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Don's Rail Photos

Chesapeake & Ohio

Class M-1 Turbine

In 1947 there was a marked effort by the coal hauling railroads to come up with a more efficient steam locomotive. One of these was the Chesapeake & Ohio who had Baldwin build three experimental locomotives in 1947. In these locomotives, coal was carried in a bunker in the nose. It was crushed and fed under pressure into a water tube high pressure boiler where it was flash burned. The boiler produced high pressure steam to turn a turbine which turned a generator to provide electric power. From here the locomotive was controlled like any other electric or diesel locomotive. Basically it was the same as early diesels where the diesel engine was replaced by the boiler-turbine.

Coal prices began rising rapidly due to labor unrest. Quickly the advantage of cheap coal fuel was gone, and the disadvantage of special experimental locomotives became apparent. After displaying the 500 at the Chicago Railroad Fair of 1949, the 3 C&O locomotives were scrapped the following year. Total life was 3 years. But we got to see one of them.

500, Class M-1, was built by Baldwin in 1947 and scrapped in 1950.

502, Class M-1, was built by Baldwin in 1948 and scrapped in 1950.


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