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Group Description

Dedicated to the preservation, restoration and operation of Western Maryland Railway equipment.

WM 7496 was part of the second order for SD40s. It was built in November 1968, serial number 34105, frame number 7131-2. In the Chessie era, it was renumbered 7596 and remained in black speedletter paint for several years before being repainted into Chessie livery. When Chessie and Seaboard were merged into CSX it was renumbered 8438. On Jan 9,1992 it was renumbered 4621. It remains to this day a straight SD40.

It and 7495 had the distinction of being used as test beds to overcome traction issues in cold snowy conditions on mountain grades. CSX was having problems with their new AC4400CWs stalling above Amblersburg, WV and they needed to determine what was being done differently, or what they could do differently, to eliminate the stalling.

Internal discussions led to then Director of Locomotive Productivity John Kissinger, who recalled similar issues he had dealt with when a member of Western Maryland management three decades earlier. The WM solution was to ballast 7495 and 7496 to 420,000 pounds. CSX brought then 8437 and 8438 to the Mountain Sub and tested extensively, after which they took two AC44s, 495 and 496, and ballasted them to 420,000 pounds. The result of all of the testing is what CSX now classifies as their "heavy "units.

CSX 4621 was retired by CSX on Feb 20, 2009 and since then has been in storage at the CSX Shop in Corbin, Kentucky. It was part of a lot of 10 locomotives auctioned off at Corbin, Kentucky on July 8, 2013. Western Maryland 7496 was purchased by George's Creek Railway and will be returning to its "as built" appearance with a fresh coat of speedletter gloss black and dulux gold.

This picture of 7496 was taken in Hagerstown prior to the Chessie insurrection; photographer unknown.

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