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Trains Magazine, Western Maryland Scenic announce 1309 event

By | November 22, 2021

Three-day event in February will feature night operation, photo freight

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Large steam locomotive, shining after restoration
Large steam locomotive, shining after restoration
Trains Magazine and the Western Maryland Scenic will hold a three-day event to celebrate the restoration of 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 in February. (Walter Scriptunas II)

CUMBERLAND, Md. — Trains Magazine and Western Maryland Scenic Railroad are pleased to announce the first enthusiast event to celebrate return of newly restored 2-6-6-2 No. 1309, to be held Feb. 25-27, 2022.

The three-day event will be limited to 100 participants and will include a night run on the legendary Western Maryland Railway main line around iconic Helmsteter’s Curve from Cumberland to Frostburg; two days of excursions with 1309 on a freight train (and a diesel-powered chase train); a night photo session; and great food and camaraderie. A portion of the proceeds will be used for brush cutting to begin opening up the railroad for additional photo charters with fewer participants.

No. 1309 received its Federal Railroad Administration approval last Thursday after a seven-year, $3.5 million restoration for the world’s largest operating Mallet and the only articulated running on the East Coast. The 1949 Baldwin product was the last domestic steam locomotive from the builder, and the engine only ran for six years in coal hauling service for the Chesapeake & Ohio.

Trains is especially pleased to host this event after readers donated more than $275,000 to help push the 1309/Steam the Last Baldwin campaign to completion,” Editor Jim Wrinn says. “We know everyone is eager to get a look at this amazing machine, and as a brand we are thrilled to be able to bring railroading to the fans in print, online, in video, and in person.”

Ticket information is available at this Eventbrite page.

3 thoughts on “Trains Magazine, Western Maryland Scenic announce 1309 event

  1. Well, It has been a major challenge, but it looks as though the effort and wait has been worthwhile. Many were skeptical or completely negative, but fortunately, WMSR and many donors were loyal.

  2. The 1309, looks great. Happy to see it is completed. I hope they letter it in proper C&O paint sometime in the future.

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