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View of Volunteer Landing from Neyland Stadium showing the Three Rivers Rambler parked underneath the roadway bridges
|Service type||Tourist train|
|Average journey time||90 minutes|
|Track gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Track owner(s)||Gulf and Ohio Railways|
The Three Rivers Rambler is a tourist train in Knoxville, Tennessee along the Tennessee River. The train is operated by the Knoxville and Holston River Railroad, a subsidiary of Gulf and Ohio Railways.
Knoxville is a city in the U.S. state of Tennessee, and the county seat of Knox County. As of the 2010 census, the city has a population of 178,874, and is Tennessee's third largest city after Nashville and Memphis. Knoxville is the principal city of the Knoxville Metropolitan Statistical Area, which was 868,546 in 2015.
The Tennessee River is the largest tributary of the Ohio River. It is approximately 652 miles (1,049 km) long and is located in the southeastern United States in the Tennessee Valley. The river was once popularly known as the Cherokee River, among other names, as many of the Cherokee had their territory along its banks, especially in eastern Tennessee and northern Alabama. Its current name is derived from the Cherokee village Tanasi.
The Knoxville and Holston River Railroad operates over 18.98 miles (30.55 km) within Knoxville and Marbledale, Tennessee. This short line railroad was created in 1998 and is currently owned by Gulf and Ohio Railways. The railroad also hosts a tourist train run by Gulf & Ohio Railways, the Three Rivers Rambler.
The ride starts at a depot located at 2560 University Commons Way. The train heads out towards the river, going past the County Building, and under the Henley Street and Gay Street Bridges. The train passes the Star of Knoxville riverboat and the locomotive's watertower and shed at the end of Volunteer Landing, where it parallels the Knox County Greenways down the river to the Governor Ned McWherter Riverside Landing Park. Beyond McWherter Park the train goes through the General Shale Brick Company and the Knoxville Utilities Board water treatment plant. The train then follows the river for a ways past Knoxville Downtown Island Airport, before turning away from the river and going under Riverside Drive and past the Hines Compost Company. The train then reaches the Three Rivers Trestle (also known as the Forks of the River Bridge and built in 1913),where the French Broad River and the Holston River come together to form the Tennessee River. After the trestle is crossed, the Rambler heads back into town along the same tracks. The trip takes an average of 90 minutes.
The Gay Street Bridge is a vehicle bridge that crosses the Tennessee River in Knoxville, Tennessee, United States. Completed in 1898, the 1,512-foot (461 m) bridge is the oldest of four vehicle bridges connecting Downtown Knoxville with South Knoxville, the other three being the Henley Street Bridge, the Buck Karnes Bridge, and the James C. Ford Memorial Bridge.
A riverboat is a watercraft designed for inland navigation on lakes, rivers, and artificial waterways. They are generally equipped and outfitted as work boats in one of the carrying trades, for freight or people transport, including luxury units constructed for entertainment enterprises, such as lake or harbour tour boats. As larger water craft, virtually all riverboats are especially designed and constructed, or alternatively, constructed with special-purpose features that optimizes them as riverine or lake service craft, for instance, dredgers, survey boats, fisheries management craft, fireboats and law enforcement patrol craft.
Knoxville Downtown Island Airport or Knoxville Downtown Island Home Airport, often referred to as Island Home Airport, is a general aviation airport located approximately one-half mile east of downtown Knoxville, in Knox County, Tennessee, United States.
Washington & Lincolnton #203, Lindy, was built in 1925 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is a 2-8-0 Consolidation built for the Washington & Lincolnton Railroad in Georgia. In 1932, the W&L went out of business so the 203 was sold to the Rockton & Rion Railroad in South Carolina. But because she proved she wasn't up to the heavy loads, she was placed in storage in Rockton. Occasionally she would be brought out to switch freight cars in Anderson Quarry. She last ran in the 1960s. In 1977, #203 was sold to the Trilby, San Antonio & Cypress Railroad, known as the Orange Belt Route, a tourist line in Florida. In 1983, #203 was sold to the Mississippi Railway & Transportation Museum. In 1990, the engine was sold to the Waccamaw Coast Line Railroad. By 1995, #203 once again was sold to Gulf & Ohio Railways and was restored in 1999. She is set to run on select days of the year and the Christmas Express in November and December. The 203 is currently out for the 1472 FRA inspection.
The Baldwin Locomotive Works (BLW) was an American manufacturer of railroad locomotives from 1825 to 1956. Originally located in Philadelphia, it moved to nearby Eddystone, Pennsylvania, in the early 20th century. The company was for decades the world's largest producer of steam locomotives, but struggled to compete as demand switched to diesel locomotives. Baldwin produced the last of its 70,000-plus locomotives in 1956 and went out of business in 1972.
Under the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives, 2-8-0 represents the wheel arrangement of two leading wheels on one axle, usually in a leading truck, eight powered and coupled driving wheels on four axles, and no trailing wheels. In the United States and elsewhere, this wheel arrangement is commonly known as a Consolidation, after the Lehigh and Mahanoy Railroad’s Consolidation, the name of the first 2-8-0.
San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway #60 is a 4-4-0 built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1923. The railroad was merged into Southern Pacific Railroad subsidiary Texas and New Orleans Railroad who renumbered the engine to #220. Paulsen Spence eventually bought the engine for his Louisiana Eastern Railroad, and initially numbered as 2. The engine was briefly renumbered as the second #1 until 1963 when it was sold to the Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad, who had also previously bought the LE's original #1. Stone Mountain restored the engine to its original SA&AP number and named it the Texas II. The engine operated until 1983 when it came in need of boiler work and other mechanical issues, though it continued to occasionally "pull" the train while pushed by a diesel until 2002. Afterwards, the engine remained in the Stone Mountain rail yard until donated to the Gulf & Ohio in 2013. The engine is currently awaiting restoration.
The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway first began operation in the U.S. state of Texas in 1886. It was developed by Uriah Lott and businessmen of San Antonio as a direct route from the city to Aransas Bay on the Texas Gulf coast. It was eventually absorbed in the 20th century by Southern Pacific.
4-4-0 is a locomotive type with a classification that uses the Whyte notation for the classification of steam locomotives by wheel arrangement and represents the arrangement: four leading wheels on two axles, four powered and coupled driving wheels on two axles, and a lack of trailing wheels. Due to the large number of the type that were produced and used in the United States, the 4-4-0 is most commonly known as the American type, but the type subsequently also became popular in the United Kingdom, where large numbers were produced.
The Texas and New Orleans Railroad was a railroad in Texas and Louisiana. It operated 3,713 miles (5,975 km) of railroad in 1934; by 1961, 3,385 miles (5,448 km) remained when it merged with parent company Southern Pacific.
Southern Railway #154 is a 2-8-0 built by Schenectady Locomotive Works in 1890. She was donated to the city of Knoxville after her retirement in August 1953. In 2008 she was donated to Gulf & Ohio Railways for restoration. She began pulling trains on July 3, 2010.She was one of the last steam locomotives to work in Knoxville.
Southern Railway 154 is a 2-8-0 steam locomotive built in 1890 by Schenectady Locomotive Works for Southern Railway.
The Schenectady Locomotive Works built railroad locomotives from its founding in 1848 through its merger into American Locomotive Company (Alco) in 1901.
Chattanooga Traction Company #4 is an EMD SW1 switcher built in 1947. She worked as Southern, Norfolk Southern, and RJ Corman #1007 before being acquired by Gulf & Ohio for use as the motive power on the Rambler when #203 is not running.
The EMD SW1 is a 600-horsepower (450 kW) diesel-electric switcher locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Corporation between December 1938 and November 1953. Final assembly was at EMD's plant at LaGrange (McCook) Illinois. The SW1 was the second generation of 3,402 cu in (55.75 L) switcher from EMD, succeeding the SC and SW. The most significant change from those earlier models was the use of an engine of EMD's own design, the then-new 567 engine, here in 600 hp (450 kW) V6 form. 661 locomotives of this design were built, no SW1s were built after March 1943 until production started again in September 1945.
The Southern Railway is a name of a class 1 railroad that was based in the Southern United States. The railroad is the product of nearly 150 predecessor lines that were combined, reorganized and recombined beginning in the 1830s, formally becoming the Southern Railway in 1894.
The Norfolk Southern Railway is a Class I freight railroad in the United States. With headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, the company operates 19,420 miles (31,250 km) route miles in 22 eastern states, the District of Columbia, and has rights in Canada over the Albany to Montréal route of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and previously on CN from Buffalo to St. Thomas. NS is responsible for maintaining 28,400 miles (45,700 km), with the remainder being operated under trackage rights from other parties responsible for maintenance. The most common commodity hauled on the railway is coal from mines in Indiana, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. The railway also offers the largest intermodal network in eastern North America.
Locomotive #9 is a rare EMD SW600 built in 1954. She used to be the primary power for the Rambler until the end of the 2008 season when she was sent to the K&HR's K line south of the river and was replaced by #4. She still wears her Three Rivers Rambler lettering and can often be seen from Volunteer Landing across the river at Holston Gases.
1932-Coach Car built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company (Bethlehem Steel) for the Reading Company. Operated originally in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs as a commuter car. Retired in the 1990s.
1931-Coach Car; built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company (Bethlehem Steel) for the Reading Company. Operated originally in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs as a commuter car. Retired in the 1990s. Includes "walk over" seats (seat backs flip/reverse direction) so passengers can face forward on the return leg of the trip.
1932-Contains restrooms and gift shop. Built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Company (Bethlehem Steel) for the Reading Company. Operated originally in Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs as a commuter car. Retired in the 1990s.
1940-Open air car, converted from freight car.
The Illinois Central Railroad, sometimes called the Main Line of Mid-America, was a railroad in the central United States, with its primary routes connecting Chicago, Illinois, with New Orleans, Louisiana, and Mobile, Alabama. A line also connected Chicago with Sioux City, Iowa (1870). There was a significant branch to Omaha, Nebraska (1899), west of Fort Dodge, Iowa, and another branch reaching Sioux Falls, South Dakota (1877), starting from Cherokee, Iowa. The Sioux Falls branch has been abandoned in its entirety.
The Tennessee Central Railway was founded in 1884 as the Nashville and Knoxville Railroad by Alexander S. Crawford. It was an attempt to open up a rail route from the coal and minerals of East Tennessee to the markets of the midstate, a service which many businessmen felt was not being adequately provided by the existing railroad companies. They also wanted to ship coal and iron ore to the Northeastern US over the Cincinnati Southern Railway, which was leased to the Southern and operated as the Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway [CNOTP], through their Cincinnati gateway. The N&K was only completed between Lebanon, where it connected to a Nashville, Chattanooga and St. Louis Railway branch from Nashville, and Standing Stone.
The E8 was a 2,250-horsepower (1,678 kW), A1A-A1A passenger-train locomotive built by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division (EMD) of La Grange, Illinois. A total of 450 cab versions, or E8As, were built from August 1949 to January 1954, 447 for the U.S. and 3 for Canada. And 46 E8Bs were built from December 1949 to January 1954, all for the U.S. The 2,250 hp came from two 12 cylinder model 567B engines, each driving a generator to power the two traction motors on one truck. The E8 was the ninth model in the line of passenger diesels of similar design known as EMD E-units. Starting in September 1953, a total of 21 E8As were built which used either the 567BC or 567C engines.
Early Electro-Motive Corporation switchers were built with Winton 201-A engines. A total of 175 were built between February 1935 and January 1939. Two main series of locomotives were built, distinguished by engine size and output: the straight-8, 600 hp (450 kW) 'S' series, and the V12, 900 hp (670 kW) 'N' series. Both were offered with either one-piece cast underframes from General Steel Castings of Granite City, Illinois, denoted by 'C' after the power identifier, and fabricated, welded underframes built by EMC themselves, denoted by 'W'. This gave four model series: SC, SW, NC and NW. Further developments of the 900 hp (670 kW) models gave model numbers NC1, NC2, NW1, and NW1A, all of which were practically indistinguishable externally from the others, as well as a pair of unique NW4 models for the Missouri Pacific Railroad and a solitary, twin-engined T transfer locomotive model built for the Illinois Central Railroad.
The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum is a heritage railroad in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The Gulf, Mobile and Ohio was a Class I railroad in the central United States whose primary routes extended from Mobile, Alabama, and New Orleans, Louisiana, to St. Louis and Kansas City, Missouri, as well as Chicago, Illinois.
The Central of Georgia Railway started as the Central Rail Road and Canal Company in 1833. As a way to better attract investment capital, the railroad changed its name to Central Rail Road and Banking Company of Georgia. This railroad was constructed to join the Macon and Western Railroad at Macon, Georgia, and run to Savannah. This created a rail link from Chattanooga, on the Tennessee River, to seaports on the Atlantic Ocean. It took from 1837 to 1843 to build the railroad from Savannah to the eastern bank of the Ocmulgee River at Macon; a bridge into the city was not built until 1851.
The Arkansas and Missouri Railroad is a Class III short-line railroad headquartered in Springdale, Arkansas.
The Wilmington and Western Railroad is a freight and heritage railroad in northern Delaware, operating over a former Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) branch between Wilmington and Hockessin. The 10.2-mile (16.4 km) railroad operates both steam and diesel locomotives. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places as a national historic district in 1980. Wilmington & Western serves one customer for revenue service, and interchanges with CSX Transportation at Landenberg Junction, Delaware
The Monticello Railway Museum is a non-profit railroad museum located in Monticello, Illinois, about 18 miles west of Champaign, IL. It is home to over 100 pieces of railroad equipment, including several restored diesel locomotives and cars.
The Smoky Mountain Railroad was a standard gauge class-III Shortline that operated from Knoxville, Tennessee to Sevierville, Tennessee from 1909 until 1961.
Gulf & Ohio Railways is a holding company for four different short-line railroads in the Southern United States, as well as a tourist-oriented passenger train, and locomotive leasing and repair service through Knoxville Locomotive Works. Gulf & Ohio maintains its corporate headquarters in Knoxville, Tennessee.
The West Tennessee Railroad is a shortline railroad in the Southern U.S., connecting Corinth, Mississippi, to Fulton, Kentucky, via western Tennessee. The company began operating in 1984 on a portion of the former Mobile and Ohio Railroad (M&O) main line between Jackson and Kenton, Tennessee. It significantly expanded operations in 2001 through the lease, from the Norfolk Southern Railway, of the ex-M&O south to Corinth and a former main line of the Illinois Central Railroad (IC) north to Fulton, as well as a branch from Jackson to Poplar Corner. All of these lines were part of the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad (ICG) prior to its 1980s program of spin-offs, during which Gibson County purchased the Jackson-Kenton line and the Southern Railway acquired the Corinth-Fulton line and Poplar Corner branch.
The Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad is a standard gauge railroad that circles the perimeter of Stone Mountain Park in a loop, and provides views of the mountain en route.
The Ingalls 4-S was an experimental American locomotive built by Ingalls Shipbuilding immediately after World War II. Intended to be the first of many Ingalls-built locomotives, it wound up being the only one ever built by the company. It served on the Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad (GM&O) until 1966, when it was retired; it was scrapped the following year.
The Yancey Railroad was an American Class III shortline railroad that operated for freight service from a connection with the Clinchfield Railroad at Kona, North Carolina, through Micaville, to Burnsville, 10.6 miles (17.1 km). A short branch ran from Micaville to Bowditch, North Carolina, 2.11 miles (3.40 km). Total mileage was 12.83 miles (20.65 km). Rail was 60–65 pounds and the maximum load limit was 75 tons. Traffic was feldspar, mica, fertilizer, building materials, livestock feed and steel spring wire.