Railroad museum coming to Corbin

The crossing signal and sign have arrived from Roanoke, Va. The Pullman car in Cincinnati, Ohio officially belongs to the Corbin Tourism Commission and work is ongoing to get the car to its new home. Corbin Tourism Director Maggy Kriebel is travelling to Bainbridge, Ga. Tuesday for a face-to-face meeting with city officials in an effort to convince them to gift a locomotive that once operated in Corbin.

“I’m going to ask them to let us bring L&N 2132 home,” Kriebel said

Like a steam locomotive after spinning the wheels a few times, the effort to make the new and improved Corbin Railroad Museum a reality is gaining traction and moving steadily toward the May 9 grand opening.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the tourism commission Kriebel announced that word is spreading throughout various organizations including, the L&N Railroad Historical Society, asking retired railroaders, the organizations and collectors to loan/donate artifacts and other railroad related items to the museum.

“We’ve already received numerous donations,” Kriebel said, noting Carl Gambrel, whose family has a combined 300 years of service with L&N/CSX, has donated a caboose bell, lanterns, whistles and other items.

Saturday, Feb. 7 at the Corbin Depot is the date and location for the first mass intake of items.

Kriebel said in the weeks leading up to the intake, she will continue to work to get the word out across the state and the region.

Kriebel noted with the help of Eastern Kentucky University’s Public Relations Team, a public service announcement has been sent to media throughout Kentucky and six surrounding states.

“It has multiplied and tripled,” Kriebel said. “We are getting calls from Arkansas. We are getting calls from Michigan. It has spiraled.”

Anyone with items they wish to loan/donate to the museum may contact the tourism commission at (606) 528-8860.

In addition to the artifacts and the railroad cars, which also includes two cabooses, Kriebel said the goal of the museum is to tell the story of the impact of the railroad on Corbin.

The centerpiece is the train yard now run by CSX.

“I have spoken with the yardmaster at CSX in Corbin and some of the workers are planning to build a diorama of the Corbin yard,” Kriebel announced to the board.

With artifacts committed to the museum or already on hand, Kriebel said the next item on the agenda is designing the exhibits to tell the story.

Kriebel said she is preparing a request for proposal outlining the requirements for companies that may consider bidding on the project.

Kriebel said her goal is to get the RFP out by early February.

While admitting that it has been a lot of work and stressful at times, Kriebel said she is proud of the progress made since discussions about the museum began last spring.

The board members offered unanimous praise for Kriebel and the work she had done to find and bring so many historical items to Corbin and get the museum on track

“A year ago, when we talked about this, I never dreamed we would be this far with it,” said Board Member Tom Rose. “Kudos to you.”