Posts Tagged ‘2-6-6-2 steam locomotives’

C&O 1309 Restoration Gets Another Emery Grant

July 23, 2020

The restoration of Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 got a boost this week with a grant from the Emery Rail Heritage Trust.

The foundation has awarded $50,000 to the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to help the tourist railroad complete the restoration of the 1949 Baldwin-built locomotive.

WMSR officials have said they need $150,000 to complete the restoration of No. 1309 to operating condition.

The project is expected to have cost $3.2 million once completed.

Workers are currently completing work on the the running gear, back head piping, stoker, and other tasks needed to enable 1309 to become the world’s largest operating Mallet type locomotive.

The Emery grant was unusual in that the organization normally only makes awards in the spring. It is the third grant for 1309 restoration made by the Trust.

Previous grants included $40,000 in 2019 and $10,000 earlier this year.

C&O 1309 Restoration Nearing Milestone Event

June 27, 2019

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.

C&O 1309 Debut Delayed Again

June 10, 2019

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.

Maryland Lawmaker Wants County to Provide Funding to Finish Restoration of C&O 1309

January 30, 2018

A Maryland legislator wants Allegany County to provide $530,000 to the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to enable it to finish restoration of former Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 to operating condition.

State Senator Wayne Norman said the county “needs to put some money into it  . . . I think the county needs to take a lien, then get it finished.”

He has proposed that the county pay the funding from a “rainy day fund” that has a $26 million balance.

The county owns the right of way used by the WMSR between Cumberland and Frostburg, Maryland.

Norman is reported to be a supporter of the tourist railroad and has made frequent visits there.

As he sees it, “once that thing is up and running, it will bring people here from Europe and Asia. There’s nothing else like it in America, so people will come and see it.”

The state budget being proposed by Gov. Larry Hogan would allocate $250,000 to the WMSR for operating expenses, the same as what the state provided last year. Allegany County annually provides $140,000 for operations.

The funding for operations is used for infrastructure and equipment maintenance.

However, news reports in Maryland said that legislators from western Maryland are not supportive of further government funding of the 1309 restoration, saying that other county agencies are waiting for their turn to receive government grants.

C&O 1309 Restoration Half a Million Short

September 15, 2017

The effort to restore former Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 has fallen more than a half-million dollars short.

John Garner, CEO of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, send an email message this week pleading for donations.

The email said WMSR needed $530,000 to finish the restoration. Garner has warned in the past that the cost of restoring the 1309 was threatening the financial health of the WMSR and suggested that taking on the restoration project might have been a mistake.

The operating debut of the ex-C&O locomotive has been delayed more than once this year.

However, he has pledged that the railroad will see the restoration to completion.

No. 1309 would be the only functioning articulated locomotive in the United States.

State Money Now Flowing to WMSR Project

May 19, 2017

State money is finally starting to flow into the coffers of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad and its contractors who have been seeking to restore a former Chesapeake & Ohio steam locomotive to operating condition this year.

Trains magazine reported this week that the WMSR and its contractors have received payments totaling $128,772

A spokesman for the Maryland State Treasurer’s Office said checks for $30,000 and $24,396 are expected to be written by next week, bringing total payments to $183,168.

Restoration work of C&O No. 1309, a 2-6-6-2, is being done at the railroad’s shop in Ridgeley, West Virginia.

Earlier this year, the restoration work was halted due to the lack of funding from the state, which had agreed to give a $400,000 capital grant to help pay for the restoration of the locomotive to operating condition. The restoration is expected to cost $1 million.

The locomotive was originally scheduled to make its first revenue trip in early July, but that has been canceled.

Trains said that the WMSR doesn’t expect to announce a date for the first run for another two weeks. That is expected to be in the fall.

WMSR bought No. 1309 from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum in 2014. The ex-C&O Class H6 is one of the last locomotives built by Baldwin Locomotive Works for use in the United States.