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Patriot Rail donates Steam-Era supplies to Kentucky Steam

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By Railfan & Railway Employees

Patriot Rail recently donated 37,000 pounds of steam-era parts and supplies worth about $200,000 to the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corp., the nonprofit currently restoring 2716 Chesapeake & Ohio 2-8-4. The parts were previously stored at the Butte, Anaconda and Pacific roundhouse in Anaconda, Mont. The effort to move the parts was aided by Next Generation Rail Solutions, PaxRail, Diamond Rail Group and hundreds of hours of labor from Kentucky Steam volunteers.

The donation includes parts, tools and other supplies, including an assortment of brand new steam-era pipes and fasteners, still stored in their original wooden boxes. Also included were two low loaders of machinery, including four 35 tonne whiting locomotives, a lathe large enough to turn the 2716’s pistons and rods, and an Allen copper boring machine, the last known purpose-built copper boring machine in existence.

Parts are loaded at the BA&P store in Montana.

“The Anaconda facility was simply filled with things you would find in a well-stocked warehouse from the steam era of 70 or more years ago,” said Jason Sobczynski, Chief Mechanical Officer of Kentucky Steam. “Many of these parts are still in their original packaging and will be of enormous value to our restoration of C&O 2716 and other historic equipment. The machine is vintage, but has been well maintained and used sporadically until recently. You will probably never find a historic collection like this in this condition again.”

Patriot Rail decided to make the donation as it plans to vacate some of the former BA&P buildings in Anaconda.

“Patriot Rail is proud to support rail preservation projects and partner with the Kentucky Steam Heritage Corporation,” said David Bevins, Patriot Rail vice president of operations. “We are grateful for the opportunity to donate these rare tools and equipment that will assist Kentucky Steam in its efforts to build and expand its operations and museum. Kentucky Steam showcases and celebrates our nation’s railroad heritage while offering a unique steam-powered excursion experience in the heart of the Bluegrass State of Kentucky. Patriot Rail works closely with organizations within its network to preserve and restore these important components of rail operations for future generations.”