The Clinchfield Railroad Museum tells the story of Erwin's rich railroad legacy. Five rooms exhibit many one-of-a-kind artifacts and rare memorabilia from when Clinchfield was known as the "Gateway to the South." A link to the coalfields of Appalachia and an important connection for towns throughout the South, the Clinchfield was the costliest railroad to be built in its time!
Clinchfield Railroad No. 1, known as "Old Number One", began service in 1882. This 4-6-0, 55.6 ton locomotive was one of the longest-operating steam engines in America. Restored in 1968 in the Erwin Machine Shop, the engine continued operating as an excursion train through 1979. Thousands rode the famed Christmas Train and on regular runs through the mountains and to the Spartanburg, SC Hub. The most noted and longest run was to Tampa, FL which drew national attention and tens of thousands of fans, The Erwin museum features much on the history of this great engine. The engine is currently a feature display at the B & O Museum in Baltimore.
(Commemorative painting by Simon Winegar--copyright 2016)
A volunteer-run museum, the members work hard to preserve the history that built not only Erwin--but dozens of towns along the 277-mile route. Artifacts from the railroad make up this special collection at a unique building adjacent to the active tracks. While visiting you are likely to feel the rumble and sounds of both the old and the new as the Clinchfield legacy is a clear forerunner to railroading in America today.
The Erwin area is home to the railway museum and many year-round festivals and events. The Unicoi County Apple Festival and the Jonesborough Storytelling Festival draw tens of thousands to the area each fall. Check out www.erwintn.org , www.unicoicounty.org or www.tnvacation.com for up-to-date calendars and attractions in the area.
The railway museum is celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the restoration of Clinchfield No. 1 with the release of a signed and framed Giclee print by Simon Winegar, note card sets and an anniversary release of the award-winning book: "The 1 & Only." These special items are keepsakes for Collectors, Railway Buffs, and Clinchfield Families throughout the nation:
The limited edition commemorative products make special gifts for train enthusiasts--and for those who cherish the memory of this great railway. Help keep the memory of the great Clinchfield Railroad alive!
We love our visitors, so feel free to visit during normal business hours or give us a call so we can arrange a special visit.
We Regularly Host: Educational Field Trips, Private Events and Club Outings!
527 Federal Hatchery Rd., Erwin, TN 37650
1:00 pm-5 p.m May-September
1:00 pm-5 pm Weekends in October
Or By Special Arrangements