Join us as we move the iconic American Freedom Train from our front parking lot to our restoration facility!
ARRIVAL TIME: Visitors should arrive between 10am and 11am. All visitors will need to be in the viewing area by 11am in order to view the move of the AFT 1. Guests will have a 5-minute walk to the viewing area. The viewing area is a grass lot near the tracks.
ACCESSIBILITY: For visitors with limited mobility, there will be an area to view the AFT No. 1 that does not require the 5-minute walk to the grass lot.
PARKING: Visitors will be directed to park in the Museum’s back parking lot at 1100 James Street (entrance on S. Arlington Street).
Please note, while we do not anticipate difficulties with the move, guests should be prepared for delays. Currently, we do not have an estimated time as to how long the move of the AFT No. 1 will take.
Livestream of the move available on YouTube.
DRESS: All visitors must wear closed-toe shoes as you will be walking near a railroad track on gravel to the viewing area.
BATHROOMS: There will be no bathrooms available at the viewing area.
FOOD: Limited coffee and donuts will be available at the viewing area; guests may bring their own food as well.
MUSEUM ADMISSION: Museum admission will be available at the North Car Shop for those that wish to enter the Museum after the AFT No. 1 move. Guests may keep their cars in the back parking lot, as admission will be available through the North Car Shop.
RESTORATION: Our goal is to cosmetically restore the AFT No. 1 in time for the 250th anniversary of the United States in 2026 and the 200th anniversary of American Railroading in 2027. We welcome everyone to come watch and learn more about this important piece of history.
To donate to the cosmetic restoration of the AFT No. 1, visit borail.online/AFT
About the American Freedom Train
Built in 1923, by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, the AFT No. 1 was originally numbered as the Reading No. 2101 and remained in service until 1965.
In 1975, locomotive became one of three locomotives to pull the American Freedom Trains of 1975/1976 — a steam-powered event that toured the nation to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States. The B&O’s Riverside Roundhouse was used to repaint the locomotive into its American Freedom Train scheme, renaming it the AFT No. 1.
In 1977, the AFT No. 1 was repainted to become the Chessie Steam Special and set off for a two-year system wide tour of the Chessie System on May 7, 1977.
On March 1979, fire struck the roundhouse in Silver Grove, Kentucky where the locomotive was stored and it suffered extensive damage. Later that year, the AFT No. 1 was donated to the B&O Railroad Museum.
The American Freedom Train No. 1 is a symbol of patriotism and unity and captured the hearts and minds of millions of Americans during its nationwide tour. “Our goal is to cosmetically restore this iconic piece of American history in time for the 250th anniversary of the United States and the 200th anniversary of American railroading in 2027,” says Kris Hoellen, Executive Director of the B&O Railroad Museum.
Upcoming Events at the B&O
Baltimore City Public Schools Asynchronous Learning Day
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ TRAIN RIDE
November 24-26 & December 1-3, 8-10 & 15-19
Pet Photos with Santa
Tuesday, December 5 @ 5 – 7 PM
Holiday Toddler Time
Thursday, December 7 @ 10:30 AM
Noon Year’s Eve
Sunday, December 31 @ 10 AM – 1 PM