The 1977-1978 Chessie Steam SpecialHomeTimelineGalleriesRosterForumMemorabiliaStoreNewsLinksContact
 
TIMELINE for the 1977 - 1978
CHESSIE STEAM SPECIAL
- Season One
Date
Tour Number
Total Tours

Notes
This timeline is very much a work-in-progress. Any additions or corrections, please email.

April 23, 1977
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The newly-readied and painted 2101 locomotive and six cars ran from Saucon Creek Roundhouse in Hellertown, PA to Philadelphia, PA and Baltimore, MD, carrying members of the press and treating them to a photo run-by at B&O's Susquehanna River Bridge. Some sources count this trip as a 'tour', which would make 47 'total tours' for this first season. We'll just count the fare-paid tours, starting May 7, 1977.
April 30, 1977
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The Chessie Steam Special was dedicated at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore when a jar containing water from the Chesapeake Bay and the Ohio River was smashed across the rear coupler of the observation car.
May 7, 1977
1
1
Circle Tour from Baltimore, MD along the Old Main Line of the B&O. Two hour stop at Ellicott City, MD. Continued on thru Point of Rocks, with stops in Gaithersburg, Silver Spring and Laurel. Depart Baltimore 8:30AM, Return 5:30PM.
May 8, 1977
2
2
Baltimore to Harpers Ferry and return along the route of the Capitol Limited with stops in Laurel, Silver Spring, and Gaithersburg each way. Depart 8:30AM, Return 8PM.
May 14, 1977
3
3
Baltimore to Philadelphia and return on the route of the Royal Blue with stops in Whitemarsh and Aberdeen each way. Depart 8:30AM, return 7:30PM.
May 15, 1977
4
4
Circle Tour. Same as tour #2, but in the opposite direction.
May 20, 1977
5
5
Chessie Shippers Special between Baltimore and Martinsburg, West Virginia, for the exclusive use of the road's traffic departments. Via Silver Spring going, and Old Main Line returning.
May 21, 1977
6
6
Baltimore to Harpers Ferry and return via Silver Spring along the route of the Capitol Limited. Depart 8:30AM, Return 8PM. (Same as Tour #2)
May 22, 1977
7
7
Baltimore to Hagerstown, MD and return with stops in Glyndon, New Oxford, and Gettysburg each way. Depart 8:30AM, Return 12:20AM. Apparently this trip was abbreviated to just Gettysburg and return, getting passengers home at a more reasonable 7:25PM.
May 28, 1977
8
8
Baltimore to Cumberland, MD one-way ferry trip with stops in Laurel, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, Brunswick, Harpers Ferry, and Martinsburg. Depart Baltimore 8:30AM, Arrive Cumberland 4:45PM.
May 29, 1977
9
9
Cumberland, MD to Pittsburgh, PA one-way ferry trip over Sand Patch grade, stopping in Meyersdale, Rockwood and Connellsville. Depart 1PM, Arrive 9:30PM Grant Street Station.
June 5, 1977
10
10
Pittsburgh, PA to Wheeling, WV and return with a stop in Finleyville each way. Depart Grant St. 8:30AM, Return 7PM
June 11, 1977
11
11
Pittsburgh, PA to New Castle, PA and return with a stop in Mars each way. Travel through the counties of Allegheny, Butler, Beaver and Lawrence. Depart Grant St. 8:30AM, Return 5:30PM
June 12, 1977
12
12
Pittsburgh, PA to Rockwood, PA and return with stops in West Newton and Connellsville each way. Depart Grant St. 8:30AM, Return 8PM.
June 18, 1977
13
13
Pittsburgh, PA to Rockwood, PA and return with stops in West Newton and Connellsville each way. Depart Grant St. 8:30AM, Return 8PM
June 19, 1977
14
14
Pittsburgh, PA to Cleveland, OH one-way ferry trip, stopping in Mars, New Castle, and Akron Jct. Depart Grant St. 8:30AM, Arrive Cleveland Clark Ave 6PM.
June 26, 1977
15
15
Cleveland, OH to Willard, OH and return.
July 2, 1977
16
16
Cleveland, OH to Detroit, MI one-way ferry trip.
July 9, 1977
17
17
Detroit, MI to Grand Ledge, MI round-trip.
July 10, 1977
18
18
Detroit, MI to Clio (Hoyt), MI round trip.
July 16, 1977
19
19
Detroit, MI to Clio (Hoyt), MI round trip.
July 17, 1977
20
20
Detroit, MI to Grand Rapids, MI one-way ferry trip.
July 23, 1977
21
21
Grand Rapids, MI to Plymouth, MI round trip. On the return leg, a connecting rod on 2101 broke and subsequently the train was powered by diesels from Lansing, MI to Grand Rapids. While the locomotive was in for repairs, the brass eagle over the headlight was removed, at least for a few trips.
July 24, 1977
22
22
Grand Rapids, MI to Chicago, IL one-way ferry move with diesels substituting for steam locomotive 2101.
July 30, 1977
23
23
Chicago, IL to Garrett, IN round trip.
July 31, 1977
24
24
Chicago to Hartford, MI round trip.
August 6, 1977
25
25
Chicago to Garrett, IN round trip.
August 7, 1977
26
26
Chicago to Cincinnati, OH one-way ferry trip via Peru.
August 13, 1977
27
27
Cincinnati to North Vernon, IN round trip.
August 14, 1977
28
28
Cincinnati to Chillicothe, OH round trip.
August 20, 1977
29
29
Cincinnati to Ashland, KY round trip.
August 21, 1977
30
30
Cincinnati to Huntington, WV one-way ferry trip.
August 27, 1977
31
31
Huntington, WV to Lexington, KY round trip.
August 28, 1977
32
32
New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV round trip.
September 10, 1977
33
33
New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV round trip.
September 11, 1977
34
34
Huntington, WV to Clifton Forge, VA one way ferry trip. The president of the railroad, Mr. Watkins, some directors and officers were aboard from Charleston to Hinton. A photo runby was made at Hawk's Nest..
September 12, 1977
35
35
Clifton Forge VA to Richmond, VA one way ferry trip.
September 17, 1977
36
36
Richmond, VA to Balcony Falls, VA round trip. On this trip, the number 1 left side driver bearing on 2101 overheated on the outbound leg and two diesels substituted for the steam locomotive. The steam locomotive and crew car were deadheaded back to Richmond.
September 18, 1977
37
37
Richmond, VA to Balcony Falls, VA round trip. Two diesels substituted from steam locomotive 2101.
September 24, 1977
38
38
Newport News, VA to Charlottesville, VA round trip. Two Western Maryland F7 diesels (7174 & 7156) substituted for steam locomotive 2101.
September 25, 1977
39
39
Newport News, VA to Baltimore, MD one-way ferry trip via Gordonsville. Two Western Maryland F7 diesels (7174 & 7156) substituted for steam locomotive 2101.
October 1, 1977
40
40
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry round trip via the Old Main Line outbound, returning via Silver Spring. On the outbound leg, an air pump failed on 2101 in St. Denis, MD and diesels substituted until 2101 rejoined the train on the return leg at Brunswick, MD.
October 2, 1977
41
41
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry round trip via Silver Spring. Two diesels substituted for steam locomotive 2101.
October 8, 1977
42
42
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry round trip via Silver Spring. Two diesels substituted for steam locomotive 2101.
October 9, 1977
43
43
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry round trip via the Old Main Line. Two diesels substituted for steam locomotive 2101.
October 14, 1977
44
44
Baltimore, MD to Cumberland, MD one way ferry trip via Silver Spring. Two Western Maryland F7 diesels substituted from steam locomotive 2101.
October 15, 1977
45
45
Cumberland, MD to Rockwood round trip. Two Western Maryland F7 diesels substituted for steam locomotive 2101.
October 16, 1977
46
46
Cumberland, MD to Baltimore, MD one way ferry trip via Silver Spring. Two Western Maryland F7 diesels substituted for steam locomotive 2101. This was the last trip of the First Season.
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The Chessie Steam Special turned out to be such a success for the railroad that, to most everyone's surprise, they ordered a second year of tours even more ambitious than the first. A fully refurbished 2101 would be ready for the challenge in 1978.
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TIMELINE for the 1977 - 1978
CHESSIE STEAM SPECIAL - Season Two
Date
Tour Number
Total Tours
Notes
April 30, 1978
1
47

Note that this 1978 schedule is based on a projected schedule. If you have an actual schedule of the trips that were run, please email.

This first trip of the Second Season, now with a freshly rebuilt 2101 steam locomotive, was a round trip from Baltimore, MD to Hagerstown, MD. Recalls passenger Randy Resor: The train left from Penn Station with WM F7s for power. We ran to Fulton Junction and onto the Western MD. At Leahigh, 2101 was put on the train.  The F7s ran ahead to serve as helper power on South Mountain. The trip ran both ways via the Dutch Line. After some mechanical issues, we returned to Baltimore very late.

May 6, 1978
2
48
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry round trip via Silver Spring outbound, Martinsburg/Washington Branch inbound.
May 7, 1978
3
49
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry round trip via Martinsburg outbound, Old Main Line inbound.
May 12, 1978
4
50
Baltimore, MD to Cumberland, MD one-way ferry trip.
May 13, 1978
5
51
Cumberland, MD to Rockwood, MD round trip.
May 14, 1978
6
52
Cumberland, MD to Terra Alta, WV round trip with a limited consist.
May 16, 1978
7
53
Cumberland, MD to Parkersburg, WV one-way ferry trip.
May 17, 1978
8
54
Parkersburg, WV to Cincinnati, OH one-way ferry trip.
May 20, 1978
9
55
Cincinnati, OH to Ashland round trip.
May 21, 1978
10
56
Cincinnati, OH to Chilliothe, OH round trip.
June 3, 1978
11
57
Cincinnati, OH to North Vernon, IN round trip.
June 4, 1978
12
58
Cincinnati, OH to Ashland, OH round trip.
June 5, 1978
13
59
Cincinnati, OH to Chicago, IL one-way ferry trip.
June 10, 1978
14
60
Chicago, IL to Hartford, IN round trip.
June 11, 1978
15
61
Chicago to Garrett, IN and return. Depart B&O Barr Yard Riverdale, IL 8:30AM, Return 8:15PM
June 17, 1978
16
62
Chicago, IL to Peru, IN round trip.
June 18, 1978
17
63
Chicago, IL to Grand Rapids, MI one-way ferry trip.
June 24, 1978
*
64
Grand Rapids, MI Maintenance & Open House
June 25, 1978
18
*
Grand Rapids, MI to Plymouth, MI round trip.
July 8, 1978
19
65
Grand Rapids, MI to Plymouth, MI round trip.
July 9, 1978
20
66
Grand Rapids, MI to Hartford, MI round trip.
July 15, 1978
21
67
Grand Rapids, MI to Detroit, MI one-way ferry trip.
July 16, 1978
22
68
Detroit, MI to Clio, MI round trip.
July 22, 1978
23
69
Detroit, MI to Clio, MI round trip.
July 23, 1978
24
70
Detroit, MI to Grand Ledge, MI round trip. New Yorker Magazine writer and editor E.M. Frimbo, "The World's Greatest Rail Buff", was aboard for this trip.
July 29, 1978
25
71
Detroit, MI to Saginaw, MI NMRA Special round trip. Sponsored by the Michigan Railroad Club and Friends of Engine 1223.
July 30, 1978
26
72
Detroit, MI to Saginaw, MI NMRA Special round trip. Sponsored by the Michigan Railroad Club and Friends of Engine 1223. Please email if you know whether this trip actually ran.
July 31, 1978
27
73
Detroit, MI to Columbus, OH one-way ferry trip.
August 5, 1978
28
74
Columbus, OH to Ashland, OH round trip.
August 6, 1978
29
75
Columbus, OH to Toledo, OH round trip.
August 12, 1978
30
76
Columbus, OH to Cleveland, OH one-way ferry trip.
August 13, 1978
31
77
Cleveland OH to Willard, OH round trip with a limited consist.
August 19, 1978
32
78
Cleveland OH to Willard, OH round trip with a limited consist.
August 20, 1978
33
79
Cleveland, OH to Pittsburgh, PA one-way ferry trip.
August 26, 1978
34
80
Pittsburgh, PA to Rockwood, PA round trip.
August 27, 1978
35
81
Pittsburgh, PA to Wheeling, WV round trip.
September 9, 1978
36
82
Pittsburgh, PA to Point Marion, PA round trip.
September 10, 1978
37
83
Pittsburgh, PA to Rockwood, PA round trip.
September 15, 1978
38
84
Pittsburgh, PA to Cumberland, MD one-way ferry trip.
September 16, 1978
39
85
Cumberland, MD to Harpers Ferry round trip.
September 17, 1978
40
86
Cumberland, MD to Baltimore, MD one-way ferry trip.
September 23, 1978
41
87
Baltimore, MD to Philadelphia, PA round trip.
September 24, 1978
42
88
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry round trip via Silver Spring outbound, Martinsburg/Washington Branch inbound.
September 30, 1978
43
*
Baltimore, MD to Harpers Ferry round trip via Old Main Line. Cancelled due to BRAC strike.
October 1, 1978
44
89
Baltimore, MD to Hagerstown, MD and return with a stop in Gettysburg. Western Maryland F-7 diesels powered the train to Glyndon, where 2101 took over.
October 2, 1978
45
90
Baltimore, MD to Richmond, VA one-way ferry trip.
October 7, 1978
46
91
Richmond, VA to Balcony Falls, VA round trip.
October 8, 1978
47
92
Richmond, VA to Balcony Falls, VA round trip.
October 14, 1978
48
93
Richmond, VA to Clifton Forge, VA one-way ferry trip.
October 15, 1978
49
94
Clifton Forge, VA to Huntington, WV one-way ferry trip. Steam locomotive 2101 took the heaviest passenger train ever pulled by a single locomotive over Alleghany Mountain.
October 21, 1978
50
95
New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV round trip.
October 22, 1978
51
96
New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV round trip.
October 28, 1978
52
97
New River trip, Huntington, WV to Hinton, WV round trip.
October 29, 1978
53
98
Huntington, WV to Columbus, OH round trip.
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54
99
Need Info
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55
100
Need Info
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56
101
Need Info
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57
102
Need Info
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58
103
Need Info
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59
104
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60
105
Need Info -- Some sources say the train had 105 tours between the two seasons
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Two successful seasons was enough to celebrate one birthday. The Chessie Steam Special passed into the history books with 99 fare-paid tours. Thousands of passengers had ridden the train. Hundreds of thousands more had watched the train from trackside. Press coverage was immense. It had been a public relations grand-slam. Still, the days of the big yellow steam-powered train seemed at a certain end. That is, until a strange turn of events led to the 1980-81 Chessie Safety Express...
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