View Full Version : RJ Corman Steam?

Joey Bowman
08-30-2009, 02:57 AM
What ever happened to their steam engine? Besides the inaugural run I have not seen any other photos or heard anything else about it? Was it all a cover up and there never was a steam engine and simply a figment of our imagination?

Does it run and no one simply photographs it?

Joe the Photog
08-31-2009, 11:57 PM
Just saw this, Joey --

From Trains Magazine Trainwire--

R.J. Corman's 2-10-2 "Old Smokey" under steam
Published: Friday, August 28, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The R.J. Corman Railroad Group's steam locomotive "Old Smokey" will make its first public appearance under steam since its May 24, 2008, inaugural trip at the 35th Annual Midway Fall Festival.

The steam locomotive and train arrive at 10 a.m. Sept. 19 in downtown Midway, Ky., and will be on display through 6 p.m. at the North Gratz Street crossing. Joining the Chinese QJ 2-10-2 on display will be one of R.J. Corman-RailPower' s Tier II certified genset locomotives, a heavy duty service sand gondola built new in 2008. The Kentucky Operation Lifesaver grade crossing safety program and Corman's "My Old Kentucky Dinner Train" will provide displays. The locomotive and train will be on display Sept. 20 until noon, when the consist will travel west to Lewis siding, turn on the wye there, and pass eastbound through Midway about 4:15 pm. Expected arrival in Lexington, Ky., is 5 p.m.

Joey Bowman
09-01-2009, 04:23 AM
Theyre not doing a whole lot with it are they? When NS had its steam program, did they run their locomotives this rarely? Seems like UP runs their locomotives constantly, as well as the other various large steam locomotives across the country.

Whats the point of having it if you only run it once a year?

Not trying to criticize them at all, guess its good that its one less locomotive that has been scrapped (or was it bought new?).

09-05-2009, 09:51 AM
From my understanding Joey.

R.J. Corman's requested a Steam Locomotive to be built BRAND NEW in china. After it had been heavily tested on Jingpeng Pass (spelling sorry), once all-was-well, it was to be shipped to its new home in Kentucky. Instead of buying & restoring a locomotive in North America, they (R.J Cormans) thought it would be better to build one new and overseas.

Like I said, this is from what I have been told & also have read in Magazine/Websites.


09-05-2009, 10:18 PM
The RJ Corman QJ was built in the the 1980s for regular service in China. Now that the Jitong Railway (the Jingpeng Pass Route) has dieselized, some investors in China are selling retired, ready-to-run Chinese engines to interested parties in the US. RJ Corman was one such interested buyer. There have been other Chinese steam engines built brand new for US tourist operations, but Corman's wasn't one them (the three that were, are NYS&W 142, Boone & Scenic Valley 8419, and Knox & Kane 58 ). I don't really know what Mr. Corman's intentions were in purchasing the thing, but I'm glad he did.

NS ran their steam engines all over the place all the time, but that was part of the reason the program failed. The program had no clear definition or purpose... the Claytors just wanted to see steam run, and they did. After they were gone (God rest their souls), the program was abolished by management. I miss the 611 and 1218 as much as anyone, and think highly of the Claytors, but you can't dismiss the fact that the NS steam program was doomed in the corporate world.

UP defines a clear purpose for their program... community outreach and public relations. That's why they don't run many public excursions, but rather send their engines to be displayed at community or educational (think Operation Lifesaver) and historical events. The fact that they don't run many passenger trips means less concern over liability and insurance... perhaps the largest limiting (monetary) factors in running steam today.

RJ Corman has seemed to adopt the UP philosophy on running steam, which is great. I hope it will come out more often in the future, but given the costs in maintaining and operating steam, I won't be too surprised if it doesn't. Just means it's more special everytime it does.

09-08-2009, 02:52 PM
One thing on the NS steam program-- it was the legal department that was said to most "have it in" for getting rid of the steam program. Derailment of an excursion with 611 at track speed toward the end of the program gave them plenty of ammo to convince management of all the liabilities involved with the program. Fortunately, no "liabilities" were killed in the derailment, but that was supposedly the icing on the cake. I was relatively young at the time all of this went down, even rode several of the excursions, but the organizers of the events with 4501 out of Charleston, SC and the events elsewhere on the system shared a lot of this.