The recently rebuilt and remodeled Southern Railway 4501 steam engine made a test run from Chattanooga to LaFayette on Thursday, Sept. 25, to gear up for the Oct. 4 Summerville Steam Special.
Chattanooga and Chickamauga Railway of LaFayette operations manager Donnie R. Owens said the antique train is powered by one steam and one diesel engine and was recently rebuilt and repainted to host excursions through the area on Saturdays in October.
The Summerville Steam Special (aka Autumn Leaf Specials) event will mark the first time since 1999 that the 4501 will make the local run through Chattanooga and Summerville. It will be accompanied by the Southern Railway 630 steam engine, Owens said.
The 4501 was built in 1887 for the Central of Georgia Railway and sold to Southern Railway in the early 1900s, Owens said.
Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum general manager George Walker said the trial run on Thursday was to test the engine and check equipment for the Oct. 4 event.
For Thursday’s test, the 4501 pulled four cars and an extra water cart for a total of five railcars.
According to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum website:
The vintage trains follow a historic route from Grand Junction Station in East Chattanooga to Summerville.
After crossing the state line in Rossville, both will travel past Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park through Chickamauga, Rock Spring, LaFayette, Trion, and into Summerville.
The departure for the all-day trip is 9 a.m. and will return about 6 p.m.
Tickets to ride the excursion are available at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum located at 4119 Cromwell Road in Chattanooga, or by visiting www.tvrail.com, or by calling 423-894-8028.