Kentucky town will be celebrating its railroad heritage this summer, centering a day-long festival around the arrival of a historic locomotive that hasn’t visited the region in over sixty years. The city of Midway, Kentucky, along with Midway Renaissance Inc, and the Midway Merchants Association will be sponsoring a train-themed festival to honor the city’s heritage, as well as to celebrate the arrival of Chesapeake and Ohio steam locomotive 2716. Midway Heritage Day will be held on Saturday, July 27 and will feature live music, food vendors, historical displays and walking tours, as well as an up close and personal look at the massive visiting locomotive.


The 400-ton engine is slated to be restored to operation, taking center stage at the Kentucky Rail Heritage Center, a blossoming Eastern Kentucky economic development project based in Estill County.


Historic downtown Midway Kentucky will play host to a day-long festival centered around the arrival of C&O 2716

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 a piece of the region’s past, and what may be a key part of its future.


Thanks to collaboration from both CSX Transportation and Nicholasville, Ky.-based R. J. Corman Railroad Group, the locomotive will be transported from the Kentucky Railway Museum, in New Haven, to Estill County over the weekend of July 26-28. The unprecedented event will include several stops and a public excursion on July 26, the proceeds from which will be shared by Kentucky Steam Heritage and the Kentucky Railway Museum, both non-profit entities.


“When the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation approached us about partnering with CSX and others to move the C&O 2716 across our home state of Kentucky, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to take part in the historic move that is part of a larger plan to use the railroads to revitalize parts of Eastern Kentucky,” said R. J. Corman Railroad Group, LLC President and CEO Ed Quinn.


“Working with Midway is always a pleasure, and their willingness to host this unique and fun event brings us even more excitement for the move.”


Christy Reaves, President of the non-profit Midway Renaissance, Inc, said the concept of “Heritage Day” was initiated by the news of the locomotive’s visit, and was created to revolve around the heritage, history, and culture of Midway, Kentucky.


“The citizens of Midway look forward to welcoming people into the community to celebrate the rich heritage of the railroad and the extraordinary sense of community that Midway enjoys. The festival will feature in-depth presentations, artifacts, discussions and tours regarding the history of Midway,” she said in a prepared statement Tuesday.


C&O 2716 will be on display in Midway on the morning of July 27th. It is on its way to be restored to operation in Estill County

Several train-related activities will be presented, including the dedication of a revitalized model train layout of downtown Midway, a vintage train exhibit and a trackless train ride through town. All events are free and open to the public.


The main attraction for the event, 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 run it on excursions and use its operation as an educational tool. The locomotive is slated to be on display in Midway from 10 am until 1 pm. The schedule is subject to change.


Both Kentucky Railway Museum and Kentucky Steam Heritage will have booths at the event, promoting rail tourism on both sides of the state. The locomotive will make several other stops over the course of the weekend, and more information regarding the engine’s trek across the bluegrass will be released in the coming weeks.


For more details and updates, information on membership, donations and for ordering tickets, visit www.kentuckysteam.org or the event website, www.heritagehighball.com


For more info about the Kentucky Railway Museum, visit www.kyrail.org


Further information on Midway Renaissance, Inc visit http://MidwayRenaissance.com






Get a unique opportunity to send C&O 2716 off in style, ride behind a vintage one-of-a-kind Diesel locomotive, and visit the official railroad museum of Kentucky! Thanks to the generosity of CSX Transportation, RJ Corman, Southern Appalachian Railroad Museum and our partners at Kentucky Railway Museum, you can join us on this special July 26th excursion! CLICK HERE for details!


Ravenna, KY

April 17, 2019


A recently-announced collaborative effort between railroad companies and preservation groups is getting a historic twist, and the public will have an opportunity to participate in the uncommon event.


Clinchfield 800, a rare F-7 diesel locomotive built in 1948, has been assigned by CSX Transportation to join an Odyssey across the Bluegrass state, a move that will ultimately take steam locomotive Chesapeake and Ohio 2716 from its current home at the Kentucky Railway Museum to the care of the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation (KSHC) in Ravenna, Kentucky. Kentucky Steam intends to restore 2716 to operation, and make the engine a focal point of their envisioned train-centered venue, the Kentucky Rail Heritage Center.


Clinchfield 800 prepares to tow 2716 from KRM in 1979. Charlie Buccola Photo

On Monday, Kentucky Steam announced that CSX Transportation and the RJ Corman Railroad Group have agreed to transport the 75-year old steam engine over the weekend of July 26-28. The move will kick off on Friday, July 26, when the public will be invited to ride a special “Heritage Highball” excursion at the Kentucky Railway Museum as Clinchfield 800 leads the historic move out of New Haven and onto the CSX mainline. Riders will be treated to a leisurely trip across Kentucky bourbon country, and will be able to bid farewell to 2716 as it and the 800 uncouple and continue on toward Ravenna, while the excursion returns back to Kentucky Railway Museum. Tickets range from coach class all the way up to caboose seats and cab rides in both 2716 and 800. Proceeds from the excursion will help offset the costs incurred by both Kentucky Steam and KRM associated with the move.


800’s inclusion in the event will be a dramatic reuniting of the two vintage artifacts — a story 40 years in the making. The two engines last met in 1979 when the 800 was tasked with moving 2716 from the Kentucky Railway Museum — then located in Louisville — to North Carolina to be rebuilt and used by the Clinchfield Railroad. It was famously escorted through Kentucky and Tennessee with a vintage caboose and Clinchfield business car No. 100 in tow, destined for restoration by the railroad and slated to be used on company-sponsored excursions. Only a few short months into refurbishment, however, the railroad company was rocked by a management shakeup, and the excursion program was canceled. The engine was quickly pieced back together and shipped back to Kentucky.


“This is a rare opportunity at a second chance,” said Chris Campbell, Kentucky Steam president. “It’s almost like redemption for the two engines. Both are historic and both share a mutual chapter in the history of American rail preservation. We cannot thank CSX and our friends at the Southern Appalachian Railroad Museum enough for allowing this story to have another chapter.”


Clinchfield 800 is operated and maintained by the Southern Appalachian Railroad Museum (SARM), located in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The 70-year-old locomotive was the first diesel purchased by the Carolina, Clinchfield and Ohio Railroad, a predecessor company of CSX. The engine was built by the Electro-Motive Division and operated predominately in Appalachia. After the Clinchfield was absorbed into CSX Transportation, the engine was leased for commuter service in the early 1990s and was eventually donated to the C&O Railroad Historical Society and was painted in C&O Livery. In 2017, the Clinchfield 800 was faithfully restored to its as-delivered grey and yellow paint scheme by the dedicated members of the CSX Huntington Locomotive Paint Shop. CSX railroaders researched old drawings and consulted retired Clinchfield engineers to ensure that the exterior and interior were restored to the original specifications used when the locomotive first rolled off the line in LaGrange, Ill.


Most recently, the locomotive was given nationwide attention as it took the lead on the 2017 CSX Santa Train, an annual 110-mile trek from Shelby, Ky., to Kingsport, Tenn. Special guests and staff deliver toys, food and winter clothing each year to residents along the train's path in Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee.


Charlie Poling, museum director at SARM, said the 800’s inclusion in the move of 2716 is an amazing opportunity to honor the heritage of not only CSX, but also two important pieces of railroad history.


“SARM could not ask for a better partner in preservation than CSX Transportation,” Poling said. “Their ongoing commitment to preserving their proud corporate heritage is to be commended. Clinchfield 800 is a shining example of this commitment. SARM was honored and humbled to be asked to participate in the 75th anniversary Santa Train and is again honored to be involved in C&O 2716's trip to a new home in Ravenna.”


800 won’t be the only carefully-refurbished showpiece on the excursion. C&O Caboose 3203, which was also recently restored at CSX’s Huntington Shops over the winter, will also join the consist. The stunning rehab was completed in February and the 50-year-old caboose was subsequently released with much fanfare as a donation to Kentucky Steam.

Campbell added that the excursion is not only a great collaboration between rail preservation groups but is also a chance to showcase the excellent work of the men and women whose craftsmanship was instrumental in restoring the two vintage pieces.


“The workers at the Huntington Shops are largely unsung heroes in the day-to-day operations of big railroads like CSX Transportation,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to honor their dedicated work on a big stage … and it’s humbling to be able to do it with the partnership of SARM and KRM … and the blessing of CSX.”


Tickets for the July 26 excursion go on sale Thursday, April 18 at 9 a.m. Tickets start at $43 for coach up to $2,716 for a cab ride in the C&O 2716.


For more details and updates, information on membership, donations and for ordering tickets, CLICK HERE


For more info about the Kentucky Railway Museum, visit www.kyrail.org


For information about the Southern Appalachia Railroad Museum, visit www.secretcityrailroad.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.
© 2015-2020 - Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation
a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization