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Southern Railway No. 154 Photography Charter Photo Freight 6/17/2017

by Chris Guenzler

I woke up at the Super 8, checked out then went to McDonald's for breakfast. With plenty of time to spare, I decided to go to the Southern Railway station in Knoxville.

Southern Railway station in Knoxville built in 1905. After that, I drove down to the parking lot along the river bank and was the first person at the steam engine. This worked out wonderfully.

Southern Railway 154 with the water tank.

The same pose from last night, but this time in daylight. Everyone had to sign a release to be on the property and to also not be liable for any injuries that might occur, but I knew everyone would be safe.

In the morning light, steam engines are always enjoyable to watch as the sun plays with the steam exhaust off the side.

The train reversed into the boarding area. It consisted of Southern Railway 2-8-0 154, MSOR gondola 51516, Southern boxcar 10048 KXHR 9 (built by Pullman in 1938), Georgia Railroad boxcar 2614, Laurinburg and Southern caboose 11, coach "Trustworthy" (originally Reading Railroad built by Harlan and Hollingsworth in the 1930s), coach "Intrepid" (originally Reading Railroad built by Harlan and Holllingsworth in the 1930s), coach "Resilient" (originally Reading Railroad built by Harlan and Hollingsworth in the 1930s), concession car "Resourceful" (originally Reading Railroad built by Harlan and Hollingsworth in the 1930s), coach 9119 "Steadfast" (originally Reading Railroad 862 built by Harlan and Hollingsworth in 1932) and Gulf and Ohio SW1500 2241, formerly Reading Railroad 2769 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1969). We all boarded the rear coach and after a safety meeting inside the car, were told that there would be free food and drink inside the concession car at our leisure. We left at 8:15 AM to start our day photographing Southern 154.

Views along the Tennessee River on a beautiful morning.

The train passes through the forest along the route.

We also passed through some fields.

Another view of the train in the forest.

Some of the rolling countryside of Tennessee.

The train then crossed the Holstein River at its junction with the Tennessee River on a very high impressive bridge above the water. This bridge would be the first location of the many photo runbys of the morning. We detrained from the passenger cars and walked into a cemetery, which would end up being the last shot, but as things happened, the passenger section would be cut away from our freight train, so those would be my first pictures of the train as the switcher pulled the cars backwards.

The cemetery back-up move with our passenger cars. Now we walked down, with the property owner's permission, to the shore of the Holstein River where the first photo runbys would occur.

There was an osprey's nest on top of the bridge and the poor bird was not too happy with the photo runbys taking place underneath it, so it flew away for quite a while.

The reverse move of our photo freight.

Photo runby number one with the freight consist.

Reverse move number two with the freight consist.

Before the train came foward, a motor boat came up the river by our photo line.

Photo runby number two with the freight consist, which was most impressive.

Click here for Part 2 of this story!