The Cowan Railroad Museum is Growing!
Actually it has grown greatly over the years since inception (1976)
with the moving of the depot, acquisition of displays large and
small, repainting in near-NC&StL colors and stabilization of
the depot and so forth. Growth in “spurts” as money,
time and personnel allowed. Recent growth has been difficult to
see from the outside, since it has largely been indoors and behind
doors in recent years. There have been some excellent directors
and officers who laid the groundwork for the future. The current
board and officers have adopted a “can-do” attitude.
In a forward thinking move, the Museum’s management team
acted positively on an opportunity that will be more visible: The
original GE 44 ton locomotive acquired new (in 1950) by the NC&StL
as number 100 has been moved from its resting place on the Tennessee
Southern at Mt. Pleasant Tennessee. Such a place was just storage
anyway, and the owners of NC&StL 100 wished to have an accessible
place to display and repair their engine. It’s twin V-8 Diesels
were last run in 1997, but is in immediate need of cosmetic restoration
(to NC colors) and restoration of manual cab controls.
Its appearance is rather rough at the moment, but is a diamond
in the rough. NC&StL colors were an Oxblood Maroon and bright
yellow triple-swath lengthwise stripe. Museum and other volunteers
are ready to prepare the engine for repainting as soon as it hits
the property! A nice shiny new-looking engine on display will greatly
enhance the invitation to Cowan and the Museum.
Diesel #100 being set in place at Cowan, TN, June 8, 2007. Photo
by Tom Knowles
The locomotive is semi-famous as being the very first ever to have
been fitted with remote controls by radio for use in moving hopper
cars without a man in the cab. It is rated at 400 HP and capable
of moving twenty loaded cars on level track. The 44 ton rating was
a design feature that allowed by Union agreement the engine to be
operated by one crewmember, the agreement being that locomotives
45 tons or more required two persons. In running condition, this
is an ideal and attractive Museum locomotive with high availability.
NC 100 was moved by truck from Mt. Pleasant and was placed on its
newly acquired extension of display track on Friday the 8th of June.
July through September, 2007, saw a miraculous transformation take
place. It's truly amazing what a coat of paint can do...
There are still some minor areas in need of cleaning
and paint, but she almost looks ready to run!
Volunteers are encouraged to help work
on restoring this piece of "Grandpa's Road".
of the actual move
of work done on NC100