Funding Progress Continues for C&O 1309

The fundraising campaign to earn the final dollars needed to complete restoration of Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 is nearing $60,000 of its stated $100,000 goal.

The campaign, which is being promoted by Trains magazine, has picked up donations in varying amounts ranging from $5 to $25,000.

The magazine reported this week that funds raised thus far have enabled the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to acquire parts to replace those stolen from the project by a former employee who sold them.

The stolen parts included 12 drive-wheel journal boxes.

Railroad officials have said that restoration of the 1309 to operating condition is 85 percent complete and $390,000 is needed to finish the work.

Donations can be sent to Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, 13 Canal Street, Cumberland, MD 21502, or made online at www.wmsr.com/1309

The former employee who stole parts from the 1309 restoration effort pleaded guilty in January to one count of grand larceny in a West Virginia court.

He was sentenced to one to 10 years I prison, which was suspended. He also received 30 days of active incarceration with work release and must make restitution in the sum of $251,000 and provide 100 hours of community service.

However, Trains reported that it is unlikely the WMSR will receive any money from the person.

The theft of the parts cost the restoration time, but restoration efforts have also been hindered by lack of funding. Thus far the restoration has cost $2.8 million.

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