SOU (TAG) 2879 : LUSENET : Southern Railway : One Thread

Does anyone know of a decal set in HO scale that has the name John A. Chambliss for the former TAG GP38, SOU # 2879? Did the unit retain its name after repainting to NS, and if so, in what fashion? Also, is this unit still active? It is not in the current NS roster books, but has never been listed in the dispostions that I'm aware of.

-- Marty Flick (, January 29, 2002


To my knowledge there are no decals for any TAG diesels in either TAG or Southern paint. The former TAG GP38 2879 did not keep the Chambliss name after being repainted into NS paint. The last thing I heard was that it was still out of service and in storage at Altoona, PA. Southern purchased TAG to eliminate the competition (Republic steel at Gadsden & L&N/TAG joint service between Chattanooga & Birmingham) and had no real interest in keeping the line open. They paid for the line via a stock swap type deal with TAG shareholders. Mr. Chambliss had owned a large block of TAG stock since the late 1920s and therefore received a large chunk of Southern stock at the time of the “merger”.I am sure the only reason they allowed the unit to carry the Chambliss name after the takeover is because Mr. Chambliss was still living and owned all that Southern stock.

-- Warren D. Stephens (, January 30, 2002.

I was recently told that 2879 did keep the John Chambliss name for one or two paint cycles after it was painted NS. Does anyone ever remember seeing her like this? Better yet, does anyone have photographic evidence?

-- Warren D. Stephens (, May 30, 2002.

Shot 2879 in SR paint at Dalton, GA around 1977, and it had the name below cab window. Shot unit in NS paint at Cleveland, TN about 1994, and it did not have name. Would be a little suprised if unit was already on its second paint job in 1994, but could be wrong on that.

-- David Harris (, June 10, 2002.

Someone recently gave me some pictures of 2879 in Southern livery that were taken in 1987. According to the stencil that TVRM uncovered while prepping this engine,it was originally painted by Southern on 4- 27-71. Another stencil stated that it was repainted in Chattanooga in Nov. 1995. I wonder how many times it was painted while in Southern service? It couldn’t have been painted more than twice while with NS.

-- Warren D. Stephens (, January 01, 2003.

The John A. Chambliss was disposed of by NS last year. Presently the locomotive is stored at East Chattanooga shops, out of service. Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum purchased the locomotive which lost the name during its last NS repaint. Plans for the locomotive at the moment are for cosmetic restoration only as the locomotive will require extensive work to put it back in running order.

-- Alan Walker (, January 13, 2003.

I just got the latest news from the son of John A. Chambliss, namely, John A. "Jac" Chambliss, who is still practicing law at age 93 at the Chambliss firm in Chattanooga. Jac personally contacted the TV RR Museum and was informed that the name has already been restored, and the engine is going to be restored not only cosmetically, but operationally. John A. Chambliss's grandfather, also named John A. Chambliss, a great Baptist preacher and one of Lee's chaplains in the War of Northern Agression, was one and the same as my great, great grandfather. I, too, have a son named John, named after the long line of family members named John, so I was extremely delighted to read about the interest in the John A. Chambliss engine. Thank you.

-- Samuel Mauldin Chambliss III (, February 27, 2004.

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