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No. 1 concern Erwin wants to see plans, price tag before committing to effort to bring back engine

During a May 23 meeting, members of the Erwin Board of Mayor and Aldermen said they would like to see preliminary drawings and estimates for a structure designed to house the old Clinchfield No. 1 steam engine before they commit to helping in the effort to bring back a piece of Erwin’s railroad history.
“The location and the price is going to be a huge issue,” Alderman Mark Lafever said. “We really need some drawings and some preliminary estimates.”
Mike Tilley, a 35-year CSX employee and president of the Wautaga Valley Railroad Historical Society, approached the BMA last week, hoping to develop a “game plan” to present to officials from the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore. Tilley is part of a group of residents working to return the Clinchfield No. 1 Steam Engine to Erwin.
Tilley explained that he visited the museum last May and discussed with the curator the possibility of bringing the steam engine back to Erwin. While the curator was open to the idea, B&O officials will not discuss the possibility until the town secures a climate-controlled building in which to display the steam engine.
“(The No. 1) is in excellent condition,” Tilley said. “It’s ready to set up. They’ve taken good care of it. We just need an environmentally controlled place – that’s basically what they want. Before we approach the museum, we need a game plan. If we don’t do that, they won’t even let us in the door.”
While no price was mentioned, Tilley believes museum officials will likely name a price or negotiate a trade in exchange for the steam engine.
“I think it will cost the town,” he said. “I don’t know what. But it’s worth a try. (The No. 1) belongs in Erwin. It doesn’t belong there.”
The effort to bring the Clinchfield No. 1 back to Erwin is being led by Tilley and Alf Peoples. However, Tilley said it will take support and help from town officials to make the initiative a reality.
BMA members expressed interest in the possibility of making the Old No. 1 a tourist attraction for the town, but ultimately, they agreed they need to see drawings and estimates before committing to the project. Officials also suggested the possibility of seeking aid from CSX officials.
“This needs to be downtown,” Lafever said. “We’re starting this downtown revitalization project. Maybe you can get some drawings. That’s where we’ll have to start.”
Tilley said he would work on obtaining drawings and estimates for a climate-controlled building. He also agreed to contact CSX representatives about helping the town get the steam engine back.
Tilley will bring his request back before the BMA once plans are drawn.