Tennessee Valley Railroad Gets Rare FM Locomotive

The Tennessee Valley Authority used the H16-66 Trainmaster to move coal until it was retired in 1997. Photo Courtesy of TVRM. 

Tennessee Valley Railroad Gets Rare FM Locomotive

By Railfan & Railroad Staff

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum has acquired a rare Fairbanks-Morse H16-66 “Baby Trainmaster” from the Tennessee Valley Authority, the museum announced this week. 

H16-66 F3060 was built in 1958 to move coal at TVA’s generating plant in Gallatin, Tenn. The H16-66 locomotives were a 1,600 horsepower version of the 2,400 horsepower H24-66 locomotives. The locomotive was used until 1997 when it was retired and it has remained in Gallatin ever since. TVRM approached the authority about having the locomotive donated to the museum back in 2019. 

​​“TVRM is honored that TVA would place this locomotive in our collection for future display and possible operation” said museum President Tim Andrews.  “TVRM’s mission is to educate the public on the role of railroads in developing the Tennessee Valley region and what better example than this locomotive to showcase the intertwined efforts of the railroads and the supply of electricity by TVA in powering our economy.”

The unit is one of only nine Fairbanks-Morse locomotives preserved today. Fairbanks-Morse entered the diesel locomotive market at the end of World War II planning to capitalize on the unique opposed piston engine used on many submarines and other naval vessels during the war. Featuring two pistons in each cylinder the engine produced more horsepower per cylinder than other diesel engines of the time. This unique design also led to its downfall as the engine did not hold up in the harsh railroad operating environment and required dedicated maintenance facilities to make repairs. TVA F3060 was one of the last locomotives they delivered to any railroad, as they exited the locomotive market by 1963 having produced less than 1,500 units.

TVA F3060 will be moved via truck in the coming weeks. It is hoped to have the locomotive on display in Chattanooga by October. 

For more information, visit TVrail.com

This article was posted on: August 17, 2021