Railway Preservation News

Southern #1401
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Author:  wilkinsd [ Sun Jul 28, 2013 9:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

jasonsobczynski wrote:
Personally I heard the "rumor" from William J., he said it went as far as the question being asked.....the answer was no.....oh well. Had it not been for a lawsuit having been filed, by whatever railroad gobbled up the A&WP, in the latter 60's or early 70's to prevent 290 from operating under another railroads name....well, it would have been out operating.

The judgment makes for interesting reading.

Cheers, Jason

I'd like to see a copy of that judgment.

The A&WP was controlled by the L&N, which was in turn controlled by the ACL. The A&WP and the Western Railway of Alabama were operated as pretty much the same railroad.

Author:  J3a-614 [ Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

From that news story: "From a steam calliope to an ocean liner, a blast of steam through a tube cut like an organ pipe blocks out every other sound. . .The three-chambered whistle of the 1401 comes from the low end of the register, a bit higher than the holler from a Mississippi riverboat. The sensation is not so much ear-splitting as ear-overflowing, with a loudness that makes it hard to hear anything after it stops."

I have often noted that with steam locomotives, not only does the whistle have this characteristic, but so does the exhaust. It is as if the air around the locomotive becomes alive with this sound. Other sounds such as diesel horns and dragsters may be as loud, but they don't make the air come alive the way steam does.

How is it that a machine called a steam locomotive can mimic a large, living animal so well?

Author:  Andrew Durden [ Sun Aug 18, 2013 10:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

Unfortunately, the recording currently playing at the 1401 crypt is of a very nasty (especially when compared to a Southern long-bell) 5-chime.

Author:  Stephen S. Syfrett [ Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

Regarding the A&WP 290 situation with SR trying to acquire her to make an operational Ps-4 clone, over the weekend I stumbled across this in the December 1965 issue of TRAINS, p. 7, Arrivals & Departures:

STEAM SENSATIONALS: In mid-August Strasburg fired up Pennsy Dl6 4-4-0 No. 1223 on which it has a five-year lease...And down in Atlanta that big A&WP Lima Pacific 290 is in the courts. West Point Rout gave it to the city some years ago for display in Lakewood Park. When the city needed the space, it gave the 4-6-2 to the local NRHS chapter which, in turn, gave Southern Railway permission to repair and operate the engine. No soap, says A℘ we gave away the engine as a historical display, not for SR publicity.

There ya go...

Author:  filmteknik [ Tue Aug 20, 2013 10:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

I'm not an attorney but I think that could only be binding if there was a legal covenant involved and which had to remain with it. Otherwise, if title did pass to the city and then to the fan group with no restrictions...well, that's what courts are for but I don't see how a former owner can dictate what happens to something in the future unless such restrictions are spelled out somewhere.


Author:  Stephen S. Syfrett [ Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

Came across a follow-up article in Trains magazine concerning A&WP 290. This is the entire article retyped from the original issue, so if you come across typos, please accept my apologies. Jim, if there is any copyright issue with doing this please let me know, but I thought this was interesting background concerning the long road to restoration of 290. Note the quote from a certain "Southern master mechanic"...wonder who that might have been? My, how things could have been different...

From the January 1966 issue of Trains, Vol. 26, No. 3, p. 15:

Tug of war over a great lady
By Don Phillips

Atlanta & West Point 290, the 152-ton Lima Pacific which burned the rails between Atlanta and Montgomery with the Crescent Limited for over 20 years, may run again under its own steam.

The heavy speedster would look more like a Southern Ps-4, however, since it is the Southern which plans to renovate and operate her on Reading-type trips and publicity runs. SR has leased the 4-6-2 from the Atlanta Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, her owner since the City of Atlanta gave the engine to the club last Labor Day. Since 1958 the 290 had cooled her wheels in Atlanta’s Lakewood Park.

There is only one hitch. The West Point Route doesn’t like the idea of Southern green for its beloved engine and is taking the case to court. The A&WP contends that it gave the locomotive to the city for “display and historical purposes only,” not to let her fall into the hands of a rival road, and is demanding either the 290 or $50,000.

Although all work on the big engine has been postponed pending the outcome of the suite, Southern remains enthusiastic about running its own steam as well as the steam power of on-line railfan organizations – notably the Atlanta and Chattanooga branches of the NRHS. “The important thing is to get this locomotive under steam, not what color it will be painted,” a high Southern official said. “We think the steam locomotive carries a great heritage, and within certain reasonable limits we are interested in seeing that live, operating steam is preserved.

The sudden Southern love for the steam locomotive is one of the most amazing steam success stories of the decade. For years SR refused to let a steam locomotive turn a wheel on its tracks, but suddenly and surprisingly in June 1964 the road agreed to run Kentucky & Tennessee 2-8-2 4501 under steam from Stearns, Ky., to Chattanooga for its new owners, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. Since then, numerous steam trips have operated out of both Chattanooga and Atlanta.

Putting the 73-inch-drivered, 47,500-pound-tractive-effort, stoker-equipped steamer back into running condition after 12 years of inactivity is no easy task, but a Southern master mechanic says that the engine is “well preserved.” He estimates that $10,000 to $12,000 worth of work will be required for the job.

The rather complicated story began in 1954 when the 290 was retired from service with only a scrap heap in her future. E.M. Ivie, an ex-Southern employee, discovered the engine and called her to the attention of Atlanta Constitution columnist Leo Aikman. Thereupon Atlanta railfans began a campaign to save the 4-6-2; this resulted in the donation of the engine to the City of Atlanta in 1958. The Atlanta Chapter of the NRHS, which grew out of the “Save 290 Committee,” cared for the locomotive along with its own equipment, also kept at Lakewood.

But the park has been pressed for room, and for years has politely urged the NRHS to get its equipment out of the way. This year the park agreed to give 290 to the chapter if the club would just move it and the other rolling stock away. Unable to afford such a move, the chapter called on the Southern. SR agreed to make the move and to store everything at its Inman Yards. It was at this time that Southern gained a 10-year lease with renewal clauses on 290, but an NRHS spokesman insisted that no deals were made and that the Southern would have made the move anyway.

The move to Inman took place around Labor Day, and on September 30 news of the A&WP suit had hit the front page of the Constitution. Neither side would speculate on when the suit would come to trial.

Meanwhile, 290 waits patiently on a storage track at Inman.

Now to see if there are any additional articles that were printed in 1966. Certainly, the court action didn't extend into 1967...but who knows. Trains knows!

Author:  Les Beckman [ Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

Stephen -

Didn't the A&WP's "sister road", the Western Railway of Alabama, buy a similar 4-6-2 at the same time #290 was purchased? If so, how much difference was there in the two Pacific's? Too bad that engine couldn't have also been saved.


Author:  Andrew Durden [ Tue Aug 27, 2013 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

Les Beckman wrote:
Didn't the A&WP's "sister road", the Western Railway of Alabama, buy a similar 4-6-2 at the same time #290 was purchased? If so, how much difference was there in the two Pacific's? Too bad that engine couldn't have also been saved.


The sister was identical, and was W of A #190. The 190's headlight did sit slightly lower than 290's after the USRA smokebox fronts and cowcatcher style pilots on both locomotives were replaced with FEC-style front ends and Ross-Meehan cast pilots. Both locomotives also received taller stacks around the same time.

Author:  Les Beckman [ Tue Aug 27, 2013 10:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

Jeff Lisowski wrote:
I recently purchased a slide of 1401 sitting in the Alexandria yard in December of 1960.

Probably very shortly before she was moved for restoration. The slide is in color, I'm somewhat surprised to have found it as the only other picture I have seen of 1401 stored in Alexandria was from 1953.

Obviously there are probably more pictures of 1401 from sitting in Alexandria for 9 years but they haven't surfaced yet.

Jeff -

I seem to recall seeing a photo of her stored inside a shed or some similar building, so may not have been a good candidate for photography after she was set aside for the Smithsonian.


Author:  gmray [ Tue Aug 27, 2013 11:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

The story of Paul Merriman walking into the Museum of American History with a long pipe wrench to remove 1401's whistle is a classic. Today, he wouldn't get passed the metal detectors at the entrance.

Author:  Les Beckman [ Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

Jeff Lisowski wrote:
Les Beckman wrote:

I seem to recall seeing a photo of her stored inside a shed or some similar building, so may not have been a good candidate for photography after she was set aside for the Smithsonian.


Haven't seen that one yet.

Jeff -

I believe the photo was in the Railway News Photos section of an old TRAINS Magazine. I think it was taken from the tender end and the front of the locomotive was not seen. I'm sorry, but I have no idea as to which issue of TRAINS.


Author:  Stephen S. Syfrett [ Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

FWIW, to sort of finish the A&WP 290 part of this thread, I searched the balance of 1966 Trains magazines and found no other mention of the law suit brought by the A&WP to keep Southern from painting her green...obviously they were successful, but it would be interesting to find out exactly how it played out between Southeastern Railway Museum (Atlanta Chapter NRHS), the A&WP and Southern.

Author:  TimReynolds [ Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

The story of Atlanta and West Point Route 4-6-2 290’s rescue is the early history of the Atlanta Chapter of the NRHS. Built in 1926 by Lima the loco served he railroad hauling the Crescent Limited between Atlanta to Montgomery Alabama. Don Phillips “Tug of War over a Great Lady” Trains, January 1966, p 15 tells the story well. Brief recap from Stephen’s post of the article. She was retired in 1954 and sat in storage at the joint locomotive facility in Hulsey Yard off DeKalb Avenue in Atlanta. Word got out in 1958 that she was slated to be sold for scrap which caused a plea to save her to be published in the Atlanta Constitution. It worked. The A&WP agreed to donate 290 to the City of Atlanta. So in 1958 she was moved from Hulsey Yard down the A&WP belt line to University Ave where the Army Corps of Engineers took her on a long leap frog to Lakewood Park then home to the Southeastern Fair. 290 stayed there from 1958 until September 1965 as property of the City of Atlanta and cared for by the “Friends of 290” a predecessor to the Atlanta Chapter (how appropriate given that Atlanta itself started as Terminus and eventually became the feminine of Atlantic – Atlanta). By 1965 the then Atlanta Chapter was beyond under pressure to get its fledgling collection out of the park because the City needed space. The City included the 290 in that collection but there was some question as to the clear title of the locomotive. Over Labor day Weekend 1965 the Southern Railway moved the collection by truck and rail to its massive Inman Yard until a suitable site could be found for a museum. In March of 1966, The Southern gave the chapter a tract of land in Duluth, GA near the intersection of Pleasant Hill road and U.S. 23 (south and east of the museum’s current home). The Chapter took 4 years getting the site ready, so its collection including 290 remained at Inman yard until July of 1970 when the first pieces were moved. Some believe the Southern’s benevolence came in part from a desire to get its hands on the 290 for its steam program. Per the Don Phillips article the Chapter unofficially agreed to a 10 year “lease” of the locomotive. When the then President of the A&WP, Clyde Mixon, got word of this, he had the son of former A&WP president S.R Young, Don Young a local Atty and colleague of my father to file an injunction against the Southern Railroad on the grounds that the A&WP gave the locomotive to the City for historical display not to be used as a public relations tool by a rival railroad. In reviewing this with my dad the clear tile of the loco was likely challenged giving some legitimacy to the A&WP’s intention for her when it was donated to the city. The injunction worked to that end and the Southern RR never used her – well at least not painted green. She did do some “PR” for the NS in 1991 or 1992. Neither my father nor I know the exact details of any settlement other than the nature of an injunction is simply to stop something which it did. That is why there is no court ruling per se in the matter of A&WP RR v Southern RR re 290. Now as to when 290 made the trek from Inman to Duluth I am not sure. It could have been as late as 1975. That is a 7 year old me sitting in her cab “at the throttle” on 7/5/1975. Actually I had my hand on the break stand – a seven year old can’t reach the throttle.

Don’t know if this settles or really answers the question fully but it’s what I know about the 290 saga. The time in Inman Yard really did a number on her. As I remember she was in awful shape cosmetically.

Her Stops and Stays:
1926 Delivered to A&WP RR
1954 Retired and stored at the Hulsey Yard Round House
1958 Moved to Lakewood Fair Grounds
1965 Moved to Inman Yard
197? Moved to Southeastern Railroad Museum version 1.0, Duluth, GA
1986 Moved to Finnegan Car shops for rebuild by New GA RR (Welded Tender fabricated and Running gear “reconditioned”)
1987 Moved to Pullman Yards, Atlanta for rebuild by New GA RR
1989 Operational for first time in 35 years
1992 Moved back to Southeastern Railroad Museum V 1.0
1998 Moved to Southeastern Railroad Museum V 2.0 which is the old Finnegan Car shop property and she sits in the building where the 1986/87 work was done.

File comment: 290, 7/5/1975 at SERM Duluth, GA
lil_engineer.jpg [ 66.16 KiB | Viewed 4906 times ]

Author:  Richard Glueck [ Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:41 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

Are there any pictures of the last three PS4's considered for preservation?
According to TRAINS, they were repaired, repainted, and sat, waiting for adoption. Smithsonian took the 1401 because of the Roosevelt connection. The others were eventually cut up.

Author:  TimReynolds [ Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Southern #1401

Richard Glueck wrote:
Are there any pictures of the last three PS4's considered for preservation?
According to TRAINS, they were repaired, repainted, and sat, waiting for adoption. Smithsonian took the 1401 because of the Roosevelt connection. The others were eventually cut up.

Richard - I've heard this before and there is much folk lore about them. Anyone know the Numbers of the engines? The Prince book on the Southern Railroad has the disposition of most of the roads locomotives. My dad had the book haven't gone through it in many a year.


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