Three Rivers Rambler

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Not to be confused with Three Rivers (Amtrak).
Three Rivers Rambler
Knoxville-R.jpg
View of Volunteer Landing from Neyland Stadium showing the Three Rivers Rambler parked underneath the roadway bridges
Overview
Service type Tourist train
Status Operating
Locale Knoxville, Tennessee, United States
Current operator(s) KXHR
Route
Start Knoxville
End Marbledale
Average journey time 90 minutes
Technical
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Track owner(s) Gulf and Ohio Railways

The Three Rivers Rambler is a scenic train ride in Knoxville, Tennessee along the Tennessee River provided by the Knoxville and Holston River Railroad, a subsidiary of Gulf and Ohio Railways.

The Ride[edit]

The ride starts at the boarding area in Volunteer Landing in the downtown riverfront area, near Neyland Stadium. The train then follows the landing down Neyland Drive, 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 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),[1] where the French Broad River and the Holston River come together to form the Tennessee River. The train slows on the bridge to allow passengers to take pictures of the osprey nest built above the tracks. Once on the other side of the river the train reaches the quarry at Marbledale, where the locomotive uncouples and runs around the train and then pulls it back along the same route in reverse. The trip takes an average of 90 minutes.

Equipment[edit]

Washington & Lincolnton #203[edit]

Washington & Lincolnton #203, Lindy, was built in 1925 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is a 2-8-0 and run on select days of the year and the Christmas Express in November and December.[2]

San Antonio and Aransas Pass #60[edit]

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, 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.

Southern Railway #154[edit]

Southern Railway #154 is a 2-8-0 built by Schenectady Locomotive Works in 1890. She was donated to the city of Knoxville in 1953. In 2008 she was donated to Gulf & Ohio Railways for restoration. She began pulling trains on July 3, 2010.[3]

Chattanooga Traction Company #4[edit]

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.

Three Rivers Rambler #9[edit]

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.

Trustworthy #838[edit]

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.

Intrepid #879[edit]

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.

Resourceful[edit]

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.

Forthright[edit]

1940-Open air car, converted from freight car.

Desire[edit]

A caboose that is available for charter.

References[edit]

External links[edit]