The 1225 is a 2-8-4 (Berkshire) steam locamotive built in 1941 for the Pere Marquette Railway by Lima Locamotive Works in Lima, Ohio. It is 1 of only 2 surviving 2-8-4 locomotives. It was retired from service in 1951 and was sent for scrap. Michigan State University saved the locomotive and took it to the MSU campus in 1957 where it was on display near Spartan Stadium. The locomotive eventually ended up as the property of the Steam Railroading Institute and was moved to Owosso Michigan.
The locomotive 1225 was the inspiration for the movie The Polar Express. The 1225's blueprints were the prototype for the locomotive image and the actual sounds from the steam locomotive were used in the film.
The conductor in our car (pictured below showing zach his railroad pocket watch from 1907) said that the number assigned to this steam locomotive "1225" is it's actual original issued number from when it was built. Pretty amazing that it's number 1225 is the date of Christmas and it was the inspiration for the movie The Polar Express.