Chesapeake and Ohio 614

Chesapeake & Ohio 614
Power type Steam
Builder Lima Locomotive Works
Serial number 9306
Build date June 1948
Configuration 4-8-4
UIC classification 2′D2′ h2
Gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm)
Driver diameter 72 in (1,829 mm)
Length 112 ft 3 in (34.21 m)
Weight on drivers 282,400 lb (128.1 tonnes)
Locomotive weight 479,400 lb (217.5 tonnes)
Locomotive & tender
combined weight
865,530 lb (392.6 tonnes)
Fuel type Coal
Tender capacity As built: 21,500 US gal (81,000 l; 17,900 imp gal) water; 50,000 lb (22.7 tonnes) coal
Current tender: 18,200 US gal (69,000 l; 15,200 imp gal) water; 100,000 lb (45.4 tonnes) coal,
Auxiliary tender: 31,800 US gal (120,000 l; 26,500 imp gal) water[1][2]
Boiler pressure 255 lbf/in² (1.76 MPa)
Firegrate area 100.3 sq ft (9.32 m2)
Cylinders Two
Cylinder size 27.5 × 30 in (699 × 762 mm)
Tractive effort 68,300 lbf (303.81 kN)
Career Chesapeake and Ohio Railway
Class J-3-A
Number in class 5
Retired 1955
Restored 1975
Current owner Iron Horse Enterprises
Disposition Temporarily On Display in Clifton Forge, Virginia

Chesapeake & Ohio 614 is a 4-8-4 steam locomotive built by the Lima Locomotive Works in Lima, Ohio, in June 1948 for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O).



Most railroads called their 4-8-4s "Northerns," which is short for the railroad first using the 4-8-4 type, Northern Pacific Railroad. The workers of the C&O could not see naming these locomotives "Northerns" as the railroad was based in the southeast. The Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, is known for its prestige and was the inspiration for the name "Greenbrier" applied to these 4-8-4s.

The C&O had a total of 12 4-8-4s, with the first five numbered 600-604 built in 1935, with the designation J-3. In 1942, two more were ordered from Lima numbered 605-606. In 1948, the design changed slightly and the 610-614 were produced, with the J-3-A designation. All the J-3s were retired in 1955; however, several (including 614) were reactivated in 1956.

Due to increasing traffic, the C&O borrowed eleven 4-8-4s from the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad (RF&P) numbered 613-622. Because of one of the borrowed engines being numbered 614, the C&O renumbered J-3-A 614 to 611. Before the year closed out, both the 611 (614) and RF&P engines were retired, and 611 was sent to storage in Russell, Kentucky.

Excursion service

In 1975, 614 was sent to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1979, there was a roundhouse fire that damaged Reading 4-8-4 2101, owned by Ross Rowland. This locomotive was rescued from a Baltimore scrap yard in 1975 and restored to service in a record thirty days for service on the American Freedom Train, and later the Chessie Steam Special. Because of the fire damage, 2101 was no longer operable without extensive repairs. So, Rowland made a trade, the ex-Reading 2101 (cosmetically restored) for the 614, still numbered 611.

In 1980, the restored 614 made its maiden run pulling the Chessie Safety Express through 1981. After the successful system tour, 614 was kept in Hagerstown, Maryland until 1985. American Coal Enterprise was developing a modern steam locomotive to be used as an alternative to rising oil costs by burning coal, known as the ACE 3000. The 614 was modified for better performance under the guidance of David Wardale, and fitted with testing equipment to measure the performance of the engine. For several weeks in January and February 1985, 614 (now 614T, symbolizing it as testing) hauled coal trains between Huntington and Hinton, West Virginia. The 614's fuel consumption costs were actually lower than most diesel locomotives operating at that time. Unfortunately firebox problems and a booster failure later on severely hampered the test results in the end. After the test runs, it was later returned to Baltimore under steam. The project never moved farther than the testing stage.

In 1992, Rowland's vision of the 21st Century Express was taking shape. To give the public an idea of the train, one side of 614 was decorated in a futuristic way with a blue streamlined shrouding and centered headlight. For press night, 614 was again steamed up for the occasion. In 1995, 614 was pulled from Baltimore to the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad in Pennsylvania for a complete overhaul. In 1996, the overhaul was complete and it was moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, where, for the next three years, it pulled a series of very successful excursions to Port Jervis, New York, and return.

Current status

The excursions really put to the test how well a Lima product is built. 614 was required to pull 26 cars at 79 mph on some sections, and maintain speed up several hills. During this time, 614 was equipped with cab signals, 26L brakes, speed control and an MU stand. Since then, 614 has been moved to storage on the Reading and Northern Railroad in Port Clinton, Pennsylvania. In 2000 Rowland put the 614 up for auction at the New Jersey Transit Meadowlands maintenance facility, but no buyers stepped forward to meet the reserve price. The locomotive is still maintained by Iron Horse Enterprises, the most recent servicing of the locomotive being in 2006, in which the crew fitted shrink wrap to the top half of the locomotive to protect it from the elements. In 2010, discussions were reported between Rowland and Jim Justice: owner of the famed Greenbrier Resort. The resort owner is reportedly interested in running steam-powered excursion trains from Greenbrier to Washington, DC, and westward as well. To be known as the Greenbrier Express, Jim Justice plans to use steam and diesel in the project but would need to get the cooperation of CSX (which will not even allow dead steam in tow on its property at present), as well as the Buckingham Branch Railroad and AMTRAK. In early January 2011, it was announced that the 614 was moved by Norfolk Southern to Roanoke, Virginia for the Virginia Museum of Transportation's new exhibit, entitled Thoroughbreds of Steam. On May 9, 2011 it was moved for display to the C&O Railway Heritage Center in Clifton Forge, Virginia, on the CSX mainline, and is currently being repainted into its new paint scheme in preparation for stint on display for the Greenbrier Presidential Express in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. [3]


External links

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