A Thing For Trains

2-8-4 Kanawha "Berkshire" "City of St Albans" steam engine in Dennison, Ohio

“The 2700”
Isn’t she grand, even in this state?

I’ve been slowly (ever so slowly—it’s a lot of work, even for a writer) updating all of the descriptions in my shop, and happily, this often involves my digging up information—historical information—for those descriptions. One of the more recently updated listings I finished was for this photo of the Chesapeake & Ohio 2700 2-8-4 “Berkshire” Kanawha steam engine, currently awaiting restoration in Dennison, Ohio. Though I love trains—they really do brim with romance and mystery, methinks—my knowledge of these great machines is, sadly, rather shallow. But that’s where the fun of research comes in, yes?

As it turns out, there’s a bit of a legal kerfluffle over the City of St Albans, a tangled mess of words, apparent abandonment, and intent that had my head spinning. That’s not something I even want to get near, though it’s a sad and sordid tale leaving this marvellous steam engine in a state of terrible disrepair, stripped of many of her parts—even her bell—and is now awaiting restoration, though she still draws many admirers to Dennison. The sad state of the engine has had railfans miserable for years, and I can’t say I blame them.

My studying up on the City of St Albans (the name of the 2700 steam engine in my photograph) led me to this article, which featured a terrific video of a Berkshire engine. The NKP #765 makes her way along the Cuyahoga Valley line—and it’s such a treat to watch! I got such a kick out of hearing that wonderful chugging, the low whistle, and watching this enormous engine move beneath that cloud of steam, and I hope you do, too. It also gives us an opportunity to see what the 2700 could look like were she to be restored to her former glory.

There’s something about trains!

The 2700 resides at the Dennison Depot in Dennison, Ohio; the last I heard, they were still seeking donations to help them restore the engine. The 2700 was the very first of the 2-8-4 Kanawhas, after all; she’s worthy of being restored.

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5 thoughts on “A Thing For Trains

  1. I did, thank you! Steam engines are glorious things, though something about the whistles always makes me tear-up a little.

  2. First stop, Mayberry. HA, that’s awesome Jen. It’s SO nostalgic hearing the whistle and chug-chugging sound. I loved watching the fall leaves blow around as it passed thru the trees. It would be a fun way to travel. The passenger cars in the video remind me of Airstream trailors and I like how they are all different colors (no doubt so you get back into the correct one after a stop). I saw the movie trailer for “The Lone Ranger” on Ellen yesterday. Stars Army Hammer and Johnny Depp…sounds like the genesis of the railroad plays a major character in the film. I can’t wait to see it, summer 2013. We have a steam train operating at Fort Edmonton, It only goes for a short distance but it’s fun. Brad Pitt filmed parts of ‘Jesse James’ her at the Fort. I guess him and Angelena & kids were set up in a home just outside of town. Luckily we don’t have the crazy razzi guys here. They even went to West Edmonton Mall for the day and by most accounts, no one bothered them.

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