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TIMELINE for the 1980-81
CHESSIE SAFETY EXPRESS - Season One
Date
Tour Number
Total Tours
Notes
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In 1980, Chessie organized a series of excursions most commonly known as the Chessie Safety Express, promoting Operation Lifesaver and grade-crossing safety. These were the first excursions behind newly restored steam locomotive 614. Its coal tender was lettered "Chessie System Railroads", and its axillary water tender was given a special Safety Express logo -- and lettering that would change at least twice. At first, it was lettered "Chessie's Safety Express". This timeline is very much a work-in-progress. Any additions or corrections, please email.
September 13, 1980
1
1
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg, WV via the Old Main Line and return. To start things off right, the locomotive broke through a banner at Camden Station that read "Safety Express. A bottle of Deer Park Spring Water was broken over the pilot (Deer Park Spring Water was served in B&O dining cars for decades). Mrs. Wickersham, mother of SLCA mechanical officer Steve Wickersham, did the honors.
September 14, 1980
2
2
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg, WV via Silver Spring and return.
September 19, 1980
3
3
Baltimore, MD to Cumberland, MD one-way ferry trip. Reproduction builders plates were finally installed on the smokebox. There hadn't been time to install them before.
September 20, 1980
4
4
Cumberland, MD to Terra Alta, WV and return.
September 21, 1980
5
5
Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh, PA one-way ferry trip.
September 27, 1980
6
6
Pittsburgh, PA to Rockwood and return.
September 28, 1980
7
7
Pittsburgh, PA to New Martinsburg and return.
September 29, 1980
8
8
Pittsburgh, PA to Brunswick, MD one-way ferry trip.
September 30, 1980
9
9
Brunswick, MD to Richmond, VA one-way ferry trip via Gordonsville.
October 5, 1980
10
10
Richmond, VA to Balcony Falls, VA and return - essentially the traditional Autumn Leaf Special run by the Old Dominion Chapter of the NRHS.
October 11, 1980
11
11
Richmond, VA to Balcony Falls, VA and return - essentially the traditional Autumn Leaf Special run by the Old Dominion Chapter of the NRHS.
October 12, 1980
12
12
Richmond, VA to Clifton Forge, VA one-way ferry trip.
October 13, 1980
13
13
Clifton Forge, VA to Huntington, VA one-way ferry trip.
October 18, 1980
14
14
New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV and return.
October 19, 1980
15
15
New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV and return.
October 25, 1980
16
16
New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV and return.
October 26, 1980
17
17
New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV and return.
October 27, 1980
18
18
Huntington, VA to Cincinnati, OH one-way ferry trip.
November 1, 1980
19
19
Cincinnati, OH to Ashland, OH and return.
November 2, 1980
20
20
Cincinnati, OH to Ashland, OH and return.
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After the last run of the season, locomotive 614 pulled an 11-car train over the B&O and WM back to Hagerstown, MD for rest and repair.
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The 1981 Family Lines' Safety Express
TIMELINE for the 1981
FAMILY LINES' SAFETY EXPRESS
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In early 1981, the Chessie Safety Express was temporarily reborn as the Family Lines' Safety Express for a series of excursions in Florida, again promoting Operation Lifesaver and grade-crossing safety. The water tender behind the steam locomotive was re-lettered 'Family Lines' Safety Express'. The coal tender received Family Lines Rail System lettering and an SCL logo. The trips were sponsored by the State of Florida and the National Railway Historical Society. Trips out of Miami were co-sponsored by the Gold Coast Railroad Museum.
Date
Tour Number
Total Tours
Notes
February 16, 1981
1
21
Jacksonville, FL to Tampa, FL one-way ferry trip.
February 21, 1981
2
22
Tampa, FL to Dunnellon, FL round trip via Plant City.
February 22, 1981
3
23
Tampa, FL to Dunnellon, FL round trip via Lakeland.
February 23, 1981
4
24
Tampa, FL to Miami, FL one-way ferry trip.
February 28, 1981
5
25
Miami, FL to West Palm Beach, FL round trip with a stop in Ft. Lauderdale.
March 1, 1981
6
26
Miami, FL to West Palm Beach, FL round trip with a stop in Ft. Lauderdale.
March 2, 1981
7
27
Miami, FL to Orlando, FL (Naval Training Annex) one-way ferry trip.
March 7, 1981
8
28
Orlando, FL (Naval Training Annex) to Ybor (Tampa), FL round trip.
March 8, 1981
9
29
Orlando, FL (Church Street) to Palatka, FL round trip.
March 9, 1981
10
30
Orlando, FL (Church Street) to Jacksonville, FL one-way ferry trip.
March 14, 1981
11
31
Jacksonville, FL to Savannah, GA round trip.
March 15, 1981
12
32
Jacksonville, FL to Savannah, GA round trip.
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TIMELINE for the 1980-81
CHESSIE SAFETY EXPRESS - Season Two
Date
Tour Number
Total Tours
Notes
April 25, 1981
1
33
The first Tour of the Second Season. St. Louis to Flora, IL and return. The aux tender was now simply lettered "Safety Express". Tour coordinated with the St. Louis Chapter of the NRHS.
May 1, 1981
2
34
St. Louis to Washington, IN one-way ferry trip. Tour coordinated with the St. Louis Chapter of the NRHS.
May 2, 1981
3
35
Washington, IN to North Vernon and return. Tour coordinated with the Exchange Club of Washington.
May 3, 1981
4
36
Washington, IN to Cincinnati, OH one-way ferry trip. Tour coordinated with the Exchange Club of Washington.
May 9, 1981
5
37
Cincinnati, OH to Lima, OH and return. Tour coordinated with the Cincinnati Chapter of the NRHS.
May 10, 1981
6
38
Cincinnati, OH to Louisville, KY and return via L&N. Tour coordinated with the Cincinnati Chapter of the NRHS.
May 16, 1981
7
39
Columbus, OH to Russell and return. Tour coordinated with the Ohio Railway Museum.
May 17, 1981
8
40
Columbus, OH to Russell and return. Tour coordinated with the Ohio Railway Museum.
May 30, 1981
9
41
Detroit, MI to Clio, MI and return. Tour coordinated with the MSU Museum, Lansing. During the train's runs in Michigan, its whistle was replaced by one from a New Yrok Central Hudson locomotive.
May 31, 1981
10
42
Detroit, MI to Grand Ledge, MI and return. Tour coordinated with the MSU Museum, Lansing.
June 6, 1981
11
43
Detroit, MI to Grand Rapids, MI one-way ferry trip. Tour coordinated with the MSU Museum, Lansing.
June 7, 1981
12
44
Grand Rapids, MI to St. Joseph, MI and return. Tour coordinated with the West Michigan Railroad Historical Society.
June 13, 1981
13
45
Grand Rapids, MI to Plymouth, MI and return. Tour coordinated with the West Michigan Railroad Historical Society.
June 14, 1981
14
46
Grand Rapids, MI to Chicago, IL (Barr Yard) one-way ferry trip. Tour coordinated with the West Michigan Railroad Historical Society.
June 20, 1981
15
47
Chicago, IL to Garrett, IL and return. Tour coordinated with the Twentieth Century Railroad Club, Chicago.
June 21, 1981
16
48
Chicago, IL to Hartford, IL and return. Tour coordinated with the Twentieth Century Railroad Club, Chicago.
June 27, 1981
17
49
Akron, OH to Pittsburgh, PA and return. Tour coordinated with the Whistle Stop, Cuyahoga Falls, OH.
June 28, 1981
18
50
Akron, OH to Pittsburgh, PA one-way ferry trip. Tour coordinated with the Whistle Stop, Cuyahoga Falls, OH.
July 11, 1981
19
51
Pittsburgh, PA to Meyersdale, PA and return. Tour coordinated with the Pittsburgh Chapter of the NRHS.
July 12, 1981
20
52
Pittsburgh, PA to Somerset, PA and return. Tour coordinated with the Pittsburgh Chapter of the NRHS.
September 12, 1981
21
53
Cumberland, MD to Terra Alta, WV and return with a limited consist. Tour coordinated with the Western Maryland Chapter of the NRHS.
September 13, 1981
22
54
Cumberland, MD to Somerset, PA and return. Tour coordinated with the Western Maryland Chapter of the NRHS.
September 19, 1981
23
55
Cumberland, MD to Brunswick, MD one-way ferry trip. Tour coordinated with the Western Maryland Chapter of the NRHS.
September 20, 1981
24
56
Silver Spring, MD to Philadelphia, PA and return. Tour coordinated with the Baltimore Chapter of the NRHS.
September 26, 1981
25
57
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg, WV via Old Main Line and return. Tour coordinated with the Baltimore Chapter of the NRHS.
September 27, 1981
26
58
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg, WV via Silver Spring and return. Tour coordinated with the Baltimore Chapter of the NRHS.
October 3, 1981
27
59
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry and Martinsburg, WV via Old Main Line and return via Silver Spring. Tour coordinated with the Baltimore Chapter of the NRHS.
October 4, 1981
28
60
Baltimore, MD to Richmond, VA one-way ferry trip. Tour coordinated with the Baltimore Chapter of the NRHS.
October 10, 1981
29
61
Richmond, VA to Balcony Falls, VA and return. Tour coordinated with the Old Dominion Chapter of the NRHS.
October 11, 1981
30
62
Richmond, VA to Balcony Falls, VA and return. Tour coordinated with the Old Dominion Chapter of the NRHS.
October 15, 1981
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Deadhead move from Richmond, VA to Newport News, VA.
October 16, 1981
31
63
Newport News, VA to Richmond, VA and return in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Yorktown and the 100th anniversary of the completion of the C&O Railroad into Newport News. Tour coordinated with the Old Dominion Chapter of the NRHS.
October 20, 1981
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Non-revenue move from Richmond, VA to Clifton Forge, VA. School children were given rides as a treat. They were picked up and deposited at Ellerson, Doswell, Gordonsville, Charlottesville, Waynesboro, and Staunton.
October 24, 1981
32
64
New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV and return. Tour coordinated with the C.P. Huntington Chapter of the NRHS.
October 25, 1981
33
65
New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV and return. Tour coordinated with the C.P. Huntington Chapter of the NRHS.
October 31, 1981
34
66
New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV and return. Tour coordinated with the C.P. Huntington Chapter of the NRHS.
November 1, 1981
35
67
The last tour of the Second Season -- and the last tour ever for the yellow train. New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV and return. Tour coordinated with the C.P. Huntington Chapter of the NRHS. The sold-out train carried nearly 800 passengers, as it had many times before.
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After two years of birthday celebrations and two years of safety promotion, it was finally time to 'let the boiler cool'. The Chessie Safety Express consist had run 67 'tours', 55 on the Chessie System and 12 on the Family Lines Rail System. Combined with the Chessie Steam Special of 1977-1978, that makes 166 successful fare-paid excursions for the big yellow train.
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