Like the W class 2-8-0 Consolidation, there was no cab deck behind the backhead, the fireman shoveled coal from the tender deck and, along with the engineer, sat beside the firebox because the firebox came right to the back of the cab. The throttle lever hung down over the shoulder of the firebox, the reverser lever was in front of the engineer against the side of the firebox, with the water glass just above. The injector controls (A water valve, the overflow valve, and the operating lever.) were in front of him against the outer wall of the cab. Although slightly cramped, visibility to the front was superb. On the fireman's side, there was a water glass, injector controls, and a drop seat arranged like the engineer's.
Its current tender is an USRA 10,000 gallon tender modified by the Norfolk & Western for hand firing, which was originally fitted with an automatic stoker designed for a K-2 class 4-8-2 passenger locomotive.
The left side water leg was trimmed back to give the fireman room to swing his shovel.
The injectors were relocated from outboard of the No. 4 drivers to aft of them, so they can be operated from controls near the step up to the cab, to the rear of the seats.
The independent and automatic brake levers have been moved back to be more convenient for backing up operation (Half of its mileage is made backing up.).
In October 2004, 475 was backdated to its original as-built N&W appearance. Its headlight was relocated to above the center of the smokebox, the tender relettered "Norfolk & Western", and cab letters modified.
In very late July 2008, 475's tender was re-lettered to "Strasburg" in the same N&W font.
On February 12, 2010, 475 was brought out of the shed to plow the nearly 10 ft of snow left from two blizzards. That night, "475" was back in N&W appearance, and it was then renumbered to "382", and changed its smokestack and cowcatcher for a Lerro Productions photo charter which took place on Opening Day, February 13, 2010. The next day it was back as "475" though the N&W appearance remains.
In 2013, 475 was re-lettered back to "Strasburg" in the N&W font.
In 2014, the locomotive's N&W Hooter was replaced by a three-chime whistle off of Long Island Rail Road #39 (currently at Strasburg pending restoration).
An interview with Strasburg Railroad Chief Mechanical Officer, Linn Moedinger, revealed that the film's producer, Phil Fehrle, called him looking for an American locomotive to use. When Moediger inquired as to what exactly he was looking for, Fehrle told him that the film's director, Britt Allcroft, really liked the locomotives pictured in a book by O. Winston Link, in particular the M-Class locomotives (of which 475 is a member).
During Filming, 475 and three of Strasburg's coaches (of which only two were used) were lettered for the fictional Indian Valley Railroad. 475 even ventured off Strasburg Rails to the Harrisburg Transportation Center. The ferry move to Harrisburg from Leaman Place by Amtrak as well as the filming was unannounced so as not to attract a crowd.