Satellite Technology Helps Track Steam Locomotives
Omaha, Neb., July 18, 2005 Union Pacific Railroad will once again offer a satellite and Web technology combination that makes it easier to follow the progress of its steam locomotives, No. 844 or No. 3985, as they pull special excursion trains.
A Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) transmitter was installed last year on one of the railcars that will travel with the steam locomotives. The GPS system has been integrated with a map on UP’s Web site at www.up.com. Enter the word "steam" in the search box on the homepage for a shortcut to the map.
Web site visitors will be able to access route maps with varying amounts of detail. The GPS system will update the map every five minutes showing either No. 844 or the Challenger’s location.
Both Union Pacific steam locomotives will be pulling public excursions between Denver, Colo. and Cheyenne, Wyo. on July 23 and July 24. Schedules for the specials are available on Union Pacific’s Web site at www.up.com. under the news release "Union Pacific Railroad’s Two Famous Steam Locomotives To Pull Special Train For Frontier Days".
No. 844, also known as Union Pacific’s "Living Legend," is returning to service after one of the most extensive steam locomotive overhauls in the United States since the 1950s. The overhaul began in 1992, and included extensive overhauls of its running gear, pumps, piping, valves and springs, along with replacement of its firebox and extensive boiler work. Even the cab interior has been refurbished. A high-speed passenger steam engine, No. 844 was the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad. It was delivered in 1944.
Union Pacific’s No. 3985, an articulated locomotive with a "hinged" frame to allow it to negotiate curves, is 122 feet long. It weighs more than one million pounds, has six-foot diameter drive wheels and can reach a top speed of 70 miles per hour. No. 3985 was built in 1943 for fast freight service and was retired in 1959. In 1981, UP employee volunteers restored the locomotive to running condition for special service.
Union Pacific Corporation owns one of America's leading transportation companies. Its principal operating company, Union Pacific Railroad, links 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific’s diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways. Union Pacific connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major gateways to Mexico, making it North America’s premier rail franchise.
For further information, contact Mark Davis: (402) 544-5459.
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