Plans are underway to begin refurbishment work on the Cookeville Steam Engine, located at the Depot Museum.
The work will be a combined effort of from volunteers, staffers, and private contractors who will be doing the majority of the painting. Cookeville Director of Leisure Services Rick Woods said bidding is underway.
“Well this is a part of our history, it’s a part of Cookeville history the railroad,” Woods said. “And that’s why the museum is there, that’s why we turned the depot into a museum is because it was an important aspect of commerce here in the Upper Cumberland.”
Woods said that the city has applied for a grant to help with the refurbishment through the Tennessee State Museum. Woods said they expect to receive an update regarding the grant sometime in the calendar year, where they will refine specifications. Woods said he hopes to have a contractor in by Spring 2024, after which work will begin and is expected to take about nine months.
“It’s a very popular attraction, we have programs that happen there,” Woods said. “There are also people who just stop by.”
Woods said that volunteer groups that have offered to help with the engine include the Cookeville Museum Friends of the Depot.
“We’ve had cabooses there prior to the steam engine being brought,” Woods said. “But again that was a project of Friends of the Depot and they were able to identify the steam engine and help facilitate getting it brought here.”
Woods said that this kind of work has not been done on the steam engine since it was brought to the museum.