Union Pacific Railroad's Two Historic Steam Locomotives to Pull Special Train For Frontier Days
Omaha, Neb., July 18, 2005 Union Pacific Railroad's two historic steam locomotives, No 844 and No. 3985, this week will pull two public special passenger train excursions between Cheyenne, Wyo., and Denver, Colo. The excursions will celebrate railroad heritage on Union Pacific.
On Saturday, July 23, the "Denver Post Frontier Days Special" will make a round trip between Denver and Cheyenne. While this is the 14th annual operation of this special train, special trains would take passengers to Frontier Days activities as far back as 1908. The trains operated each year, with a time out for World War II, for invited guests until 1970. In 1992, the Frontier Days special train resumed, though now as a public event. The 16-car passenger train is sold out for this year’s trip.
Union Pacific’s two steam locomotives will also pull an excursion sponsored by the Union Pacific Railroad Historical Society on Sunday, July 24 from Denver to the Terry Bison Ranch, about 10 miles south of Cheyenne. Tickets are still available through the UP Historical Society at www.uphs.org.
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 2000, 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. No. 844 was the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad. It was delivered in 1944. A high-speed passenger engine, it pulled such widely known trains as the Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, Portland Rose and Challenger.
When diesels took over all passenger train duties, No. 844 was placed in freight service in Nebraska between 1957 and 1959. It was saved from being scrapped in 1960 and held for special service.
No. 844 has run hundreds of thousands of miles for UP's Heritage program. It has made appearances at Expo '74 in Spokane, the 1981 opening of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans and the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Los Angeles Union Station in 1989.
Union Pacific’s "Challenger" No. 3985, the world's largest operating steam locomotive, is an articulated locomotive 122 feet long with a "hinged" frame to allow it to negotiate curves. 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, it was restored to running condition by UP employee volunteers for special service.
Both steam locomotives are based in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
The schedules for the special trains are:
Thursday, July 21
Position move to Denver
Depart: 10:30 a.m. MDT Cheyenne – UP railyard
Arrive: 1:30 p.m. Denver – Union Station
1701 Wynkoop St.
Friday, July 22
Public Display 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 23
Denver Post Cheyenne Frontier Days Special
Depart: 7:00 a.m. Denver – Union Station
Arrive: 9:45 a.m. Cheyenne -- Depot Museum
Depart: 5:30 p.m. 121 W. 15th St.
Arrive: 8:00 p.m. Denver – Union Station
Sunday, July 24
Union Pacific Historical Society Special
Depart: 12:01 p.m. Denver – Union Station
Arrive: 3:00 p.m. Terry Bison Ranch
Depart: 3:15 p.m.
Arrive: 4:30 p.m. Cheyenne – UP Railyard
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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