B&O Railroad Museum to Move Historic American Freedom Train Locomotive

BALTIMORE, MD – October 18, 2023 – On Saturday, October 21 at 10:00 a.m., the B&O Railroad Museum will move the iconic American Freedom Train No. 1 (AFT 1) – the locomotive that pulled the American Freedom Train on a nationwide tour in 1975-1976 to celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of the United States – to the Museum’s restoration shop. The AFT 1 has been on display in the Museum’s front parking lot and will be moved for the first time in decades to begin its journey to be cosmetically restored to its former glory in time for the 250th anniversary of the United States in 2026.   

The American Freedom Train, a symbol of patriotism and unity, captured the hearts and minds of millions of Americans during its nationwide tour in 1975-1976. Prior to serving this symbolic role, the locomotive also pulled the historic Chessie Steam Special and was originally built for the Reading Railroad as locomotive number 2101. 

“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. “The American Freedom Train is an emblem of American pride and history. Anyone wishing to support this restoration, please join us!” 

The B&O Railroad Museum will welcome visitors to view the move beginning October 21 at 10 a.m., where the general public and media representatives will have the opportunity to watch the locomotive’s move and learn more about the history of the train.  

Donations and contributions from individuals and organizations interested in supporting this historic undertaking are welcomed and appreciated.

To donate to the cosmetic restoration of the AFT 1, visit https://borail.online/aft. For questions, please contact JoAnne Woolley, Chief Development Officer, at jwoolley@borail.org. 


About The B&O Railroad Museum 

The B&O Railroad Museum, the birthplace of American railroading, located in Baltimore, Maryland is a full affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and a National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Site. It is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of American railroading and its impact on American society, culture, and economy. The museum is home to the oldest, most comprehensive collection of railroad artifacts in the Western Hemisphere including an unparalleled roster of 19th and 20th century railroad equipment, the 1851 Mt. Clare Station, the 1884 Baldwin Roundhouse and first mile of commercial railroad track in America. For further information on the B&O Railroad Museum, please call 410-752-2490 or visit www.borail.org

Vicki A.
Brunswick, MD

This was an amazing museum to visit! A must see in Baltimore. Starting with the ease of parking...Right onsite and FREE!

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