L&N 2132, along with her coal tenders and caboose, will be pristine and ready for NIBROC 2017.
At Tuesday’s special called meeting of the Corbin Tourism Commission, the commissioners voted unanimously to accept the proposal from Wasatch Railroad Contractors to refurbish the historic rolling stock on display near the former Corbin train station.
According to the proposal Wasatch submitted, the cost to refurbish the three pieces is $294,224 and will take approximately four months to complete.
The cost breaks down to $159,550 for the locomotive, $61,750 for the tender and $72,724 for the caboose.
Kriebel told the board that Wasatch is asking for 10 percent of the money down, with invoices being sent out every two weeks as the work is completed.
According to financial statements provided to the commissioners Tuesday, the tourism commission currently has $394,150 cash on hand.
The commissioners noted that is far less than the initial estimates of $600,000 to $800,000.
“If we could pay for this project outright, how awesome would that be,” said Commission Tanya Marcum.
Kriebel said Wasatch, which is currently working on a similar locomotive restoration project in Stearns, has crew in Whitley City that would work on the Corbin project.
Other individuals who have railroad experience would augment the crew.
Kriebel said Wasatch officials detailed in the proposal all of the work that must be completed, including what pieces need to be repaired or replaced.
As to when the work will begin, Kriebel said it is just a matter of waiting until the winter weather breaks.
“I’m super excited,” said Kriebel noting that it was just over a year ago that the pieces were transported to Corbin from their former home in Bainbridge, Georgia.
Kriebel said along with NIBROC, the refurbished display would serve as the backdrop for the L&N Railroad Historical Society’s National Convention, which is scheduled for Sept. 20-23 in Corbin.
Kriebel said the historical society has been a big support of the tourism commission’s effort to bring the rolling stock to Corbin and to open the Corbin Railroad Museum.
L&N 2132, which was built in the L&N’s locomotive shop in Louisville in 1922, served in Corbin.
The 0-8-0-switcher engine was active in the Corbin yard, switching loads from one train to another and moving cars around the yard.
It was eventually sold to Gulf Power Company in Florida. Upon its retirement from service, the engine was subjected to years of neglect before it was moved to Bainbridge.
Upon learning of the locomotive’s Corbin ties, Kriebel approached the Bainbridge City Council in 2014 about the possibility of returning it to Corbin.
Wasatch Railroad Contractors was the company that moved the pieces.
Kriebel said of the eight companies that were contacted about the project, only Wasatch and Steam Operation Corporation out of North Carolina submitted proposals.
However, Steam Operation Corporation’s proposal was for a site survey only.
“I feel that is an incomplete proposal,” Kriebel told the commissioners.