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Western Maryland Scenic No. 1309 makes successful test run

By | December 10, 2021

Locomotive scheduled to operate in Polar Express service Dec. 17-19

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Steam locomotive at station
Steam locomotive at station
Western Maryland Scenic 2-6-6-2 No. 1309 made a successful test run Thursday, the railroad reports. (Western Maryland Scenic, via Facebook)

CUMBERLAND, Md. — Western Maryland Scenic Railroad made a successful test run on Thursday over the tourist line’s 16-mile route between Cumberland and Frostburg, moving closer to its scheduled debut in Polar Express service.

The Cumberland Times-新闻 quotes Western Maryland Scenic general manager Wesley Heinz as saying the 2-6-6-2 “ran trouble free. There will be some adjustments we will make before she is a daily runner. But yes, she cranked out everything we needed her to do.”

The locomotive, built in 1949 for the Chesapeake & Ohio as the last Baldwin constructed for domestic service, is scheduled to operate on Polar Express trains Dec. 17-19. All tickets are sold out. Heinz said the railroad has sold 22,000 tickets for the Polar Express this year, after selling 9,000 in 2019, the last year the trains operated before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The locomotive will operate intermittently next week in additional test runs, Heinz said. The railroad aims to have it in daily service beginning May 8, 2022.

In a Facebook post, the railroad wrote, “Congratulations to the men and women, donors and supporters, and the countless that came before. … Thank you everyone for believing in us.”

3 thoughts on “Western Maryland Scenic No. 1309 makes successful test run

  1. I have to be in Cumberland on 12/22 and 12/23 fir a family event. What’s the best way to find out if 1309 is being run?

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