The Grand Trunk Western #4070


This was the first *REAL* steam locomotive I got to ride in.  Actually, I rode behind this locomotive on a number of occasions from the age of one in 1968 when it began pulling excursion trains at Conneaut Lake Park.  Riding the train at Conneaut Lake Park was a regular pastime for my family until the locomotive was moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1975.  My ride in the cab of this locomotive was probably in 1974 or 1975 when I was seven or eight years old.


The 4070 was built by ALCO, the American Locomotive Company of Schenectady, New York in December 1918 for the Grand Trunk Western Railroad.  It was built to the United States Railway Administration specifications for a “Light Mikado” 2-8-2 Locomotive.  It originally carried the number 3734, but this was changed to 4070 in 1957.  The locomotive spent most of its working life in Michigan, but saw regular service all along the Grand Trunk Western Railroad. Reportedly, it served as a backup locomotive for Harry Truman’s Presidential Campaign train in 1946.


After 41 years of service on the Grand Trunk Western, the 4070 pulled her last revenue freight on March 29, 1960.  Since the Grand Trunk had gone “all diesel” two days prior on March 27, 1960 this may have been the last time the GTW ran freight behind a steamer.  The locomotive sat idle in Michigan for six years until it was acquired by the Midwest Railway Preservation Society on a five-year lease.  From 1966 to 1968, the locomotive pulled several excursions from Chicago to Valparaiso and South Bend, Indiana.  After those trips, the locomotive made various trips through Pennsylvania until finding a home at Conneaut Lake Park in 1968.  The MRPS finally purchased the locomotive outright in 1971.


It was during her tenure at Conneaut Lake Park that I had the opportunity to ride the excursion train a number of times.  I was very sorry to see her go in 1975 when the MRPS began using her to pull excursion trains on the newly created Cuyahoga Valley Line.  Now her home was 100 miles further west in the “flats” section of Cleveland, Ohio.  Weekend excursions departed from a city park near the zoo and traveled via the Baltimore and Ohio Line to the Hale Farm in Bath, Ohio and then onto Quaker Square in Akron.  The 4070 continued to run on the Cuyahoga Valley Line until mechanical problems sidelined her in 1990 after “only” 72 years of service.





Specifications of the Grand Trunk Western #4070:

Whyte Classification



USRA Light Mikado

Railroad Class:


Built By:

American Locomotive Co, Schenectady, New York

Date Built:

December 1918

Construction Number:


Original Cost:


Locomotive Wheelbase:

36’ 1”

Tender Length:

71’ 4 ½”

Dry Weight:

290,000 lbs / 145 Tons

Weight on Drivers:

220,000 lbs / 110 Tons

Pilot Diameter:


Driver Diameter:


Trailer Diameter:


Tractive Effort:

54,724 lbs

Boiler Pressure:

200 PSI

Cylinder Bore x Stroke

26” x 30”




U.S. Standard – 4’ 8 ½”

Tender Water Capacity:

10,000 Gallons


Locomotive was renumbered from 3734 to 4070 in 1957.  The 4070 is the only Light Mikado equipped with a “coffin style” feed water heater. A total of 625 USRA Light Mikado Locomotives were built under USRA control.  An additional 641 Light Mikado types were built after USRA control ended in 1920.  Locomotive is currently owned by the Midwest Railway Preservation Society, 2800 West 3rd Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44113.  Telephone No: 216-781-3629.


The film above, originally shot on Super-8 film and posted on youtube by Bluejacket01, records an excursion from Akron, OH to Willard, OH on October 23, 1983.