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Riding In The Cab of Railroad History: Southern 2-8-0 #630

630 steam engine

Locomotive 630 on the turntable at East Chattanooga while passengers watch the operation of turning her.

It is only three large steps up from the platform to the cab of Number 630, a 114 ton steam locomotive. But as I mounted those steps, it was as if I had climbed back in time a full 113 years. At the top of the steps, I stepped into the cab of an operating steam locomotive that was a modern 2-8-0 Consolidation when she was delivered to the Southern Railroad in 1904.

After 48 years of faithful service pulling freight trains in Tennessee and elsewhere, she was “retired” in 1952. But this huge machine leads a charmed life...

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