110th Celebration of Little River Railroad Steam Locomotive No. 110

The Little River Railroad in Coldwater is celebrating the 110th anniversary of its No. 110 steam engine. Sunday is a special run to Hillsdale and on October 10 a Dolly Parton impersonator will be on board to entertain passengers.

No. 110 is a Pacific 4-6-2 type locomotive, the smallest of its kind ever built for standard gauge. It was a special order from Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, said Trevor Bloom, son of Little River owner Terry Bloom.

It no longer hauls logs out of the Great Smoky Mountains, which is why it was built. Now it makes trips between Coldwater and Quincy, giving passengers the opportunity to experience a bit of history. He also appeared in several films.

To celebrate this milestone birthday, on Saturday, Little River Railroad members will enjoy an invitation-only birthday party with a trip to Quincy.

On Sunday, the celebration continues for the public with a rare trip to Hillsdale and back. Seats for this race are nearly sold out, Bloom said. It is unusual for the Little River to run to Hillsdale due to the complicated details of the owner of the rail system.

October is also the month of the Pumpkin Train, a ride in fall colors to Quincy.

On October 10, Dolly Parton impersonator Wendy T will ride both the 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Pumpkin Trains to entertain guests.

She was invited because Dolly Parton is said to have driven a train hauled by locomotive No. 110 herself when it was traveling in Tennessee, Bloom said.

Later in October, a Pullman car will join the collection of passenger cars pulled by Little River locomotives. The restored luxury railway carriage has three bedrooms, a kitchen and a bathroom, said Steve Houts of Three Rivers, who helped bring it to Coldwater.

For more information on the Little River Railroad, visit their website www.littleriverrailroad.com or their Facebook page: facebook.com//lrrroad

The Little River Railroad is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, operation and preservation of historic railroad equipment.

It is supported by ticket sales, concession sales, memberships and donations.

Jose P. Rogers