C&O 2716 move to restoration site set for July 26-28

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C&O 2716 will be on the move July 26-28 to its place of restoration.
Trains: Jim Wrinn
RAVENNA, Ky. — CSX Transportation and RJ Corman Railroad Group will move a former Chesapeake & Ohio steam locomotive to its new home later in the summer.

The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corp., announced today that the two railroads will partner to move former C&O No. 2716, a 2-8-4 Kanawha, from the Kentucky Railway Museum in New Haven, Ky., to the in-development Kentucky Steam Heritage Center at Ravenna, Ky., in July for restoration. The move with 2716 in tow will take place July 26-July 28.

According to a statement from Kentucky Steam, the move will include several stops during the move, as well as a public excursion, the proceeds from which will be shared by Kentucky Steam and the Kentucky Railway Museum, both non-profit entities.

Kentucky Steam tells Trains News Wire that the excursion will be a 2.5-hour, 24-mile round trip jaunt. The excursion will take place as the 2716 is being towed Lebanon Junction, where the museum’s trackage connects with CSX’s Mainline Subdivision. There, the locomotive will split off from the excursion and proceed across CSX to Louisville. The excursion will then return to Kentucky Railway Museum.

Tickets for the July 26 excursion will go on sale at www.kentuckysteam.org on Thursday, April 18 at 9 a.m., with a limited number of seats being available. Coach seats start at $43, with approximately 200 seats being available. Cab rides in the locomotive and caboose ride tickets will also be available at a more premium price and will be very limited. Full details and price listings will be available at the Kentucky Steam website.

CSX and RJ Corman will spearhead the 200-plus-mile move, the statement says, and photo opportunities, public tours, and displays in cities along the route will be possible. The tentative route for the move will see 1943-built 2716 pass through Louisville and across the former C&O/CSX, now RJ Corman-operated Old Road Subdivision through Frankfort, Midway, Lexington and Winchester, before arriving at Ravenna, a former Louisville & Nashville terminal.

“This project is about much more than just trains, and our corporate partners really understand the vision,” Campbell says in the statement. “Kentucky Steam’s focus is to spur economic development and job creation through tourism, utilizing the region’s rich rail history as a springboard.”

Kentucky Steam plans to restore the 2716 to running order to be the centerpiece of the rail heritage center. The group leased 2716 from Kentucky Railway Museum in 2016, where it had called home since being donated to the museum in 1959, two years after being retired by the C&O. The locomotive returned to steam in 1981 and 1982 and in the mid-1990s in excursion service, and has been a static display at the museum since 2001. Kentucky Steam hopes restoration efforts will be helped by revenues generated by the public send-off excursion.

Restoration activities on the 2716 are ongoing. Kentucky Steam volunteers recently separated the roller bearing-equipped locomotive from its friction bearing-equipped tender in anticipation of swapping out the tender’s trucks with recently-acquired Buckeye trucks. The Buckeye trucks are roller bearing-equipped and were donated to Kentucky Steam by Big Rivers Electric in Kentucky after being salvaged from a depressed-center flatcar left derailed and abandoned on Big Rivers’ property.

Campbell previously told Trains News Wire that Kentucky Steam anticipates a savings of approximately $100,000 by moving 2716 and its tender to Ravenna for restoration rather than undertaking the project in the open air at Kentucky Railway Museum. Kentucky Steam’s facilities at Ravenna are the located at the former CSX railroad yard, complete with a three-bay car shop the group intends to use for its restoration projects.
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