The GreatRails North American Railroad Photo Archive
Photo of Baltimore's BL2...
Baltimore's BL2...

Former Western Maryland BL2 #81, now on display at the B&O Museum in Baltimore, was one of only 59 "Branch Line" series locomotives built by EMD in the late 1940s.

The BLs were a short-lived effort to create a road-switcher with adequate crew visibility that could compete with ALCO's RS series. They were basically an F3 with these visibility features added, but the result made it, in the eyes of many, look like one of the refrigerated milk cars that were still operating at the time.

Fortunately, EMD followed up this experiment with the highly successful GP7, which helped the GP series set the standard for road-switchers. The 81's last active service was as a CSX yard switcher at Cumberland, Md. Its sister, #82, is still operating in excursion service on the West Virginia Central.

Photographed by Thomas McCann, November 25, 2001.
Added to the photo archive by Thomas McCann, December 8, 2006.
Railroad: B&O Railroad Museum.

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