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B&O P7 5309 “President Polk”

B&O  P7 5309.  I have no early pictures of this loco. Records say that she was fitted with a booster between 1933 to 1935.  However presumably she spent most of her early days in much the same physical format as most of the class. Whatever, she finished her days as a P7c type and sported the standardised high-sided curved bunkered 8 wheel P7 tender till withdrawal. She wore the all over blue enamel with graphited smokebox front and graphited stack right till the end as these monochrome and colour photos show. She was renumbered as 107 late 1956 and was retired from service in 1957.As can be seen she retained standard spoked driving wheels right till the end.   Close study of these pictures does show that the sand pipes (in picture 2)were run beneath the boiler sheeting but  in other pictures they are outside the sheeting. I believe the photo showing them inside the boiler sheeting was the earlier format of the two as the colour pictures are from 1956 her penultimate year of life. There is also a  pipe running down the side of the smoke box in picture 2 , this isn’t the case in the colour pictures.                                                                              





B&O P7 5308 “President Tyler”

B&O locomotive 5308 “President Tyler” had an eventfull life.  According to Sagle and Stauffer she was converted to P7c in 1944,this is categorically not correct. In the book “Baltimore and Ohio Steam in Colour” by Mr David T. Mainey,there is a great shot of her on page 100 in January 1950 still a P7 but with her smokebox lagged and capitol symbol on her smokebox front. At this stage she still has the original walkboard format and front steps but has had her original spoked centre driving wheels replaced with box-spoke type. She also has disc wheels on her front truck.She also has the standardised high curved sided 8 wheel tender by this time.It was in fact soon after that the same year she was converted  P7c status. The first photo I have here shows her in her early days circa 1935. Spoked wheels throughout, and in pretty much as built condition but her tender has the angled bunker extensions which seems to have been the most common initial tender modification that was made across the class. The next two photos show her still as 5308 but as a P7c circa early 1956. Also note in the first colour photo that another P7 is taking water. As far as I can make out it would seem that engine number 5300 ,the now preserved “President Washington” was the other P7 alongside 5308 the  day these photos were taken. Note the rear tender build format. The top of the water tank is actually in line with the line of rivits that runs behind the centre of the  rear light . This area behind the coal bunker was “walled” and the water tank top wasn’t flush with the top of the tender side and rear  sheets as was the case with the high capacity 12 wheel tenders.  As can be seen in this photo the end of the water columns feed arm  is down into this walled area .  Anyway 5308 survived into 1957 but there was one final twist in this loco’s life. I recently found out that she was involved in a crossing accident late in 1956 and was repaired ,but came out of the workshops in freight black .Now whether she had the accident wearing the number 5308 or her new number 106 I don’t know. If she ever wore the number 106 as a blue loco it must have been very brief as the replacement 3 digit numbers also came late in 1956. Whatever, after the repair she ran the remainder of her life in black as 106 and this is corroborated by 3 photos of her at Benwood WestVirginia in 1957 in the same book previously mentioned and there is also a brief video shot of her in black as 106 if my memory serves me right at either Willard or Fostoria yard also in 1957 on standby duty. So she was the only member of the class as far as can be ascertained ever to run in black.However her smokebox face and stack and firebox were graphited as per standard practice with her blue sisters.  She was withdrawn from service later in 1957.                                                                 



B&O P7 5307 “President Harrison”

B&O locomotive 5307 one of the class to remain classed as plain P7 all her life. However this doesn’t mean that she never received modifications. In the first picture attached from 1939 it can be seen that she has had her original disc front truck wheels changed to spoked type ,the centre drivers have been changed to box-spoke and the tender has received angled bunker extensions. She is also still running at this time with an unlagged smokebox and her walkboards still in original format, but it would appear that the roundel on the smokebox front has had its brass numbers removed. In the second and third pictures from 1956 she has had her walkboards straightened out and an extra step added. The smoke box is lagged and she has disc front truck wheels. She also now carries the Capitol symbol on her smokebox front and now she sports the standardised high curved sided tender.The last photo in colour shows her on a train in the 50s, the all over blue livery with the graphited smoke-box face and stack is plain to see even in this distance shot.  She was renumbered 101 in late 1956 and retired in 1957. She was also one P7 that definately saw freight service towards the end.




B&O 5306 “President Van Buren”

B&O 5306 President Van Buren was converted to become the sole member of subclass P7B in 1942. She was the one and only P7 to retain her original running board format all  her life. She was instantly and easily recogniseable in later years with original front steps and split level walk boards but also because the walk boards  had a strip of sheeting added along the sides. She also had a front end throttle added which distinguished her from other P7s. She also like all other P7s had her smoke box lagged and like all later P7s was all over Royal blue ,with smokebox face and smokestack and firebox underbelly graphited .The first photo of her dates from 1937 and shows her in the original presidential livery and pretty much in original build format except the tender which has had angled bunker extensions added. The next two photos show her in the 1950s as the sole P7b ,now with box-spoke centre drivers and in the same condition she would remain all her working life and with her tender now “standardised” to the high curved bunker format.She was given the number 104 late in 1956 and retired in 1957  The last photo shows her numbered 104 in the scrap line in 1958 the year after she retired from service. When or where she was finally cut up I don’t know.




B&O 5305 “President Jackson”

B&O P7 loco “President Jackson” seems to have followed the path of most P7s untill major conversion to sublass P7c in 1944. The three photos  here are in historical order. The first picture shows her in earlier days with spoked front truck wheels but box-spoked drivers on the centre driving axle . The tender has been given the angled coal bunker extensions . She still carries the presidential name on the cab side and still has the front smokebox roundel with the brass numbers. I don’t know if she ever had her smokebox lagged prior to becoming a P7c in 1944 but in this first photo it is still unlagged. I can’t make out any lining however and I suspect that some engines were sometimes turned out in green without lining as time progressed. I’d pitch this photo probably somewhere  circa 1935 to 1943.  The second picture is after conversion to P7c in 1944 ,in the new Royal blue now she has disc wheels on her front truck and still has the box-spoke centre drivers. This is in her early days as a P7c as can be told by the sandpipe cover aside the sand dome.  The last 2 pictures of her show her in the 1950s and these show  that these sand pipe covers have been removed  as every loco that had them also had them removed in later days . Some P7s had the sandpipes to the inside of the boiler sheets others like 5305 had them externalised.Also note that her tender is now of the standard high sided curved bunker type that all P7 types sported except the Cincinattians 5301 to 5304 and others which were given the high capacity 12 wheel tenders. 5305 was renumbered as 105 in late 1956 and was withdrawn in 1957.





B&O P7 5304 “President Monroe”

B&O engine P7  5304 “President Monroe” was the only P7 to be streamlined twice in its life.  Streamlined first in 1937 to a design by the famous  Otto Kuhler and re-classed as P7A it was de-streamlined circa 1939/40 and was back to ordinary P7 status ,then became the fourth in line of the P7s to be streamlined to a design by Miss Olive Dennis of the B&O to haul the Cincinattian trains in 1946 and became the 4th P7d. In its 1937 streamlined format it was named “The Royal Blue” with matching train. Because of its shape it was nicknamed “The Bullet”. 5304  underwent quite a few major detail changes in its lifetime and old photos of it throw up some questions . . As far as we know 5304 would have been built new with standard spoked driving wheels and solid disc wheels on the front end. Also I presume she was originally fitted with the same standard P7 tender as the rest of the class when new. The first two photos listed of her here show her with spoked front wheels and the spoked  driving wheels have been replaced with box-spoke type. It would appear from studying other P7s that many of them had their original front truck disc wheels replaced with spoked type then resorted back to disc in later life.Certainly at least by the 1950s and maybe well before,all the class sported solid disc wheels on the front trucks. As for the tender in this photo ,unlike the original factory build this tender has curved bunker sides but NOT as per the  high curved bunker type that became the standard across the class (which is the type preserved with 5300 at the B&O RR Museum).  Also on my previous resume on 5303″President Madison” I have posted a picture of that loco also sporting the same style tender. Its quite possible that this early curved sided tender was something to do with the eventual streamlining of 5304 in 1937. Was there more than one of these tenders or was there only one that got swapped between 5303 and 5304 ? Was this tender given curved sides to take the streamlined shrouding ? I have no way of knowing.  I also have no way of knowing if these first two pictures are pre the 1937 streamlining or post streamlining . The reason I say that is   because 5304 was de-streamlined in 1939/40 . P7s still sported the green lined colourscheme with presidential names till 1944 according to records .So these first two pictures may well show 5304 between 1940 and 1944 ,streamlining removed and repainted into lined green??  ,or just before reciving streamlining in 1937. ?? Whatever both 5303 and 5304 sported that same style tender as the photographic evidence unquestionably shows. The next two pictures of her show 5304 in her 1937 “Royal Blue Bullet” costume as P7A type. The next two photos show both sides of her in her Cincinattian shrouding in 1946. The last colour picture from the 1950s show her with the under cab angled shrouding cut to about half its original size  as was done with all the P7ds.    All four Cincinattian locos 5301 thru 5304 had all new 12 wheel tenders .  5304 was renumbered to 111 late 1956 and was retired from service in 1957 .  In her lifetime she had gone from  P7 to P7A back to P7 then finally  to P7d.                                                                  






B&O P7 5303 “President Madison”

B&O 5303 , 3rd of the P7s to be converted to P7d streamlined status in 1946. Pictures below are listed in historical sequence. First picture shows her brand new in 1927 as built with original tender. Note, solid disc front truck wheels and standard spoked driving wheels ,normal P7 front end pilot. The second picture of her throws up some questions. Note that she now has an altered front end with a larger cowcatcher.And also her tender now has curved bunker sides.However note that the rehashed tender with curved bunker sides is NOT identicle to the P7 8 wheel tenders  as they were “standardised” in later years. If you look closely you will see that the curve of the  bunker on this version of the tender starts from the water tank top. and the rear of the tender tank is as per the original build format. In the later “standardised” tenders the curve bunker is higher and the side sheeting is raised at the rear of the tender to give an enclosed walled area at the tender rear. (I will dedicate a post solely to P7 tender variants later. I also have a photos of 5304 sporting this type of early curved tender) . This photograph is undated ,its hard to see any lining but on close inspection she still appears to be carrying the presidential name on the cabside.  Its hard to tell if there is any lettering on the tender at all . It may be that this photograph dates from around 1937 orthe early 40s. As far as I’m aware it was around then that the B&O started experimenting with streamlining and indeed in 1937 sister engine 5304 “President Monroe” was streamlined to become subclass P7A based on a design by Otto Kuhler and was known as “The Bullet”. This first attempt at streamlining was only applied to 5304 and was removed in 1939 and 5304 was returned to normal P7 status untill restreamlined for the second time as a P7d in 1946  ,a design this time by Miss Olive Dennis a B&O employee. As I said previously I have  photographs showing 5304 sporting this very style of early curved-bunker tender and it begs the question, “Were there more of these style tenders or was this tender a hand me down from 5304 ? A mystery,but whatever, photographic evidence confirms that 5303 and 5304 both sported either the same one-off tender or there was more than one of these tenders. A mystery like so many that may never be answered and the facts lost in time. The last photo shows 5303 in her Cincinattian format and this must be quite a late photo because the angled plate under the cab has been cut down to about half its original size as was the case with all the  P7d streamliners.It also looks like the centre drive axle has been fitted with Box-spoke drivers. 5303 was renumbered as 110 in late 1956 and survived till withdrawn in 1957.                                                                                    


B&O P7 5302 “President Jefferson”

B&O P7 5302 was the second of the four P7s to be streamlined in 1946 for service on the Cincinattian trains.   The  photos here are listed in approximate  historical order. The first three photos all appear to be from the same period and the 2nd photo is dated 1935. Note the all standard spoked driving wheels and spoked front truck wheels.She is obviously still in the original lined green livery and pretty much in as built condition but she has had the angled bunker plates added to the tender.  The next photo is undated so trying to date it is guesswork. The tender still has the angled bunker plates, however the loco has had her centre drivers replaced  with box-spoke type. The roundel on the smokebox face now wears the Capitol emblem instead of the loco’s number and the front truck now sports solid disc wheels. However the smoke box is still unlagged and unsheeted and is  graphited .  I can see no trace of lining and she appears to have smaller lettering on the tender and numbers on the cab side instead of the presidential name, for that reason I reckon she is in the new Royal blue paint scheme which would put this picture some time between 1944 and early 1946,certainly no later as she was streamlined for Cincinattian service in 1946 and in blue it will be no earlier than 1944 as this is the year that the green paint was replaced by blue. Unless evidence to the contrary appears at some point ,it would seem that 5302 possibly never received a lagged smokebox prior to streamlining. Final colour photo shows her streamlined. She was apparently rolled over in an accident in 1956 as a result of which she was immediately retired and scrapped. She was one of the few P7s not to retire in 1957 and likewise never received a late 3 digit number.





B&O P7 5301 “President Adams”

P7 5301  was one of the 4 P7s to be streamlined into the P7d sub-class in 1946 to haul the famous Cincinattian train  from 1947 onwards.(for more information on the Cincinattian trains see here…. I don’t have much photographic information on 5301 prior to being streamlined but I would think that she probably got the over all blue paint scheme with the rest of the class in  the early forties , what style her tender was prior to streamlining I don’t know but by 1947 it was probably the standardised high-curved sided 8 wheel type. The 4 Cincinattian P7s 5301 thru 5304 had new 12 wheel tenders built for them replacing the 8 wheel tenders. I have seen at least one lighter pacific sporting a high curved sided ex-P7 tender in the book “Trackside Maryland”, so its possible that it was a hand-me-down from one of the P7d streamliners. However it could also be from other P7s which received large square all welded tenders as per some of the the B&O T3 4-8-2 locomotives. The 1st photo below shows the loco as she was in 1939. I can see no evidence of lining  ,but at this time if records are correct she would still be in the olive green . If the photograph is dated wrong and this is a later date then she could be plain blue ?  However going by the straight angled bunker plates on the tender it probably is a 1939 photo. Perhaps the lining is there but the loco looks clean so you’d think it would be visible.Perhaps a trick of light or maybe she got a fresh coat of green paint minus lining. We may never know ?  Note the all standard spoked driving wheels.5301 appears to have sported this driving wheel format all her life . Also note the spoked front truck wheels. One more thing about these Cincinattian streamliners was the angled ornamental body sheeting beneath the cab and aside the firebox,…. this was reduced in size on all four Cincinattian P7ds. I presume it was found to be problematic in some respect and was cut down in size. The 2nd photo is 1948 the 3rd photo 1954 ,although the opposite side you can see the reduced size of the sheet under the cab. She was renumbered in 1956 as 109  and withdrawn in 1957 .  (click on pictures for full size images)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          



B&O P7 5300 “President Washington”

The first loco of the P7 class was 5300 “President Washington”. Initially like the other members of the class she was turned out in an Olive Green paint scheme with gold and reddish maroon lining with polished steel valve gear with graphited smokebox face,smokebox barrel and smokestack,and carried the name “President Washington” on her cabside. She was the only locomotive of the class to survive the cutters torch when she was retired  and is now preserved at the Baltimore and Ohio RR museum. She was little changed throughout her life though some changes were made. Like all members of the class (bar one *)she eventually had the smokebox lagged along with the rest of the boiler. The walk boards along the boiler sides of the P7s originally dipped just behind the cylinders ,like  other P7s 5300 had this altered ,the dip in the walkboards was straightened out and an extra step added.(*Only one of the class engine P7b 5306/104 retained her original front step format thoughout her life) The only other really significant noticeable detail changes to 5300 over the years were the alterations to her tender (I will cover P7 tenders in more detail later) ,her centre driving axle had the standard spoke wheels replaced with box-spoke wheels fairly early on (see attached pictures) and retained this driving wheel format for the rest of her life. Along with the rest of the class she lost her lined green green paint job in the early 40s along with the presidential name. Thereafter all the P7 class were turned out in B&O Royal Blue. She would like the other members of the class have run with the smokebox face / barrel and smokestack graphited while in the new  blue colourscheme for a while but this practice was dropped after the locos had their smokeboxes lagged.Thereafter only the smokebox face ,smokestack and underbelly of the firebox were graphited. In 1956 the remaining P7s still in service had their running numbers changed to 3 digit numbers so that their old numbers could be given to the incoming new diesel fleet. 5300 was retired in 1957 sporting the number 100. She resides today as a static exhibition loco at the B&O RR museum . However she never ran in her present physical state in the colourscheme she now wears in preservation so modellers beware !. There is great colour video footage of her in her final year’s service  at 2.00 minutes into this film …. there are also other P7 locos in this footage which will be discussed later. I have posted some pictures here showing detail differences over the years. Originally all the driving wheels were standard spoked type : note the change to box-pok centre drivers fairly early on. Also the front truck poses questions, the loco seems to have entered service with disc wheels, then replaced with spoked ,then returned to discs again. Possibly front trucks were swapped about between locos while being overhauled ? .   Also note the early angled coal bunker extensions on the tender ,these 8 wheel tenders would later all be modified again to a higher curved sided bunker  format  more of which I will talk about later  . In all the early pictures here the loco was in its green livery with graphited smokebox barrel,smokebox face  and smokestack . The dark coloured photo of her at Benwood,  a 1956 shot shows her with her modified front end steps. The tender in its final high curved sided format and also note the boiler lagging and sheeting extends over the smokebox barrell and also the smokebox centre roundel now carries the B&O Capitol symbol  not the original version with brass numbers.The bell has also swapped sides quite early on. In this final working days photo the loco could be taken for being in black livery but its just an old photo and tricks of light , 5300 finished her days in blue with graphited smokbox face and stack. She would though have run in blue with the smokebox barrel graphited for a time in the mid to late 40s untill the smokebox barrel was lagged from which time onwards the smokebox barrel was painted blue with the rest of the boiler sheeting.The pictures below are arranged in historic sequence ending with 5300 and its tender in the B&O museum. (Any modellers should remember that the museum paint job was never applied to 5300 in its present  physical condition during its working life. It has only worn this paint scheme  in this physical  condition in the museum). She was classed as plain P7 all her working days. Others were modified into subclasses P7b,P7c,P7d etc.,etc,of which more to follow. The first two monochrome pictures below shows her as she entered service in 1927 .The third picture (in colour) was modelled by a very fine model engineer Mr D.Akire and seems to be a very faithfull reproduction of how 5300 and other locos of the class looked in her original format.  For more pictures of 5300 at the museum see here