Ohio Central Steam Excursion
Sugarcreek, OH
October 14, 2002

The Ohio Central Railroad is a regional railroad that operates over 400 miles of trackage from central and eastern Ohio to western Pennsylvania. In addition to their regular freight operations, they run a fine excursion program with 8 steam locomotives and two FP-9 diesels, hauling tourist trains through the scenic Amish countryside of eastern Ohio. The high standards the OC sets for their excursions is reflected in their very well-maintained equipment and facilities, and their courteous and friendly employees.

On October 14, 2002, I rode the "Amish Steam Train" from the OC depot at Sugarcreek, Ohio to Baltic, OH and back, which is their standard daily round-trip steam excursion. Figuring I had nothing to lose, I asked the ticket clerk if they gave cab rides. Much to my surprise, she said that normally they didn't, but she'd she what they could do since "I looked pretty tame"! The conductor approved, and I had the good fortune of hitching a cab ride on 4-6-2 #1293 for the trip!

These are my photos from the trip. Many thanks to engineers/firemen Grant, Jason, and Ryan for their hospitality on #1293, and the ticket clerk who let me ride - I'm sorry I can't recall your name!

If you are passing through eastern Ohio and want to get some quality train time in, don't pass up the Ohio Central - they are a real gem waiting to be discovered!

There is an abundance of information about the Ohio Central on their web sites:

Preparing The Train
Ohio Central Pacific #1293 gathers up the passenger cars and backs them to the station, preparing for the first excursion run of the day at 11:00 am.

Along For The Ride
The view from inside the cab. Note the polished brass gauges on the backhead. You can see how the crew keeps their burgers warm - stick 'em on the boiler!
Jason, acting as engineer for this trip, takes the train to Baltic.
Ryan keeps the fire going, while Grant is keeping an eye on the gauges.
After running around the train at Baltic, #1293 goes in reverse back to Sugarcreek, where it runs around the train again to prepare for the next trip.

Back In Sugarcreek
#1293 pulls up to the station and awaits the next departure in 15 minutes.
Ryan poses for the camera. He lives in Detroit and drives to Sugarcreek (over 400 miles) to do this!
Time for the 12:30 excursion!
Here is the coaling area for the steamers. No coaling tower here! Notice the Alco switcher to the right (in OC colors).


Last modified: June 17, 2007