Posts Tagged ‘Chesapeake & Ohio No. 1309’

Trains to Sponsor C&O 1309 Charter

March 17, 2017

Trains magazine and the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad will offer a photo charter for Chesapeake & Ohio No. 1309 in late September.

The restored locomotive will pull a freight train with 14 to 18 cars on Sept. 26 to 28, stopping at several locations on the 17-mile railroad.

Among the photo locations will be Helmstetter’s Curve. No. 1309, which was built in 1949, will wear its C&O markings and at times have Western Maryland lettering.

The event will also include a night photo shoot, cab access, and an audio-visual program detailing the restoration of the locomotive.

Tickets are $495 apiece and only 80 will be sold.  Tickets may be purchased at 800-TRAIN-50 or at

C&O 1309 Tickets Sales Have Been Strong

January 28, 2017

Tickets sales for excursions behind the restored Chesapeake & Ohio No. 1309 have been good enough to prompt the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad to add trips to accommodate more passengers.

Western Maryland ScenicThe additional trips behind the 2-6-6-2 Mallet will be run in the latter half of 2017.

“At the moment, we’re selling about $2,000 worth of tickets per day. Once word more generally gets out, it will rise steadily,” project manager John Hankey told Trains magazine.

The 1309 has been in restoration since the WMSR purchased it in June 2014 from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum.

The WMRS is aiming at a July 1 inaugural run for the locomotive. Hankey said the Federal Railroad Administration is expected to complete a boiler inspection soon and a hydrostatic test could be undertaken by the end of February.

Flues, tubes and applicances must still be attached and Hankey expects trial runs under steam to be conducted in May.

C&O 1309 Inaugural Run Set for July 1

January 13, 2017

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad has hired a locomotive restoration company to help it with the rebuilding of Chesapeake & Ohio No. 1309.

Western Maryland ScenicWMSR President Mike Brant said bringing in Diversified Rail Services of Rossville, Georgia, will enable the shops to complete rebuilding the 2-6-6-2 by Memorial Day.

Project manager John Hankey said workers are set to begin installing staybolts and will begin placing the flues back in place in early March.

After that the locomotive will undergo a hydrostatic test and receive its boiler lagging and jacket.

The inaugural run of the 1309 has been set for July 1 and tickets are on sale for that.

Brant said the WMSR’s small shop force could not have completed the 1309 restoration in the time frame the railroad wanted without some help.

Aside from rebuilding the 1309, the WMSR shops will also be rebuilding its passenger car fleet with the help of a $250,000 grant from the state of Maryland.

WMSR Shop Tour Set for Nov. 20

November 12, 2016

A tour of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad shops is being offered on Nov. 20 and will feature at look at Chesapeake & Ohio No. 1309, which is being restored there to operating condition.

Western Maryland ScenicThe five-hour tour is being sponsored by the Washington Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and will be led by John Hankey, the tourist railroad’s curator.

Hankey has been involved with WMS since its founding 30 years ago.

Aside from viewing C&O H-6 Mallet class 2-6-6-2 No. 1309, tour participants will inspect the WMSR locomotive fleet, have lunch, and take a short “rare mileage” trip to the former Western Maryland wye and yard at Maryland Junction.

C&O 1309 Restoration Reported as Going Well

June 14, 2016

Although they haven’t said when it will operate, Western Maryland Scenic Railroad officials said that restoration of Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 is progressing well.

Western Maryland ScenicWestern Maryland Scenic Railroad Superintendent John Garner told Trains magazine that significant progress occurred with the purchase of stay bolts – which hold a boiler in place – and other needed supplies.

The WMS has received a $400,000 grant from the state of Maryland to be used in the restoration work and has launched a GoFundMe page seeking approximately $260,000 in additional money to restore the 1309 to operating condition.

This includes paying employees and experts to finish the restoration work.

W. Md. Scenic Gets Grant to Rebuild Steamer

May 17, 2016

The state of Maryland has given the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad a $400,000 grant that will be used to fund the restoration to operating condition of Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309.

Under the terms of the grant, the WMS must provide matching funding.

Western Maryland ScenicAlthough restoration work has been paused recently as the railroad prepared for the 2016 excursion season, Western Maryland Superintendent John Garner told Trains magazine that work on the 1309 should resume soon.

“All of the big ticket items were bought and paid for in advance — now we are just down to reassembling [the locomotive] once we get the stay bolts back in,” Garner said.

The magazine said that next up for the shop crews is purchasing stay bolts, performing additional
wheel work, making in-cab improvements and doing electric work.

Garner predicted the restoration would be completed before the 2017 excursion season gets underway.

The WMS is also seeking to address a track washout that occurred last winter that severed the route to Frostburg, Maryland.

State officials are removing debris and coal from a former mine site and improving the drainage system to prevent future incidents.

The state is paying for the work and the line may reopen as soon as August.

For now, the WMS is offering excursions between Cumberland and a siding near switch No. 9.

C&O 1309 Firebox in ‘Like New’ Condition

November 28, 2015

Workers restoring Chesapeake & Ohio No. 1309 report that the firebox of the 2-6-6-2 locomotive is in “like new condition.”

The restoration is being undertaken at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. Officials of Steam Operation Corporation conducted an ultrasound study of the locomotive’s boiler last month and conclude that the C&O might have replaced the firebox late in the engine’s service career.

The testing showed several areas of the boiler and rear tube sheet that had erosion and other potential issues.

Although the boiler and rear tube sheet meet current Federal Railroad Administration standards, they will need to be patched in several places within the next three to five years.

Western Maryland Scenic General Superintendent Mike Gresham said the timeline to return the 1309 to service has been delayed in order to give shop forces additional time to make those patches and bring the boiler into substantially “as-built” condition.

“Although we could operate No. 1309 without repair to some of the corrosion damaged areas, it’s really the only logical decision to make repairs now while the locomotive is disassembled even if it means a delay to [No. 1309’s] return to service. Otherwise, we’d have to be making significant repairs to No. 1309 in three to five years,” Gresham said.

The Western Maryland Scenic has launched a “1309 Completion Campaign” fundraising effort that is seeking to reap $200,000. The railroad hopes to have the 1309 pulling trains by mid-2016.

“From its beginning, this has been a grassroots effort without the direct support of major corporations or the railroad industry,” WM officials wrote in a letter to supporters.

Donors who give a gift of $500 or greater will receive cab ride in the 1309 during a regularly scheduled excursion.

A donation of $1,000 or greater will earn 30 minutes of throttle time, which increases to an hour with a gift of $2,000 or more.

The 1309 is expected to return to service on July 24, 2016.

C&O 1309 Restoration Wins $10K ‘Trains’ Grant

November 17, 2015

The campaign to restore Chesapeake & Ohio No. 1309 has won a $10,000 preservation grant from Trains magazine.

The grant is awarded annually by the magazine and this year’s winner was named at the magazine’s 75th anniversary banquet held Saturday night in Milwaukee.

In its application for the Trains preservation award, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad said it would use the money to professionally paint the 2-6-6-2 Mallet-type locomotive, restore and install an appropriate bell and whistle on the locomotive, and restore in-cab gauges for operation.

However, the railroad said shortly after accepting the award that the money will instead be used to repair the rear tube sheet.

No. 1309 was the last steam locomotive built by Baldwin Locomotive Works for the U.S. market.

It pulled freight trains for the C&O between 1949 and 1956. Most recently, it has been on static display at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum.

The announcement of the awarding of the grant came just ahead of another announcement that boiler problems have delayed the completion date of the restoration of No. 1309 by several months.

WM Scenic General Superintendent Mike Gresham said the restoration will be completed by July 24, which is between three to four months later than previously announced.

C&O No. 1309 Restoration Work Moving Along

September 30, 2015

Restoration work on Chesapeake & Ohio No. 1309 is proceeding well and the 2-6-6-2 locomotive is expected to return to steam next year.

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad General Manager Mike Gresham told Trains magazine that reconstruction of the tender is well advanced.

The major work remaining includes tender tank floor replacement, water baffle reinforcement and reattachment, and stoker repairs.

Gresham said that no substantial repairs are expected to be made to the tender deck. Work on the tender is expected to be completed by late September.

SteamOperations Corp. will begin ultrasonic testing of the boiler and driver axles in early October with the work expected to finish in November

Seamless tubes and flues are order from Steam Services Corp. and expected to arrive by the end of October.

Some of the rebuilding work is being contracted out.

The Heber Valley Railroad of Utah will rebuild the air pumps and safety valves while the Strasburg Rail Road will turn No. 1309’s wheels on a wheel lathe.

Greshman told Trains that the scale of the rebuilding project has presented a challenge, with the No. 1309 needing nearly 300 new tubes and flues, and 200 new flexible stay-bolts.

All 12 of the locomotives driving wheels need to be turned on a wheel lathe. Other work includes the refurbishment of two full sets of running gear, and the rebuilding of such appliances as pumps, injectors, dynamo, and the stoker engine.

The Western Maryland is working on bringing in a train of private rail cars in May 2016 that would travel behind the 1309 between Cumberland and Frostburg, Maryland.

The train would originate in Chicago and follow the route of Amtrak’s Capitol Limited behind diesel power to Cumberland. The train would continue on behind diesel locomotives from Frostburg to Washington, D.C.

Western Maryland Scenic Sets Night Photo Shoot

April 8, 2015

A three-hour night photo shoot has been set for April 17 on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad at its Ridgeley shops near Cumberland, Md. Tickets are $50 and can be ordered by calling 304-553-9409.

Featured will be diesel and steam equipment in the shop area. Participants will also be able to documents the progress that the WMS has made in restoring Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309.  The event will be the first public photo session at Ridgeley since the Steel Wheels Festival last September.

Restoration of the 1309 is about half completed. The crew removed the locomotive’s cab from the boiler in late February and several hundred stay bolts are being inspected. The locomotive will be reassembled later this year and to return to operation in 2016.

Sponsoring the photo shoot is the WMS’s nonprofit foundation and West Virginia-based photographer Chase Gunnoe. Some of the proceeds will be used to pay for the restoration of the 1309.