Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Chessie System was a holding company that operated three American railroads, the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O), the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O), and the Western Maryland Railway (WM), from 1972 until 1987, when the B&O and C&O were merged into CSX Transportation. In 1980, Chessie System merged with Seaboard Coast Line Industries to form CSX Corporation.
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the Chessie System was the creation of Cyrus S. Eaton and his protégé Hays T. Watkins, Jr. , then president and chief executive officer of the C&O. A chief source of revenue for the Chessie System was transportation of coal mined in West Virginia.
The signature symbol of the Chessie System was its "Ches-C", a large emblem incorporating the outline of the C&O's famous "Chessie" the kitten logo. The Ches-C was emblazoned on the front and back of all Chessie System locomotives, and also served as the "C" in "Chessie System" as emblazoned on the locomotive's flanks. Chessie System locomotives were painted yellow, vermilion, and blue. The Chessie System itself did not own any locomotives or other rolling stock; rather, a locomotive would be placed on the roster of one of the three component railroads. While all three companies shared a common paint scheme, actual ownership of the locomotive was denoted by a large "C&O", "B&O", or "WM" above the roster number. These markings could be found beneath the cab windows on either side of the locomotive. Chessie had 3 famous locomotives in its fleet: B&O 1977 (EMD GP40-2) was meant to celebrate the B&O's 150th anniversary (this locomotive became B&O 4100 and B&O 4163, yes there were 2 B&O 1977's), B&O GM50 (another EMD GP40-2) was painted gold to celebrate GM-EMD's 50th anniversary as a diesel locomotive manufacturer (GM50 got repainted in 1984 and became B&O 4164), and B&O 4444 (3rd to last GP40-2 owned by Chessie, last unit was B&O 4447) was the locomotive that pulled Ronald Reagan's 1984 presidential train through Ohio.
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