Southern Railway 4501
|Southern Railway 4501|
Southern Railway #4501 on display in 2006
|Builder||Baldwin Locomotive Works|
|Gauge||4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm)|
|Driver diameter||63 in (1.600 m)|
|Weight on drivers||215,700 lb (97,800 kg)|
|Locomotive weight||272,900 lb (123,800 kg)|
|Boiler pressure||200 psi (1.38 MPa)|
|Cylinder size||27 in × 30 in (686 mm × 762 mm)|
|Number in class||1st of 182|
|Current owner||Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum|
|Disposition||Undergoing restoration at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum|
Southern Railway 4501 is a steam locomotive built in 1911 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works for the Southern Railway. The engine is a 2-8-2 Mikado type locomotive, and was the very first of that wheel arrangement the railroad owned.
4501 worked on many different divisions of the Southern Railway system from 1911 to 1948; first in Tennessee, then in Virginia, Kentucky, and lastly, in Indiana. In 1948 the Kentucky and Tennessee Railway purchased the locomotive and renumbered it as their #12. When #12 was retired by the Kentucky and Tennessee Railway in 1963, a railfan, Paul H. Merriman, bought the locomotive for The 4501 Corporation with $5,000 of his own money, and restored it for excursion use on the Southern Railway System. In 1964, after running to Chattanooga from the K&T in Stearns, Kentucky, an initial restoration was done by Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) (which Merriman founded with Bob Soule) volunteers at the facilities of the Lucey Boiler Company in Chattanooga, just blocks away from TVRM's storage facilities, which were at the time located on the former Western Union Company tracks. After this restoration was completed in 1966, the 4501 launched Southern Railway's full scale steam excursion program, which ran for several decades until it was ended by Southern successor Norfolk Southern in 1994. From 1994 to 1998, 4501 ran at the museum pulling excursions. 4501 was taken out of service in 1998 due to the need of boiler work. 4501 is currently owned by the museum and was placed on static display until 2008.
In 2008, the locomotive was stripped down for a complete boiler inspection and Norfolk Southern, in June 2010, announced they would run excursions with 4501, Southern Railway 630, and U.S. Army 610, with their new 21st Century Steam program.
4501 has been called "The Green Mikado" because, for the majority of its excursion career, it received green paint with gold trim that was historically used only on Southern Railway's passenger locomotives. However, being a freight locomotive, 4501 was never painted green during its original operational life on the Southern. Shortly prior to the end of the Norfolk Southern Steam program, the Tennessee Valley RR museum painted it black to reflect how it looked when in operation on the Southern Railway.
On January 8, 2014, Norfolk Southern announced on their Facebook page (by sharing a picture that was posted by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum) that 4501 passed its FRA hydro test, and that all of its wheels were placed back underneath it. The grates and ash pan have also been replaced. 
On March 6, 2014, a static steam test was performed and the 4501 has passed all FRA certification.
Pop Culture References
It appears several times in the 1978 movie Summer of My German Soldier, set in Georgia during World War II.
The 4501 was also used as the locomotive in the 1999 movie October Sky. Its role was as a coal hauling locomotive lettered for the more setting appropriate Norfolk and Western Railway and was shown several times in the film. A short clip of famed rail photographer O. Winston Link as the engineer shown in the abandoned spur-line scene. Link was particularly fond of Norfolk and Western locomotives.
The locomotive appeared in Johnny Cash's 2002 music video for the cover song "Hurt". About a minute into the video he is seen at the throttle of the locomotive.
- Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum photo of 4501 in restoration Retrieved 2014/01/18
- Wrinn, Jim (2000). Steam's Camelot: Southern and Norfolk Southern Excursions in Color. TLC Publishing. ISBN 1-883089-56-5.
- Drury, George H. (1993). Guide to North American Steam Locomotives. Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Publishing. ISBN 0-89024-206-2.
- Morgan, David P. (1968). Locomotive 4501. Waukesha, WI: Kalmbach Publishing.