$10,000 Trains Magazine Preservation Award Presented to Aid in Restoration of C&O 2716

For Immediate Release

October 29, 2019

The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation, a 501(c)(3) public charity based in Estill County, Kentucky, announced Saturday that it was named as the 2019 winner of Trains Magazine’s annual Preservation Award, which seeks to fund railroad preservation efforts across the country. The announcement follows the revelation by Trains Magazine at the publication's photo charter at the Grand Canyon Railway in Williams, Arizona, on Saturday night.

In being named the Trains Magazine Preservation Award Winner, Kentucky Steam will receive a $10,000 prize which will be used toward the restoration of former Chesapeake & Ohio steam locomotive No. 2716, which will be the centerpiece of Kentucky Steam's operations for years to come.

“It is always a difficult decision to choose from so many deserving projects,” said Trains Magazine Editor Jim Wrinn. “The Kentucky Steam project will move the restoration of a landmark steam locomotive forward.”

According to a statement from Trains Magazine, 37 applicants representing projects ranging from archives to rolling stock, passenger cars, steam and diesel locomotives applied for consideration of the Preservation Award. The prize awarded to Kentucky Steam will be used in the rebuilding of the hot water pump for the 2716, which is an integral part of the locomotive's boiler system.

Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation President Chris Campbell says Kentucky Steam, its board and its growing membership are honored to have been named as the winners of Trains Magazine's Preservation Award.

“We are thrilled and humbled to receive this award. Our organization is excited to get to work on the restoration of C&O 2716, and the Trains Preservation Award will be extremely helpful in moving the project along.”

The C&O No. 2716 is a 2-8-4 "Kanawha"-type steam locomotive which was built in 1943 and operated pulling freight and passenger trains for 13 years, mostly in Appalachia, before being retired in 1957. It was one of 90 such locomotives purchased by the C&O between 1943 and 1947 and is one of a dozen Kanawhas which remain, but the only one which has operated in the preservation era. The 2716 is owned by the Kentucky Railway Museum and is on long-term lease to Kentucky Steam. It has been restored to operation twice before: Once by the Southern Railway in 1981 and 1982 and again in 1996 by the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society.

In early 2019, Kentucky Steam was awarded $46,000 by the John Emery Trust for new boiler tubes for the 2716. This latest award will propel forward the volunteer efforts of Kentucky Steam, which has already invested thousands of man hours into the 2716's restoration. As part of that effort, the 2716 was moved in July from Kentucky Railway Museum in New Haven, Kentucky, to Kentucky Steam's headquarters at the former CSX Ravenna Yard and Car Shop in Irvine, Kentucky, where it will be restored and will be the centerpiece of the organization's multi-faceted tourism, entertainment and educational development in Appalachian Kentucky.

“Trains Magazine has been a big help in getting the word out about our mission, and this grant is another shot in the arm for the rebuilding of this magnificent engine. This project is about more than just trains, but the region’s undeniable ties to the railroad make this locomotive’s restoration a key to the economic development of Eastern Kentucky” Campbell added.

For more information on Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation's efforts, including events, volunteer opportunities and donation opportunities, visit,

Read the official Trains Magazine article here:

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 or Facebook at

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

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