HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WTVQ) – The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation this week accepted a donation of an old Louisville and Nashville diesel locomotive, former CSX 7067, a C30-7 type engine built by General Electric in 1980. The motor is a donation from the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, which announced the donation at its May 2021 board meeting.
The locomotive, which is one of the last of its kind in the United States, is one of several GE “switchers” that ruled the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. The L&N ordered 44 C30-7s between 1979 and 1980, although most of their lifespan was for CSX Transportation after L&N consolidated with many other railroads in the early 1980s.
After being retired by CSX in 1999, 7067 was painted in Marshall University colors by the CSX Huntington Locomotive Shop and was used for years in the Huntington area at college meetings. After several years, the engine failed to find a long-term home, so it was donated to the CP Huntington Group in 2017 by CSX and stored in their South Yard.
“This is an exciting and unique addition to our collection,” said Chris Campbell, Founder and President of Kentucky Steam. “The 7067 represents a rapidly disappearing railroad era which is in many ways forgotten, and this locomotive is of historical significance to our region as it and many others like it were once based in our County of Duchy facility. ‘Estill, Kentucky.
The Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation was founded in 2015 with the intention of restoring and operating the historic C&O 2716 steam locomotive which was long-leased to the Kentucky Railway Museum, in New Haven, Kentucky. In 2018, Kentucky Steam purchased much of a former CSX railyard in Ravenna and established a rail service facility in the former auto workshop complex. The complex itself once housed a locomotive service station that housed 7067 and other similar locomotives. Kentucky Steam plans to paint the unusable locomotive to its original “L&N Family Lines” paint scheme and make it an interactive display on their developing rail campus, likely parked on the fuel platform where it was once served.
“As we develop our rail campus, it is important to pay tribute to the different eras of the railroad that were important to the Appalachian region,” said Campbell. “This locomotive will honor a more recent era, in which many of our members participated.
As the CP Huntington Railroad Historical Society strives to consolidate its asset roster, it was determined to find a worthy recipient of the 41-year-old locomotive and is happy to have found a partnership with Kentucky Steam.
“Not having the facilities to restore it and knowing that it was a rare engine, we looked for a group that could afford to restore it to its original appearance,” said Skip Reinhard, president. of the nonprofit rail association based in Huntington, West Virginia.
“We didn’t want to give it up, knowing its history. Kentucky Steam was the organization we found that had the facilities to restore the engine, and their leadership accepted our donation, ”said Reinhard.
Kentucky Steam plans to work on relocating the engine later this summer and will be holding a fundraiser to pay for the setup fee. Campbell said Kentucky Steam was happy to accept the donation of the 7067, although the acquisition was not expected until this spring.
“We are very grateful to the CP Huntington Group for considering us for this donation. While 7067 is a welcome addition to our collection, it’s also not something we’ve budgeted for in 2021, ”Campbell said. “It’s a good challenge to take up.”
An official fundraising effort for 7067 will be announced in the coming weeks.
On June 12, Kentucky Steam will host an open house to the general public and give visitors the opportunity to view the continued progress of the restoration of C&O 2716. For more information, membership and sponsorship opportunities or to make a tax deductible contribution in cash or in kind to the project, visit www.kentuckysteam.org.