Outshopped as #171, this is one of thirty C-12 class Consolidation (2-8-0) type locomotives built by Alco in 1911 for the Hocking Valley Railway (#150-#179).
The HV was primarily a coal hauler, operating entirely in the state of Ohio, with a main line from Toledo to Athens and Pomeroy via Columbus, and several branches to coal mines in the Hocking Valley near Athens. Most of its life was spent under the control of outside railroads. In 1903, a syndicate comprising the PRR, B&O, C&O, Erie and Lake Shore & Michigan Southern acquired majority ownership. From 1906, the C&O began to increase its ownership until it gained outright control in 1910, although the HV continued to operate as a separate entity until merged into the C&O in 1930. At that time, #171 was renumbered CO #701 and reclassified as a G-5.
At 215,000 lbs, 244,000 lbs on their 57" drivers, these were the largest HV or C&O Consolidations. With
23" x 30" cylinders, 55 sq ft grates, 202 sq ft fireboxes and 3,701 sq ft heating surfaces, including 620 sq ft superheating, their 14" piston valves gave a large cylinder volume. Operating at a boiler pressure of 205 psi, they delivered 48,515 lbs tractive effort.
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Most of the G-5s remained on the Hocking Valley’s central and southeastern Ohio lines under the C&O, but #701 was transferred to Clifton Forge, VA, in 1940 to spend the next decade and more hauling passenger trains from Covington to Hot Springs.
#701's large boiler, high tractive effort, adhesive weight and relatively short 26’ 5” wheelbase made it ideal for hauling two-six car passenger trains and occasional freight car up the twenty-five miles of winding track culminating in a 4.6% grade as it approached the resort of Hot Springs.
Left, #701’s tender weighs 156,000 lbs light and has a capacity of 7,500 gallons of water and 17 tons of coal.
During its operating life, #701 garnered two nicknames: "Tojo" because it transported Japanese prisoners of war to internment camps in Hot Springs, and "The Merry Widow", apparently because it gave the impression of happily steaming along alone on the Hot Springs branch line. It was retired by the C&O, donated to the City of Covington in 1954 and underwent a cosmetic restoration in 2015.