C&O 1309 Restoration Nearing Milestone Event

The restoration of former Chesapeake & Ohio of 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 appears to be moving ahead with the boiler and frame set to be placed onto the locomotive’s wheels.

Trains magazine reported this week that 100-ton boiler will be placed in the coming weeks.

A crane company from Cumberland, Maryland, is donating it services to perform the work of setting  the engine on its on its two sets of 56-inch diameter wheels.

Contractor Gary Bensman said two cranes will be used.

“The rear crane will sling at the front of the throat sheet and will have 85 percent of the lift,” he told Trains. “The front crane will sling at the front flue sheet.” The rear of the locomotive weighs much more now than when it was unloaded with the cab, grates, ashpan, and other items installed during the work. Once the boiler and frame are back together, final reassembly can follow. “

The restoration is being performed at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

WMSR head John Garner said no date has been set for completion of the restoration work or the inaugural trip.

He said the railroad won’t announce that until the 1309 is operational.

“We are eager to get the engine into operation, but we want to do the restoration right, break in the engine, and present it so that it is safe and reliable. That’s our goal, and we’re sticking to it,” Garner said.

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