Steam locomotive makes trip to Parrish
by James Phillips
Sep 23, 2012 | 4288 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Southern Railway 630 steam locomotive leaves Parrish for a return trip to Birmingham Saturday morning. Photo by: James Phillips
The Southern Railway 630 steam locomotive leaves Parrish for a return trip to Birmingham Saturday morning. Photo by: James Phillips
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PARRISH — A handful of spectators in Parrish got a glimpse at a piece of transportation history Saturday morning as a more than 100-year-old steam locomotive chugged through the town.

The Southern Railway 630 steam locomotive, built in 1904, was recently restored by the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum. On Saturday, the vintage train took passengers from Birmingham to Parrish as a public excursion sponsored by the Norfolk Southern 21st Century Steam Program.

The excursion left Birmingham early Saturday morning and traveled over Norfolk Southern’s Alabama Division main lines. The trip was a six-hour, 82-mile round trip from Birmingham to Parrish. The train arrived in Parrish at the Norfolk Southern train depot around 9:30 a.m., and began its trip back to Birmingham at approximately 10 a.m.

Remlap resident Ricky Carr, and his grandson, Ryan Carr, followed the train in their vehicle for much of its trek to Parrish. Carr said he and his grandson viewed the classic train in the Republic community near Fultondale and also saw it in the Burnwell community near Dora before arriving in Parrish.

“We both like trains, and I heard about this, so we decided to follow it and take some pictures,” he said. “I used to ride some excursions like this in the ‘70s, but you don’t hear of them very often now. This is something you just don’t see every day. We’ve had fun following it this morning.”

The train will return to Parrish today and is expecting to arrive around 9:30 a.m. The train will turnaround for its return trip to Birmingham at the end of Depot Street.

After returning to Birmingham, the Southern Railway 630 will take passengers on a 98-mile round trip to Wilton.

The train was built in Richmond, Va., and pulled freight trains during the first half of the 20th Century, mostly in North Carolina.

21st Century Steam is a partnership between Norfolk Southern and TVRM. For more information, visit tvrail.com/pages/21st-Century-Steam.