This week on Georgetown Time Machine, GM returns to the fantastic Georgetown Branch photos contained here. This week is a particularly odd one: the sight of a 19th century steam engine.
This is not a colorization of a genuine old shot. It’s from 1976. According to the photo’s site, it is Southern Railways’s “Best Friend of Charleston”. It was a 1928 replica of the first steam locomotive built entirely in the United States for the purpose of revenue service. It was brought to DC to celebrate the bicentennial. Here is a Post article about it:
Modern freight trains continued to use the branch for just nine more years. A flood in 1985 gave CSX enough reason to abandon the line entirely. It became the Capital Crescent trail in 1995.