Contractor Gives 1309 Restoration Update

The contractor rebuilding Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 last week issued a detailed status report on its work, but did not say when the locomotive would be ready for service.

The restoration is being undertaken on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad where the locomotive is based.

Diversified Rail Services said the top row of 36 superheaters has been installed; the cab floor, stoker elevator tube, and grate shaker levels have been installed; and the grate structure and ash pan have been attached.

The steam and water pipes for the injectors are being fitted, the steam lines for the blower and air pumps have been attached, and workers have been grinding and cleaning up washout seats.

It is unclear how this work is being funded. Restoration work on the 1309 had halted last fall when the project ran out of money.

In its statement, DRS said it is seeking donations in amounts equal to the roster numbers of well-known operating steam locomotives: $4,014 ( arch brick and stoker screw repairs), $4,449 (boiler and pipe lagging), $4,501 (steam and water pipes for injectors), and $4,960 (boiler jacketing).

Built in 1949, the 1309 was the last steam locomotive built by Baldwin for domestic use.

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