Union Pacific's Legendary Steam Locomotive to be on Display During Employee Club Convention in Council Bluffs, Iowa
Omaha, Neb., July 27, 2006 Union Pacific Railroad’s legendary steam locomotive No. 844 will be on public display during this year’s Union Pacific Employee Club annual convention being held in Council Bluffs, Iowa to honor the volunteerism of the organization and celebrate railroad heritage.
The locomotive will be in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on Saturday, August 5 through Monday, August 7 and in Omaha, Neb., on Tuesday, August 8 though Thursday, August 10. No. 844 will make overnight stops in North Platte, Neb., on its way to and from the western Iowa and eastern Nebraska cities.
A rubber-tired miniature train will provide free rides to children of all ages while No. 844 is on public display in Council Bluffs and Omaha.
"Our employee club members have worked hard in their communities over the years and we are proud to have No. 844 on display during their convention to recognize their volunteerism and the rich railroad history of Council Bluffs and Omaha," said Steve Lee, Union Pacific’s manager – operating practices and locomotive engineer.
The Union Pacific Railroad Employee Club was established in 1924 in Cheyenne, Wyo., and has grown to 54 clubs, with 9,000 members, across the railroad’s 23-state system. Club members, both current and retired employees, volunteer in their local communities, provide charitable services and present Operation Lifesaver programs – the rail industry’s grade crossing safety program. In 2004, the Employee Club established the Friend to Friend Network, a non-profit fund that provides financial aid to current and retired employees, and their families, in times of need and family distress.
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. 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 in the mid-1950s, 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.
A Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) transmitter was installed on one of the rail cars that travel with No. 844. The GPS system has been integrated with a map on UP’s Web site. 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 No. 844’s location.
Jobs at Union Pacific
Currently, Union Pacific has job openings at many locations throughout its 23-state operating system. Opportunities are available in train service, skilled disciplines (e.g., diesel mechanics and electricians) and management. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit www.up.com and click on "Jobs at UP."
About Union Pacific
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 more information, contact Mark Davis, 402-544-5459.
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