Southern Railway 2-8-0 No. 630 sidelined with bearing issues

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Dorr Tucker
ROANOKE, Va. – Problems with overheating bearings on Southern Railway 2-8-0 No. 630 have sidelined the engine for several weeks. The locomotive was to pull excursions out of Roanoke on July 7, and from Bristol, Tenn., on July 8 as part of Norfolk Southern’s 21st Century Steam program. Instead, the trips will be pulled by one of Norfolk Southern’s heritage diesels.

The bearing problem arose yesterday near Elliston, Va. as No. 630 was pulling a round trip for NS employees over the former Norfolk & Western main line from Roanoke to Walton, Va. Steve Freer, one of the museum’s operations coordinators, told Trains News Wire that three of No. 630’s axles have been converted to an oil feed system for lubrication, rather than using grease cakes. Freer said while he could not definitely confirm what the problem was, he assumes that the unconverted axle was the problem, and was probably escalated by the higher outside temperatures in Roanoke this weekend. Freer said that the museum had planned to convert the fourth axle to the oil feed system as time allowed, but now that time has come.

With No. 630 out of service, the museum has cancelled a planned one-way public trip from Knoxville to Chattanooga, Tenn. on July 16. Freer said the museum hopes to be able to operate trips from Chattanooga to Cleveland, Tenn., for the museum’s Railfest on Sept. 1-2, and trips to Birmingham, Ala. on Sept. 8.

Freer said it is unknown if the engine can make a slow speed move back to Chattanooga for repairs. TVRM personnel were heading to Virginia today to inspect No. 630, and decide how and where the repairs will be made.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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