One by one, America's railroads, in the face of lessening demand for their services, faced tough decisions throughout the 20th century that would effect their very survival. One of the most common approaches to the weakened demand was to consolidate or merge two or more roads into one more powerful entity. Often, the larger of the railroads in these mergers would retain its name and herald and the smaller roads would cease to exist.
In 1972, the new president of the merged Cheasapeake & Ohio and Baltimore & Ohio railroads, Hays T. Watkins, elected to fold both nameplates into an entirely new railroad he dubbed the Chessie System. To help promote the "new" railroad, Watkins and his marketing team developed an entirely new bold look that included a new corporate logo and bright orange, yellow and blue colors to adorn both motive power and rolling stock.
To help promote the new look, Chessie sent out a "Show Train" in September of 1972 to tour the country and visit as many potential shippers and customers as possible. By year's end, the special train has travelled over 3,500 miles and "visited" over 5,000 customers.
Outfitted with five freight cars, the Show Train was powered by two EMD GP-40 diesels, each uniquely decorated. The lead locomotive was trimmed in gold paint and sported EMD's 50th anniversary logos while the trailing unit featured Chessie's new Cat logo and orange, yellow and blue livery. The train's consist was made up of a box car, gondola, open and closed hopper cars as well as a caboose and each of these cars sported a combination of the new colors and logos.
Join M.T.H. in celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Chessie System with this unique set containing the gold GP-40 and five trailing freight cars from the M.T.H. Premier Line. Like our regular GP-40 locomotives, the Chessie Show Train's engine includes all our standard locomotive features and each of our freight cars ride atop the industry's smoothest rolling freight trucks.