Constructed during 1942 by American Locomotive Company’s Schenectady Works, (serial #69631), Grand Trunk Western dual-service 4-8-4 No.6325 hauled both wartime materiel and passenger trains between Detroit and Chicago.
In September 1946 this locomotive was chosen to pull President Truman’s re-election campaign special, an assignment that would lead to No.6325’s eventual preservation in 1959 when it was put on outdoor display next to GTW’s depot in Battle Creek, Michigan.
Curiously, while No.6325 languished in the spotlight its brethren continued racking up service miles until March 1960 when GTW officially dieselized its freight and passenger trains.
One other GTW 4-8-4 is saved, No.6323 at the Illinois Railway Museum.
A dedicated group of local railroad enthusiasts undertook the project of rebuilding No.6325 back to service, 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, and 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.
No.6325’s usual place is in Age of Steam Roundhouse Stall No.3, but it was separated from its tender and is undergoing minor repairs in the back shop