The Domino Sugar Baltimore Refinery is donating a working locomotive from 1950, known as “Sweet Toot,” to the B&O Railroad Museum.
For nearly three decades, Domino has used the tiny Plymouth engine to move rail cars around its refinery in Locust Point, where its iconic neon sign graces the Inner Harbor.
American Sugar Refining, Domino’s owner, decided to donate the train after making the switch to a stronger engine with lower emissions and better fuel economy, “given the daily demands of moving heavy railcars at our facility,” said Rich Baker, ASR Group’s vice president of corporate engineering, in an announcement Monday.
“We’ll miss her," Baker said, “but are delighted that the B&O Railroad Museum will be able to preserve her and put her to good use for years to come.”
CSX delivered the locomotive on Tuesday, pulling it five miles from the refinery to the museum in southwest Baltimore, which celebrates the birthplace of American railroading and offers guests rides on the first mile of track ever laid. The engine will work occasionally at the museum, helping to move its collections of locomotives and rolling stock.
Kris Hoellen, the museum’s executive director, called the engine “an authentic piece of Baltimore railroad history” that the museum also can put to use.
“Sweet Toot” has worked every day since 1992 at Domino, pulling empty rail cars from the siding to be loaded with granulated or liquid sugar and then positioning the full rail cars for pickup and delivery to customers by CSX. Domino ships about 1,100 railcars each year from the refinery, which is in its 98th year of operation.
American Sugar Refining is a subsidiary of ASR Group International, the world’s largest refiner and marketer of cane sugar. ASR has a production capacity of more than six million tons of sugar annually.
“Sweet Toot” was upgraded and repainted royal blue in 2016. It won its name in a contest that drew more than 700 responses. The engine is slated to arrive at the museum around 11 a.m. Tuesday.
“This is a fun move for us,” said Eric Hendrickson, director of network planning for CSX, and a museum board member. “We’re ... happy to deliver this engine, which honors the past but also represents the present and future of Baltimore industry and rail transportation.”