In addition to running the highly successful, summertime steam-powered tourist trains at Sugarcreek, the Ohio Central steam department operated numerous main line steam and diesel fantrips, photo specials, and a wildly popular TrainFestival 2004. Ohio Central employees offered special instructions so that hundreds of Boy Scouts could earn the Railroad Merit Badge, and we provided special passenger trains for numerous railroad groups and historical societies. Campaign trains were run for politicians, and special sightseeing and grade crossing safety excursions were operated for several government agencies. Heck, some people even got married aboard special Ohio Central passenger trains. The Ohio Central maintained a sterling reputation for the safety of its trips and its generous cooperation in providing the public with all types of train operations, including double- and triple-header steam runs.
However, all good things eventually come to an end. Even though Ohio Central had an impeccable safety record, sky-high insurance premiums and the fear of a huge jury award if an accident were to occur made the continuation of such passenger trains nearly impossible. This was especially true for a privately owned railroad where one person assumed all the risk. So, regrettably, Ohio Central passenger excursions and tourist trains were eliminated. Because of time restraints in running ten railroads, the steam operations were cut back to the occasional freight run.
Steam highlights during the last few years consisted of lending our steamers and running annual fall ferry trips down to the Byesville Scenic Railway in Guernsey County and up to the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad near Cleveland.