C&O 1309 Passes FRA Hydrostatic Test

Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 has passed a Federal Railroad Administration hydrostatic test, but it remains unclear when its restoration will be completed.

Diversified Rail Services, the contractor doing the restoration work, distributed a photograph of a pressure gauge reading of 262 pounds per square inch, or 25 percent over the maximum allowable working pressure of 210 pounds.

Most of the restoration work is being done at the shops of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

The work had been suspended last year after the project exhausted its funding. In recent weeks some wheel work had been performed after private donations flowed in following the news of the suspension of restoration work.

At the time of work suspension, DRS estimated finishing the restoration would cost about $530,000.

The next step in restoration is to put back into place the locomotive’s grates and superheaters. That will allow for a test fire to be done.

Thus far the restoration of No. 1309 has cost $1.8 million, including at $800,000 provided by the state of Maryland.

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