Steam trains making regular stops again for a short time in Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA -- They call her Sadie.

"She takes about 3 hours to get running when it's cold," says steam train engineer Barney Gramling.

Gramling and his dad Jon have a habit of naming their restored steam engines, giving them a little more personality than the number they started with, and deservedly so.

"They talk to you," insists Barney. "They get even with you if you talk bad to them. They are as close to a living, breathing person as I've ever been around."

It's been a whole winter since they started a fire to heat up the boiler.

This train wintered over in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma Railway Museum.

Sadie need a bath first, then water, then a little heat to get her rolling.

Barney Gramling warns, "If it runs out of water about the only warning you're going to get is the Ka. You'll never hear the boom when it blows up."

The Lehigh Coal Company Engine Number 126 saw daily work for a big coal mine in Pennsylvania from 1931 until the mid-50's.

Crews called her a 'yard goat'.

Gramling explains, "This engine would sort the hopper cars out depending on destination and build trains for the bigger engines to come and pick up."

Her top speed was only 25 MPH.

But Sadie's relatively small size for a steam locomotive would prove advantageous later.

Barney and his dad have restored three of these steam engines over the last 20 years.

They haul them by truck to different museums around the United States, fire them up, and give short rides for customers who want to see how people got around before cars took over.

"The fun is to get it to run," says Gramling. "because a lot of people told us we could never do it."

America grew up on steam.

These engines were the first to truly connect our country.

They carried people from small towns to big cities.

They carried our stuff too.

For the next couple of weekends steam power will once again carry passengers on short runs to and from the Railway Museum, just far enough to get a whiff.

Barney says, "You can smell the sulphur in it."

For more information on Oklahoma Railway Museum and their steam locomotive rides go to