If you enjoy great looking steam action, and hard-working steam sounds, this is the DVD for you. In 2002, the Ohio Central Railroad, renowned for its restoration of steam engines, sponsored some photo specials that were the first for former Grand Trunk Railway 4-8-4 #6325. In June, the big 4-8-4 sported the Grand Trunk Number Plates, and GT logo on the tender sides, for the first time in over 40 years. This restored steamer has been a hit with railfans since its first trips in the fall of 2001. GSVP was there in 2002 for each steam special and caught everything on camera. The June photo special featured 6325 on a matched set of passenger coaches operating east of Dennison, Ohio on the former Pennsylvania Panhandle line. There were many runbys as 6325 put on a grand show of steam and sound for the limited number of photographers who rode the special. This was the first photo special for the 6325.
In October a two-day event was held on the Ohio Central. A Saturday trip started with the group of photographers riding the passenger train behind newly acquired FP9’s from Morgan Run to Dennison. In the afternoon the 6325 was operated on a 50’s-era freight train with a red caboose bringing up the rear. There were some great action shots as the train headed west into the afternoon sunshine that emerged after a gloomy morning. There were start-up shots, fast runbys, and a variety of locations with great smoke and sound. On the Sunday trip which started at Morgan Run, the valley was saturated with morning fog, which made for some very nice moody shots of 6325 pulling the freight train emerging from the soupy moisture. Next we saw ex-Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 #1293 also coming out of the fog. The highlight of the day however, was just west of Coshocton where the 6325 and 1293 did several different side-by-side runbys. Many of the shots had 1293 on the passenger train overtaking the freight train which was in a siding, just like a hot passenger train would do on a mainline railroad. There were some runbys with the trains staggered, and even one where they ran nose to nose.
A nice sidebar to this is that we had a camera in the cab of 1293 for several of these runbys, and you see a neat shot looking out the gangway over the shoulder of the engineer, as we are passing the freight train on our right. On another shot we see the 1293 engineer, and look through the window and see the crew of 6325 working to keep even with the 1293. This is very neat to watch the engineers work the throttle. In some cases we show the cab scene, followed by the ground-level shot, and on others we show the cab and ground-level into one sequence. This was very unusual and exciting action to be sure. Next we headed west to Trinway, and some individual 1293 and 6325 shots enroute, before 6325 pulled a surprise, by pulling an empty Ohio Central Coal train over more than 50 hopper cars by our location. This was done twice, once at speed, and once as a start-up. The day ended with 2 runbys of 1293 double-heading with 6325 on the 50’s era freight, and a solo freight shot of 6325.