Steam Returns to Great Smokey Mountain Railroad

Photo by Andrew Blaszczyk

T

he Great Smoky Mountains Railroad has purchased several pieces of equipment from Maine’s Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroad. Included in the purchase are a steam locomotive, a Rail Diesel Car, and nine coaches.

The steam locomotive is a Swedish engine, 4-6-0 No. 1149, built by Swedish State Railways in 1913. It was exported to the United States in 1994. The locomotive was rebuilt in 1998 in compliance with Federal Railroad Administration standards. The locomotive and coaches have a Swiss coupling system and will operate together as a set. The RDC is capable of seating 84 passengers, and may be used for special photo excursions operating from Dillsboro to Andrews, N.C., in addition to regular trains.

 

The locomotive and coaches have been winterized and will remain in storage until spring 2011, when they will be moved to North Carolina. The railroad will then begin minor repairs. Two boiler tubes on No. 1149 will be renewed, followed by hydrostatic testing required by the FRA.

 

 

In addition to No. 1149, the railroad said there is an effort to revive additional steam locomotives owned by Great Smoky Mountains. A partnership program with a newly formed nonprofit group will assist in fund raising efforts for the restoration and operation of ex-Southern Railway 2-8-0 No. 722 and former U.S. Army 2-8-0 No. 1702. No. 722 was built in 1904 and was a star of Southern Railway’s steam program in the 1960s and 1970s. No. 1702, built in 1942, operated on the tourist line from 1995 to 2004.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is owned by American Heritage Railways, which also operates the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad in Colorado and the Texas State Railroad.

 

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5 Responses to Steam Returns to Great Smokey Mountain Railroad

  1. Bill says:

    A Swedish steam loco? What kind of crazy thinking is going on at GSMR? Euro loco’s suck and I am going to venture a guess that I am not alone in this feeling. Keep it AMERICAN!

  2. Jake says:

    I also think it’s a little weird to have a Swedish engine in America, but at least they’re still willing to operate steam. American steam engines are getting hard to come by, and since they’re so much bigger on average than other nations’ engines, they’re incredibly expensive. At least they didn’t go buying another Chinese engine like Corman or IAIS.

  3. Joshua Scott says:

    I think this was stupid the GSMR has spent over nine MILLION dollars on this engine and cars, but they could of restored the 722 and 1702 for under 2 million who agrees with me.

  4. Bob Muraski says:

    Does anyone know why GSMR refuses to answer any questions about their steam program??? I would like to know when they intend to have steam again.

  5. Bo Ellis says:

    I agree GSMR should repair 722 and 1702 before they buy some swedish train and let it come in and take over. A swedish train doesnt belong in the mountains of N.C., 722 and 1702 belong! And i say it will still be another 15 years before one of them return to service.

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