Chesapeake and Ohio 1309 – The Legend Lives On

Chesapeake and Ohio 1309 – The Legend Lives OnSource: bing.com

The History of Chesapeake and Ohio 1309

Chesapeake and Ohio 1309, also known as C&O 1309, is a steam locomotive that was built in 1949 by the American Locomotive Company. It was one of the last steam locomotives built for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, which was one of the major railroads in the eastern United States. The locomotive was designed for long-haul freight service, and it spent most of its career hauling coal trains in the Appalachian Mountains.

However, by the 1950s, diesel locomotives were becoming more common, and C&O 1309 was retired in 1956 and was eventually sold to a scrap yard in Baltimore. It was almost forgotten until the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad purchased it in 1979 and began the long process of restoring it to operation.

The Restoration of C&O 1309

Steam Locomotive Chesapeake And Ohio 1309 RestorationSource: bing.com

The restoration of C&O 1309 was a massive undertaking that took over 20 years to complete. The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad had to find many of the original parts that had been removed or lost over the years, and they had to rebuild many of the components from scratch. The boiler, which had been damaged during its time in the scrap yard, had to be completely rebuilt.

The restoration project was finally completed in 2005, and C&O 1309 was returned to steam in a ceremony that was attended by thousands of people. Since then, the locomotive has become a popular attraction at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, and it has even been used in several movies and television shows.

The Features of C&O 1309

Chesapeake And Ohio 1309 Steam Locomotive FeaturesSource: bing.com

C&O 1309 is a massive locomotive that weighs over 400,000 pounds and is almost 90 feet long. It has a 2-6-6-2 wheel arrangement, which means it has two sets of six driving wheels and two sets of two leading and trailing wheels. It was designed to haul up to 120 loaded coal cars at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour.

The locomotive is powered by a firebox that burns coal to heat water, which produces steam that drives the pistons and turns the wheels. The firebox is located at the front of the locomotive, and the smokestack is located at the back. C&O 1309 has a top speed of 60 miles per hour and can generate over 100,000 pounds of tractive effort.

The Legacy of C&O 1309

Chesapeake And Ohio 1309 Steam Locomotive LegacySource: bing.com

C&O 1309 is more than just a piece of equipment. It is a symbol of the American railway industry and the people who built and operated it. The restoration of C&O 1309 is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the people who believe that these machines are worth preserving and sharing with future generations.

Today, C&O 1309 is a popular attraction at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, and it is a reminder of the bygone era of steam locomotives. It is a chance for people to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of a working steam locomotive, and to appreciate the engineering and craftsmanship that went into building these machines.


Chesapeake and Ohio 1309 is a remarkable machine that has captured the hearts and minds of people around the world. Its story is a testament to the resilience and determination of those who believe in preserving our shared history and heritage.

The restoration of C&O 1309 is an ongoing project, and it is a labor of love for the dedicated volunteers and professionals who work on it. It is a reminder that some things are worth preserving, and that the past can inspire and inform the present and the future.

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