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May 21 , 2011

The Clinchfield No. 1

Tennessee's Legendary Steam Engine


As general manager for Erwin, Tennessee–based Clinchfield Railroad, Thomas D. Moore found an eighty-six-year-old vintage 4-6-0 ten-wheeler steam engine—the Clinchfield No. 1. Miraculously, the engine had escaped the cutter’s torch when, in the mid-1950s, the railroad retired its steam fleet, shuttered passenger service and embraced the diesel era. Moore wanted the No. 1 fully restored and its long life on the rails—which had included being the first train to reach the victims of the 1889 Johnstown, Pennsylvania flood—celebrated as a goodwill ambassador for the railroad. The revived Clinchfield No. 1 led beloved excursion trains that visited seven state capitals, bringing joy to passengers from the Appalachian Mountains to Tampa, Florida. Join authors Mark A. Stevens and A.J. “Alf” Peoples on the journey of the real-life little engine that could.

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