CSX, RJ Corman to transport historic locomotive through Central Kentucky

Source: Kentucky Steam Heritage Corp.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – A giant piece of Kentucky’s past will come rumbling through the bluegrass this summer. Chesapeake and Ohio 2716, a massive 75-year old steam locomotive, will travel from the Bardstown area to Ravenna, Kentucky, July 26 through 28.

The 400-ton engine is slated to be restored to operation, taking center stage at the Kentucky Rail Heritage Center, an economic development project based in Estill County.

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The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation, a 501c3 public charity, is spearheading efforts to help revitalize the regional economy in Appalachian Kentucky with a multi-faceted rail-based initiative. The locomotive’s move will be a mobile kick-off for the project, allowing the public to get an up-close view of a piece of the region’s past, and what may be a key part of its future.

CSX Transportation collaborated with RJ Corman Railroad Group to transport the locomotive over a three-day period from the Kentucky Railway Museum, in New Haven, to Estill County. Several stops will be included during the public excursion. Proceeds will be shared by non-profits Kentucky Steam Heritage and the Kentucky Railway Museum.

Kentucky Steam announced the deal last May with CSX Transportation to purchase a 40-acre tract of decommissioned railyard in Estill County. Plans for the Kentucky Rail Heritage Center include a diverse set of attractions based around trains – a restaurant, brewery and event center, concert venue, walking trails and a railroad restoration shop which will include a partnership with Estill and Lee County schools. Area vo-tech students will be able to participate in the rehab of historic train equipment while gaining valuable technical skills training and program credit hours.

The move of the locomotive will be spearheaded by CSX Transportation and RJ Corman, a joint-effort that will result in photo opportunities, public tours and displays in several cities along the 200-plus-mile-long journey. Details for the schedule will be solidified early this summer, but the tentative route should bring the locomotive through Louisville, Frankfort, Midway, Lexington and Winchester before it arrives in Ravenna.

Tickets to ride the special July 26 excursion at the Kentucky Railway Museum featuring steam locomotive 2716 and other historic trains will go on sale on Thursday, April 18 at 9 a.m. A limited number of seats are available.

Additional information on membership, donations and ordering tickets are available HERE.

For more info about the Kentucky Railway Museum, click HERE.

Watch “Chesapeake & Ohio 2716: A Moving Experience” HERE.

Locomotive 2716 was built in 1943 and is planned to be restored to operation 75 years later. Source: Kentucky Steam Heritage Corp.
The Kentucky Rail Heritage Center, a proposed mixed-use tourist attraction and economic incubator in Estill County, is slated to integrate locomotive 2716 and its restoration into its plan to help revitalize the economy in the region. Source: Kentucky Stream Heritage Corp.
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Erica joins the ABC 36 family as a Co-Anchor of Good Morning Kentucky weekday mornings from 5am-7am with Cody Adams and Good Day Kentucky weekday mornings from 9am to 10am. Erica also anchors News at Midday from 12-12:30pm. She is also a Web and Social Media Content Producer. Erica graduated in three and a half years from Michigan State University with a Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and specialization in Women, Gender and Social Justice. Although she hails from Michigan, Erica has worked as a News Reporter/Sports Anchor for the CBS-affiliate in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Prior to that, she worked for a PBS-affiliate there covering all types of news – even providing live reports for The Weather Channel during her first hurricane. She then moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana and worked as the Weekend Anchor/Reporter at KPLC, the NBC/FOX/CW affiliate. Erica comes to Lexington from the Huntington area where she worked at WSAZ, an NBC/CW affiliate in West Virginia, as a weekday evening anchor covering the tri states of Ohio and Kentucky as well. In addition to her background on TV, Erica has worked in radio, served as the PA announcer for the Class A "Lansing Lugnuts" and hosted Carnival parades in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Some of her favorite hobbies include running, reading, hiking, spending time with her husband and taking pictures of their furbabies. Erica is big on community involvement, having served as a board member for Dress for Success, volunteered as a Big with Big Brothers Big Sisters, worked on the Mayor's Armed Forces Commission in Lake Charles and hosted countless events. She hopes you can connect with her on Facebook: EricaBivensTV and on Twitter: @ericabivens or Instagram: erica.bivens. You can also email her at ebivens@wtvq.com. Please send all event inquiries via email. Erica is excited to explore Lexington and the outdoors and - of course - meet all of you!