Knoxville train bell is returned

Knoxville’s Three Rivers Rambler held a special ceremony recently to celebrate the return of No. 154’s stolen bell.

No. 154 is an 1890 steam engine that ran freight operations in Knoxville in the early 1900s. The engine was stored in a Knoxville park for fifty years before being restored by the Three Rivers Rambler train ride. The coal-fired steam engine- believed to be one of the oldest operating steam engines in the United States- has been in service on the Three Rivers Rambler for about four years.


Last summer 154’s bell was stolen from the engine. Two members of the Knoxville community- Bo Shafer, owner of a local insurance company, and Finbarr Saunders, a city councilman- each stepped forward to donate a replacement bell to the 3RR. Bo Shafer’s bell is now in operation on steam engine No. 203. Finbarr Saunder’s bell will be permanently displayed in the new 3RR depot.

Due to the efforts of the Knox County Sheriff’s department, 154’s bell was recently recovered and returned today to its proper place. A replica of 154 was given to Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones.