C&O 1309 Restoration 6 Months From Completion Once Another $530,000 in Funding is Secured

The completion of the restoration work to Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 is six months away once funding is in place.

Trains magazine reported on its website on Wednesday that Gary Bensman of Diversified Rail Services, a contractor doing the work on behalf of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, that $530,000 is needed to get the 1309 into steam.

Bensman told the magazine that the locomotive is about ready for a federally required hydrostatic test of the boiler.

He expects no surprises for the restoration that has been on again and off again due to funding issues and mechanical issues that have cropped up.

“We got the boiler done, had it full of water, and had pressure on it, but did not finish it 100 percent to have the FRA witness a full hydro test,” Bensman said. “With little more work, it can be ready.”

Bensman said about a dozen old staybolts need to be replaced. Once the hydrostatic test is completed, the grates and superheaters can go back in and a test fire up performed.

Some running gear work will need to be done before the engine can begin revenue service.

This past year has seen program made on restoring the 1309’s boiler.

“This year, we changed almost 800 staybolts, applied eight firebox patches, and installed a new rear flue sheet,” Bensman said. “A lot of that stuff was completed so the tubes could be put in during July and August. We’ve gone from a boiler with some 2,300 holes in it in June to none in November.”

The restoration work stalled last month after the WMSR ran out of money for the project.

Some work has continued on the wheels using specialized lathes at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Thus far the restoration of No. 1309, the last steam locomotive Baldwin built in 1949 for domestic service, has cost $1.8 million.

WMSR Executive Director John Garner said the tourist railroad is is committed to finishing 1309 restoration project.

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: