Explore the history on display at the Clinchfield Railroad Museum
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." The railroad served as a link to coalfields of Appalachia and an important connection for towns throughout th e 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 road the Christmas Train and on seasonal journeys through the mountains and to the Spartanburg, SC Rail Hub. The most noted and longest run was to Tampa, Fl, which drew national press and thousands of fans.
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 railway museum is celebrating 50+ years of the restoration of the famed Clinchfield No. 1. The dedication of local Erwin residents and many railroad fans across the south help share the story of this famed engine and its escapades! Special edition books, prints, and collector items await visitors seeking a keepsake of one of America's great railroads. And, a visit to the quaint town of Erwin will inspire many as the pride in the railroad history remains an active part of the community along with festivals and special events year round..
A family with deep roots in the history of The Clinchfield has taken the initiative to commission a special painting of the Clinchfield No. 1. Profits from the sale are shared with the Clinchfield RR Museum, in honor and memory of the Clinchfield RR families.
Simon Winegar, a widely acclaimed landscape artist from Utah captured the spirit of the Clinchfield in this special art. His love of historic trains has led him to the Clinchfield. “There are so many things that are interesting about trains from an artistic standpoint. But the story that is embodied in the history of the Clinchfield No.1 and the people who labored on this engine makes this painting very special."
The award winning books, "The One and Only: a Pictorial History of the Clinchfield No. 1 and "The Clinchfield No. 1, Tennessee's Legendary Steam Engine" are outstanding publications capturing the history of our railroad. Now, we're super proud to announce that our Clinchfield railroad books have been curated for inclusion in the Southern Festival of Books---one of the oldest book festivals in the nation. Celebrating 31 years, this Tennessee event focuses on southern authors that have made a literary dent among southern publishing. We are pleased that Mark Stevens and A. J. "Alf" Peoples historical documentation of the Clinchfield No.1 has been included in this prestigious event. Copies are available on line through this web site.
527 Federal Hatchery Rd, Erwin TN 37605
As members of the Clinchfield RR family, we encourage you to visit and contribute to the Clinchfield Railroad Museum in Erwin, Tennessee.
Open Daily: (subject to Covid adjustments)
1:00 pm.-5 p.m. May-September
1:00 pm.-5 pm.Weekends October
Or By Special Arrangements
The Clinchfield No. 1 is now on display in the great Roundhouse at the
B & O Railway Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.