menu membership links new additions artifacts trainspotting how can I help? location of museum history of museum overview homepage contact us!

Thurs - Sat, 10 am - 4 pm
Sundays, 1 - 4 pm
May through October

Other times by
Leave Message at

108 Front Street
P.O. Box 53
Cowan, TN 37318-0053

Cowan Railroad Museum
On the Internet:


Follow cowanrailroad on Twitter

Mark's Train-a-Day

Live CSX Feed



Steam Locomotive

Steam Locomotive #1 has been the billboard for the Cowan Railraod Museum for the past many years.  Designated by the Whyte System as Columbia Type (2-4-2), it was built by Porter in 1920.

Formerly a tenderless “tank’ style loco, this was converted with a small homemade tender and removal of the side or saddle tank. The oversize cab formerly contained a small coal bunker at its rear.

In 1979 we purchased our little 1920 Columbia-Type Steam Locomotive from the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, TN.  It is a 2-4-2 and a very rare make.  It was first owned by Mr. William Elliott Dunwady, owner of the Cherokee Brick Company in Macon, GA, about 1920.  It was especially suited for the brick company's needs and pulled six yard side cars loaded with clay from the clay pits to the foundry.  The engine's size was limited for two reasons:  it did not pull great weights, and it had to be rather small to function on the Cherokee Brick Company line.

About June 1, 1964, Mr. Walter, former president of the National Railraod and Historical Society, purchased the engine from the Cherokee Brick Company.  Mr. Walter had it requilt and reworded by the Charleston, SC Chapter of the National Railroad and Historical Society.  The little engine was used to pull thousands of people in many of South Carolina's functions.

The Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga acquired the little engine and later sold it to the Cowan Museum.

To this date it sits proudly on the track by the Cowan Railroad Museum bringing back memories of by-gone days of railroading with steam locomotives.

You can stand in the little engine as the big diesel-pulled freights come roaring through on the now CSX busy line and get the feeling from the vibration of being on board as you hear the powerful pushers approaching with speed to hit the 2% grade of two miles up to the tunnel through the summit of mountain southbound.

Last run in the early 1970’s, it now silently acts as a sentinel beckoning you to visit! The engine was repainted in 2008.

Cowan Railroad Museum is a non-profit 503(c)3 corporation chartered in the State of Tennessee.
Every effort is made to provide factual and useful information.
Questions / comments abou† website? Send email to webmaster
© 2007-2021. All Rights Reserved.