During the finish of steam"s regime a new technology arose which check to administer one final, vain edge versus the diesel; vapor turbines.   

These locomotives were somewhat similar to diesels in the an electrical traction motor was offered to carry out power although instead of a diesel engine, turbines were used.  A couple of railroads experimented v the concept, one of which to be the Chesapeake & Ohio.  

Interestingly, the C&O"s application was rather unique; it intended to use the turbines in high-speed passenger organization via a brand-new streamliner well-known as the Chessie.  Alas, the train never made it into service and also the M-1"s were never reliable; many mechanical difficulties saw lock scrapped just a few years after being built.

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The C&O, along with the Norfolk & Western and builder Baldwin Locomotive Works, invested a great deal that money on study and advance of this concept.  the is truly exciting what might have come to be of heavy steam turbines had actually it proven a success.  Alas, through the diesel triumph even coal roads continuing pumping resources into an ambiguous project.

One that Chesapeake & Ohio"s M-1 heavy steam turbines, #500, is seen right here on screen at the Chicago railroad Fair in 1948. Intended to take care of the never-launched streamliner "Chessie" all 3 turbines proved problematic and also were scrapped in 1950. Author"s collection.

Following the development of Electro-Motive"s revolutionary FT diesel-electric locomotive in 1939 it was clear the motive strength was the future.  However, some railroads still thought strongly in vapor power consisting of the C&O and Norfolk & Western.  

These two lines derived a huge percentage of their freight profits from the activity of southerly Appalachian coal; together a result they kept a strong allegiance to heavy steam through the 1950s. 

They also maintained a steady and near endless supply the cheap fuel.  about the time of civilization War II the vapor turbine was born and appeared as if that might challenge the diesel.  Baldwin to be a major proponent the the concept, donate financially by railroads choose the N&W and C&O which had actually money come spend. 

The very first to check the an innovation was Union Pacific in 1938, utilizing a streamlined pair for passenger service, adhered to by the Pennsylvania in 1944.  Then, simply after the war, the C&O jumped ~ above the bandwagon.  

Under the new leadership of Robert Young due to the fact that 1942, who believed fervently in high quality and also efficient passenger service, the C&O wished come use heavy steam turbines top top a new service in between Washington, D.C. and Cincinnati, Ohio.  

The train, named the Chessie, was boasted by Young as the most luxurious all-coach service in the country.  To further enhance the appeal, and also keep in accordance through the C&O"s coal roots, Young felt steam turbine locomotives need to power the Chessie.

One that Chesapeake & Ohio"s M-1 vapor turbine"s, #500, is seen right here in May, 1948. The locomotive, together with two others, was developed to take care of the railroad"s postwar streamliner, "The Chessie," which at some point never gotten in service.

The C&O, functioning alongside the Baldwin Locomotive Works, Westinghouse, and also General electrical outshopped what was known as the class M-1 in 1947.  

The locomotive, provided #500, lugged a 2-C1+2-C1-B (using the Whyte Notation this would be a 4-8-0-4-8-4), was 106 feet long, weighed 428 lots (856,000 pounds), and also boasted 6,000 horsepower.  It was an impressive and imposing device featuring a shrouded, centralized carbody v a satisfaction livery that grey, yellow, and also deep blue. 

Following #500, two much more would arrive in 1948 and given #501 and #502. According to thomas Dixon, Jr."s book, "Chesapeake & Ohio Railway:  A Concise background And truth Book," the course M-1"s worked by use a typical boiler, fed through coal, to strength electrified traction motors on the axles hence propelling the locomotive forward.  

In essence the M-1 to be a combination steam and diesel locomotive using a boiler and traction motors yet lacking a diesel engine.   Departing native traditional heavy steam designs the M-1"s boiler was situated to the rear while a charcoal tender, centralized as component of the whole locomotive, was situated ahead the the cab which an ext or much less sat in the middle of the whole contraption. 

In any type of event, the design was mechanically facility and during initial tests in 1947 the #500 competent a selection of problems.  component of the concern was the generators themselves which, while useful in maritime applications, can not pardon the jarring actions and also heavy beating experienced during standard service on a railroad.  There was also the trouble of dirt, dust, and also other particles fouling equipment, including the traction motors.  

Despite claims by its contractors that the M-1 would certainly require less maintenance via fewer relocating parts and greater fuel to save the C&O was never able to operate the locomotives every the method from Washington come Cincinnati there is no some sort of mechanical troubles.

In 1948 the M-1"s promoted the new Chessie by parading one exhibition train approximately the whole C&O system, allowing folks to tour the equipment during stops at miscellaneous towns and cities. 

Unfortunately, the train never ran despite every one of the cars and locomotives being purchased and readied for service.   Young had wanted the Chessie running through 1946 however a big backlog the postwar orders delayed the cars from showing up for 2 years in ~ which suggest steeply decreasing ridership essentially forced the C&O to end the idea. 

The cars later went to run on the regional Pere Marquettes for a few years when the unsuccessful M-1"s continued to run on other trains throughout 1948.  The three units were ultimately sent back to Baldwin and also scrapped in 1950.  

Perhaps the failure of the M-1"s and the Chessie was every one of the best.  While the C&O to be struggling to gain the train in organization rival Baltimore & Ohio released a brand-new streamliner follow me the exact same corridor during January that 1947 recognized as the Cincinnatian.

It featured a stunningly beautiful streamlined 4-6-2 Pacific with equivalent equipment in a deep blue, silver, and white livery.  Alas, the sector was for this reason sparsely occupied the train saw tiny success and the B&O quickly shifted the train to a Cincinnati - Detroit routing whereby it experienced much greater ridership.

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Electro-Motive Database

In 1998 a gentleman by the surname of Andre Kristopans placed together a web page highlighting basically every unit every out-shopped by basic Motors" Electro-Motive Division. 

Alas, in 2013 the website closed.  However, Don Strack rescued the data and transferred it over to his UtahRails.net site (another good resource). 

If you room researching something EMD connected please visit this page first.  The information has original numbers, serials, and order numbers.


Wes Barris"s SteamLocomotive.com is simply the best web resource in the study of steam locomotives. 

The lot of information uncovered there is quite staggering; historical backgrounds that wheel arrangements, types used by essentially every railroad, preserved and operational examples, and also even those used in other countries (North America and also beyond). 

It is an overwhelming to truly articulate just exactly how much material have the right to be found at this website.  it is a have to visit!

Researching Rights-Of-Way

A well-known pastime for numerous is examining and/or experimenting abandoned rights-of-way. 

Today, there room tens of countless miles scattered throughout the country.  many were traction up in the 1970"s and 1980"s although rather were eliminated long before that. 

If you are researching active or exit corridors you could want to check out the United says Geological Survey"s (USGS) historical Topographic Map Explorer

that is fantastic resource through thousands of historical maps on paper throughout the country.  Just type in a city or city and also click top top the timeline that maps at the bottom of the page!