Hands on the Throttle Experience - PM 1225

Hands on the Throttle allows you to climb into the cab and operate an authentic steam locomotive, rolling down the tracks at the Steam Railroading Institute! This popular program is a unique opportunity to live the dream of being the engineer while taking a trip back in time to the golden age of steam railroading. Here’s your chance to be the Honorary Engineer of Pere Marquette 1225; a 77-year-old superpower that was saved from a scrap yard and is now one of the most famous operating steam locomotives in the world!  

Hands on the Throttle with Pere Marquette 1225 will take place on Sunday, October 6th with each half-hour session running from 8:00am to 7:00pm. Departure times are prompt, please arrive at least 30 minutes ahead of reserved time to be checked in and have a short job briefing. 

Boarding Location: 405 South Washington Street, Owosso, MI 48867

Package Includes

  • Thirty Minutes of Run Time - $550, plus advance processing fee   
  • Learning and operating the locomotive under a professional instructor
  • Honorary Engineer Certificate 
  • Custom made hat


  • Ages 18 or older
  • Valid driver’s license  
  • You must be able to climb into the cab unassisted

About Pere Marquette 1225: Steam locomotive 1225 was built in October 1941 by the Lima Locomotive Works for the Pere Marquette Railroad. In 1957, the locomotive was retired and donated to the Michigan State University in East Lansing for display as an outdoor artifact to commemorate the steam era. In 1969, a group of university students commenced the restoration attempt on 1225 to operational service. Work continued in 1983 when the locomotive was moved to its new home in Owosso where the restoration was completed in 1988. Today the Pere Marquette 1225 is owned, maintained and operated by the Steam Railroading Institute, and is renowned for its role in the 2004 Warner Bros. Christmas Classic, THE POLAR EXPRESS™. 1225's blueprints were used as the prototype for the locomotive image as well as its sounds to bring the train in the animated film to life!