Arriving in Abingdon, VA, SOU 630 prepares to stop to de-train. The tickets for the excursion sold within hours of them going on sale. SOU 630, along with NKP 765 is part of NS' 21st Century Steam Program.
"Southern Railway 630 is a steam locomotive built in 1904 by the American Locomotive Company (Richmond Works) for the Southern Railway. It is a 2-8-0 Consolidation of Southern's Ks-1 class. The 630 was used on Southern in regular freight service until it was retired in 1952. December of that year, the 630 and 722 were purchased by the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad and numbered 207 and 208 respectively. In December 1967, both locomotives were traded back to the Southern for use in their steam excursion program and restored to their former identities in return for a pair of former Central of Georgia Alco RS3s. The steam locomotives headed main line excursion trains over the entire Southern system until 1983 when both were retired again from the Southern in favor of larger power. They both were leased to the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. 722 was later loaned by Southern's successor Norfolk Southern Railway (NS) to the Asheville Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society of Asheville, North Carolina. TVRM ran the 630 until 1989 when it was yet again retired. 630 was donated to TVRM in 1999 by NS. Shortly thereafter, 630 entered TVRM's restoration shop (now Soule Shops) and underwent a thorough ten-year restoration — one of the most thorough restorations performed on a steam locomotive in the U.S. in recent years, including frame work and complete running gear overhaul. 630 returned to regular service on TVRM in March 2011 and is participating in the "21st Century Steam" program instituted by Norfolk Southern. The locomotive has toured several eastern states in 2012 for this program."Click HERE for the original article.