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Gulf, Mobile & Northern #425

Gulf, Mobile & Northern #425

Gulf Mobile & Northern #425

Locomotive #425 was built for the Gulf, Mobile & Northern by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Eddystone, Pennsylvania, as the first of two Pacifics ordered by the Deep South regional. The engine later became Gulf, Mobile & Ohio #580 when the GM&N was absorbed. She was retired from mainline service in 1950.

Shortly after mainline retirement, #425 was purchased by Paulson Spence as part of his eccentric Louisiana Eastern Railroad. The engine was there renumbered #4, later changed to #2, as part of a large collection of steam engines hauling gravel. She was purchased in 1962 by Malcolm Ottinger and became the main power for the Valley Forge Scenic Railroad of Kimberton, Pa. There she regained her original number of 425. In the 1970s, she was purchased again by Brian Woodcock and moved to the Wilmington & Western Railroad -- although she never operated for that line. In 1983, she was sold to Andrew J. Muller, Jr. to power tourist trains on the newly formed Blue Mountain & Reading Railroad based in Temple, PA. The engine made many runs on the 26 miles shortline, as well as a few mainline excursions. The Blue Mountain & Reading expanded in the early 1990s with the purchase of 300 miles of former Conrail trackage. The road was renamed to Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern, which also ran #425 across its new system.

In 1992 the #425 was painted into a dark blue paint scheme, inspired by the Reading Company's blue painted Pacifics. 425 was a guest at the Steamtown National Historic Site Grand Opening in July of 1995, and she made a number of excursions out of Scranton. The locomotive returned to Port Clinton in late 1996, running her last excursion before extended storage that October. From 1997 to 2008 was stored serviceable. By the summer of 2008, she had returned to excursion service with trips from Port Clinton to Jim Thorpe, Pa. Today, the locomotive is a regular performer on the the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway.

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