Grand Trunk Western 4-8-4 No. 6325

Specifications
Builder: American Locomotive Co. – Schenectady Works; Schenectady, N.Y.
Built:  November 1942
Serial Number: #69631
Wheel Arrangement: 4-8-4 Northern
Driver Diameter: 73″
Cylinder Bore x Stroke: 26″ x 30″
Boiler Pressure: 250 psi
Pulling Power: 59,034 lbs. tractive effort
Engine Weight: 202 tons
Length: 95′
Capacity: Coal – 16 tons; Water – 14,300 gallons
Fuel: Coal
Status: Non-Operational

Constructed in 1942 by American Locomotive Company’s Schenectady Works, Grand Trunk Western 4-8-4 No.6325 hauled both wartime freight and passenger trains between Detroit and Chicago. The smallish Northern Types were well-suited for the GTW’s needs; they were powerful and quick and handled such trains as the Maple Leaf and the International Limited.

In September 1948 this locomotive was chosen to pull President Truman’s re-election campaign special. This assignment would lead to No.6325’s eventual preservation; in 1959 it was put on outdoor display next to GTW’s depot in Battle Creek, Michigan.

While No.6325 was set aside for display, some of its sister engines famously continued racking up miles until March 1960 when GTW officially dieselized its freight and passenger trains. One other U-3-b 4-8-4 was saved; No.6323 is on display at the Illinois Railway Museum.

In Battle Creek, a group of local railroad enthusiasts started a project to rebuild No.6325 for operation, but enthusiasm and funds waned and by 1992 the 4-8-4 faced possible scrapping. The following year Jerry Jacobson purchased the loco and moved it to Coshocton, Ohio, for safe storage until he had the time and place to begin its rebuilding. That time came six years later, when the Northern was pulled into the Ohio Central shops for a complete rebuild. After nearly three years of reconstruction, No.6325 steamed under its own power on July 31, 2001.

This 4-8-4 pulled numerous fantrips and photographers’ specials on Ohio Central rails, but in 2005 it was sidelined with a hot driving axle bearing and has not operated since. Number 6325 currently resides in the Age of Steam Roundhouse and is a favorite stop on the Roundhouse Tour.