C&O 2716: Half way home

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Clinchfield Railroad No. 800 blasts through Shepherdsville, Ky. at 40 mph during the move of C&O 2716 on Friday. 
Chris Anderson
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Chesapeake & Ohio 2-8-4 “Kanawha” steam locomotive No. 2716 is more than halfway to its new home at Ravenna, Ky., and followers of the move still have several events surrounding the locomotive ahead.

After months of planning, No. 2716 departed Kentucky Railway Museum on Friday en route to Kentucky Steam Heritage Corp.’s headquarters at the former CSX Ravenna Yard in Irvine, Ky. Dozens lined KRM, CSX, and R. J. Corman tracks to witness the first leg of the historic move.

The train arrived in Frankfort just before sundown Friday. A half-day earlier No. 2716 and Clinchfield Railroad EMD F7 No. 800 led the Heritage Highball excursion out of KRM toward CSX’s Main Line Subdivision at Lebanon Junction, Ky. A portion of the proceeds from the sales of tickets for the excursion will go toward the restoration No. 2716 which, according to Kentucky Steam Heritage Corp. President Chris Campbell, is expected to take about a year and a half. Countless hours, Campbell says, had already been spent on preparing No. 2716 to move even before the locomotive turned a wheel on the Heritage Highball.

“You wouldn’t believe the many thousands of hours that have already been spent in the planning and the execution of the move,” Campbell says.

A street festival in Frankfort was underway when the train arrived, allowing dozens already in town for that event to see No. 2716 and its train along with the scores of people who turned out specifically to see the locomotive. The arrival of the train was delayed by about two hours due to congestion in Louisville, but the large crowd remained lined along the R.J. Corman line in order to witness the move of the locomotive. The train tied down for the night outside of Frankfort.

The fanfare for the 2716 is expected to ramp up today, however. Beginning at 10 a.m., the City of Midway, Ky.’s Midway Heritage Day street festival was set to kick off as No. 2716, now led by a pair of R. J. Corman GP38 variants, rolled into town and acted as the centerpiece for the event. Later in the day, the locomotive is set to travel to Lexington, Ky. There, beginning at 4 p.m., an event in the city’s distillery district is planned to celebrate the locomotive’s arrival. On Sunday, the locomotive is expected to arrive at its new home at the Kentucky Steam headquarters, where a celebration is planned to include guest speakers and a dedication of the locomotive.

For more information, see http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2019/07/25-co-2716-move-begins-friday-heres-what-you-need-to-know

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