Chilhowee Park Steam Engine Moving Across Town

Communications Deputy Director

Eric Vreeland
evreeland@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-3480

400 Main St., Room 654A
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Chilhowee Park Steam Engine Moving Across Town

Posted: 08/22/2008
City of Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam, Three Rivers Rambler owner Pete Claussen, and Jim Tolliver, president of the Old Smoky Railway Museum announced plans on Friday, August 22 to restore the ex-Southern Railway 1890 steam engine, Number 154, located in Chilhowee Park.

The Three Rivers Rambler Train Ride is planning a multi year restoration of the locomotive so that it can be used as a tourist excursion train on Knoxville's downtown waterfront.

The locomotive is being donated by the Old Smoky Railway Museum. 
 
"I think it's great that we're going to see this locomotive restored and back on the tracks in East Tennessee," said Mayor Bill Haslam, "and I'm grateful to the Old Smoky Railway Museum, which owns it, and the folks at Three Rivers Rambler for working together to make this happen."

"I know we will miss seeing it at Chilhowee Park, but look forward to seeing it restored to its original purpose," Mayor Haslam added.

The master mechanic of steam for Three Rivers Rambler, Jeff Parrott, was on hand with the locomotive as it was loaded onto a flatbed truck for its trip across town to Knoxville Locomotive Works.

The Three Rivers Rambler train ride will provide a website at www.southern154.com for the public to follow the restoration process over the next two years.

HISTORY OF LOCOMOTIVE #154:

This locomotive (#154) was built in 1890 at the American Locomotive Company's (ALCO) Schenectady Plant in New York for the East Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia Railroad.

Southern Railroad donated it to the City of Knoxville in 1953 and the city placed on display in Chilhowee Park that year. It has remained there since.

In 1989 the city transferred ownership to the Old Smoky Railway Museum for continued preservation.

Old Smoky Railway recently reached an agreement to donate the locomotive to Three Rivers Rambler with the idea that the engine will be restored and will be put back into service by TRR on Volunteer Landing.

The restoration process will take about two years and when it is completed #154 will be one of the oldest known locomotives still in operation.