Trains Top 10 stories for 2017: No. 6, C&O No. 1309

Trains Industry Newsletter
Get a weekly roundup of the industry news you need.
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine. View our privacy policy.
An image of Chesapeake & Ohio No. 1309 2-6-6-2 as it appeared at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Md., in 2014.
Trains file photo
WAUKESHA, Wis. — One of the most anticipated steam locomotive restorations of the early 21st century that was supposed to be completed in 2017 is also turning out to be one of the most frustrating ones for its keepers, supporters, and fans. The restoration of Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309, the last steam locomotive Baldwin produced in 1949 for domestic service, has been on again and off again for most of 2017 as a series of events from funding and mechanical issues to personnel problems jostled the project.

A debut in July slipped to autumn. Contractors now say the engine is within 12 replacement staybolts of being ready for a hydrostatic test. Here’s a big engine that could be running regularly on a 17-mile mountain railroad in four to six months, but without the bucks, it will be cold in Cumberland, Md., this winter.

Is there anyone with $530,000 who can put this engine over the top? No kidding, once restored, this locomotive would be among the largest operating steam locomotives in the world making it a point of pride and a tourist attraction.

For steam operations delayed, chronic problems, and its high-profile presence in the public imagination, Trains editors name Chesapeake & Ohio No. 1309 as the No. 6 story for 2017.

Trains editors will present the Top Ten stories of the year in reverse order starting Dec. 21 and finishing on Dec. 30.

Read previous years' Top Ten stories online.
Leave a Comment
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Please keep your feedback on-topic and respectful. Trains staffers reserve the right to edit or delete any comments.
Big Boy

Big Boy

All about the world's biggest locomotive


Learn more about the stories and photos in this months issue

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy
Subscribe Up To 54% off the newsstand price!
Subscribe To Trains Mag Today