Chesapeake and Ohio Outdoor Railroad Museum
Maintained by many volunteers of the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, this open-air museum features a dozen historic railcars and one of the very last working steam locomotives ever built for a Class 1 railroad in the U.S. The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway 1308 locomotive was built in 1949 by Baldwin Locomotive Works. This train was a specifically built as a 2-6-6-2s system and was the last one built in the series. The design of this locomotive was specifically crafted for a lightweight and agile look and feel to navigate through KY and WV for coal mining. This historic locomotive made it's very last run on February 29, 1956. It was officially added to the National Register of Historical Places in 2003.
Backstory and Context
Collis P. Huntington was a famous businessman and was one of the Big Four promoters of the Central Pacific Railroad that became part of the First Intercontinental Railroad. Huntington later became the President of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway which completed a line from Richmond to the Ohio River Valley. The new railroad led to the expansion of the former small town of Guyandotte, West Virginia into part of a new city which was named Huntington in his honor. C&O continued to use the Huntington terminal due to it being a major success to the railroad industry and was later renamed over CSX.
The Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society was founded in 1959, and is one of 160 National Railway Historical Societies in the United States. The CPH strives to preserve railroad artifacts, promote the use of the current railway systems, and to encourage public interest and educate people about the history of the railroad. The Huntington chapter owns six passenger cars, other railroad passenger cars, and other railroad equipment. It participates in several local programs and operates New River Train Excursions to The Greenbrier Resort, New York City, Washington, DC. The CPH also offers motorcoach trips to other rail facilities. This museum has many displays of old C&O railcars along with many others. The 1308 locomotive was built in 1949 and is on display at the museum. This was one of the very last working steam locomotives ever built for a Class 1 railroad in the U.S. This engine hauled coal from the mines of Logan County until it was retired from service in 1956.
The C&O 1308 Steam Locomotive pulled coal trains on the C&O Railway's Logan Subdivision, and is important to the history and development of the coal and railroad industry in West Virginia. This locomotive represents the final generation of American steam engines before Diesel technology was developed. The 1308 was designed to haul 3,000 tons over mountains at 15 miles per hour without any assistance. The C&O 1308 Steam Locomotive made it's last trip on Feburary 29th, 1956, and was purchased and removed from storage by the CPH so that it could be a museum exhibit. This locomotive now sits on display and still has its original piping, hardware, controls, and materials. The CPH is confident that the 1308 locomotive could run again with minimal preparations.
2. Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society web page, accessed June 2016 3. National Railroad Historical Society web page, accessed June 2016