Western Maryland Scenic 1309 wheels make progress

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Western Maryland Scenic 1309 wheels see work at Chattanooga.
Diversified Rail Services
RIDGELEY, W.Va. — The Beast of the East is about to get wheels. Diversified Rail Services, the contractor working on Western Maryland Scenic Railroad’s Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309, says the drivers are progressing through machine work at Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum’s Soule Shops in Chattanooga. Shane Meador of FMW Solutions LLC (and also with the non-profit working to restore Nashville, Chattanooga & St. Louis 4-8-4 No. 576), has been at work in the wheel shop to restore each axle, hub, and crank pin to working order. Each wheel set weighs in at over 5-tons a piece.

After resting outside in the elements for over 50 years, first in storage on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad and then on display at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, No. 1309’s rolling surfaces required overhaul to remove damage
caused by corrosion and wear.

When completed No. 1309 will be unique among operating steam locomotives in the US. She was designed to haul heavy coal trains out of West Virginia coal mines when placed in service in 1949. When restoration work is complete in 2019, No. 1309 will be the only operating compound-mallet style locomotive east of the Mississippi River.

The railroad says it needs about $300,000 to complete the locomotive, part to replace missing parts, part for labor, and part for a new coal loading and ash disposal system. A 1309 Club has been created to find 200 donors interested raising the money and finishing the engine. To help, see, wmsr.com/support-co-1309-restoration/
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