C&O 1309 Debut Delayed Again

Former Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 will be waiting again to make its debut.

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, which is restoring the locomotive to operating condition, said last week that the steamer needs additional mechanical work.

No timetable has been given for when the locomotive will make its long-awaited debut.

The restoration has been ongoing for two years and has been hindered by financial problems at times as well as difficulties in obtaining parts and even the theft of some parts.

At last count the restoration has ballooned into a $2.7 million project.

The 1309 has been steam up twice without its driving wheels and work on its boiler was completed last fall.

In the meantime, the WMSR has told local government officials that it needs $150,000 for new ties, bridge inspections, and weed spraying.

Ridership has sagged by 20 percent, but the tourist railroad’s dinner trains have done well in earning needed revenue.

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