RailPictures.Net Photo: SOU 685 Southern Railway Steam 2-8-0 at Asheville, North Carolina by Collection of Ron Flanary
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» Southern Railway (more..)
» Steam 2-8-0 (more..)
» Asheville Roundhouse (more..)
» Asheville, North Carolina, USA (more..)
» July 21, 1948
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
» SOU 685 (more..)
» Unknown
» Collection of Ron Flanary (more..)
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Remarks & Notes 
Southern Railway Ks-1 Class Consolidation number 685 is shown between runs at the mountain division point of Asheville, North Carolina. The 685 was part of rather large group of similar engines on the Southern, this one being built by Baldwin in 1904 (Surviving sister number 630 was built a year earlier by Alco’s Richmond Works.). The Ks-1 engines had their cylinder saddles upgraded from their original slide valves to piston valves. For students of the steam locomotive, the rather unusual backward placement of the power reverse above the number 1 driver was Southern’s solution for finding sufficient space for that particular appliance (630 also features this arrangement). It worked just fine—only in reverse of the normal positioning on a locomotive. The engine also has Southern valve gear (again, same the 630), plus an ATC (automatic train control) pick up shoe at the rear of the front tender truck. At the time, ATC was used on most major Southern main line routes. Another Southern touch was the tucking of the traction sand delivery lines from the sand dome under the boiler jacket, rather than on top. Asheville was home base to a large number of Ks-1 class engines, many of which regularly worked the Murphy Branch. The 685 probably worked some that way as well, but her ATC shoe also suggests main line assignments either west, toward Knoxville, or east, via Saluda to Spartanburg, or via Old Fort to Greensboro or Salisbury. The most interesting aspect of the photo, however, is what might have been. When the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina's superintendent, Clarence Hobbs, came calling at the Asheville roundhouse in 1952 to inspect engines for purchase, his initial choices were numbers 685 and 835. Almost as an afterthought, the Asheville roundhouse foremen mentioned two other engines that were stored inside the "house" (rather than outdoors) that might be in better shape--numbers 630 and 722. And, those would be the two engines Hobbs selected for purchase. So, the 685 was retired and sold for scrap in July 1953, but she came close to being ET&WNC 207---and might have been the engine TVRM runs today as power for the NS 21st Century Steam Program. Such is fate. (photo from the Frank Ardrey, Jr. Collection)
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