Photo courtesy West Virginia Railroad Museum

W.Va. Railroad Museum, Durbin Greenbrier Valley Railroad partner to save historic locomotive

ELKINS — According to Lawrence W. Sagle in his book, B&O Power, GM-EMD E-8A #92 was delivered to the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in 1950 decked out in the beautiful B&O blue, gray and black “Capitol Dome” livery. This 2250-hp passenger road locomotive saw service system-wide before becoming Amtrak (DOTX210) #210. She ended up in the collection of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum and was deeded as a gift to the West Virginia Railroad Museum on March 4, 2004.

The West Virginia Railroad Museum has embarked on an exciting partnership with the Durbin Greenbrier Valley Railroad to undertake the restoration of the historic GM-EMD E-8A #92 locomotive. This collaboration brings together expertise, passion for railroad history, and a shared commitment to preserving this iconic piece of transportation history.

The restoration journey of this historical treasure is not just about refurbishing a piece of machinery; it’s about reviving a vital part of our heritage and ensuring that future generations can experience the grandeur and significance of this historic locomotive. This joint effort between the West Virginia Railroad Museum and the Durbin Greenbrier Valley Railroad showcases the power of collaboration and dedication in preserving history for all to enjoy.

To complete our goal, we will be dealing with the wear and tear that comes with age. The E8 locomotive has been through decades of use and exposure to the elements, leading to rust, corrosion, and structural damage. Large sections of the degraded paint must be removed to allow damaged areas to be rebuilt with fiber glass, sheet metal and body filler.

What will it take? This project will take approximately 850-man hours of scraping, repairing and painting to complete. It will require 20 gallons of primer, 20 gallons of high gloss paint, 25 gallons of white spirits, 10 gallons boiled linseed oil.

Following the preparation, the first coat of primer will be applied. Every coat of paint must be painstakingly applied by hand. We will start with 3 coats of black primer; this will allow us to see any further areas which require more filling. Each additional coat of paint applied requires the previous coat to be sanded back, cleaned with a degreaser and then wiped again with a tack cloth. This helps remove surface dust from the coachwork.

The next phase will be to apply 4 coats of specialty gloss paint. Once again, each coat must be sanded smoothly, cleaned and prepared for the next coat. Finally, the wheels will be cleaned and prepared.

Join the team in preserving history and supporting the restoration journey of the historic E8 Locomotive by donating or by volunteering your time and expertise today. Your contribution will play a crucial role in bringing this iconic piece of locomotive history back to its former glory.

By donating, you become part of a dedicated community passionate about preserving our heritage and ensuring that future generations can experience the beauty and significance of the E8 Locomotive. Every donation, no matter how big or small, makes a difference in this restoration project.

Join us in reviving history and keeping the legacy of the E8 Locomotive alive for years to come. Together, we can make a lasting impact and honor the rich history of this historic locomotive! Contact us at to volunteer or donate today!

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