Historic Locomotives Celebrate Union Pacific Heritage at Kansas City Union Station
A Legendary Steam Locomotive and the Largest Diesel Locomotive Ever Built are Just Part of a Display to Help Celebrate Railroad Heritage
Follow the Kansas City Union Station Heritage Express
Omaha, Neb., September 13, 2006 Union Pacific Railroad’s legendary steam locomotive No. 844 and the largest and most powerful diesel-electric locomotive ever built, the Centennial No. 6936, are highlights of a public display at Kansas City’s Union Station September 22–24, 2006. The display, celebrating railroad heritage, is in conjunction with the 5th Annual Greater Kansas City Model Railroad Exposition.
"We are proud to bring two such historically rich locomotives and other railroad equipment to Kansas City to help celebrate the railroad heritage of the second largest rail hub in the United States," said Pat Meriwether, Union Pacific’s general superintendent – Kansas City Service Unit.
No. 844 will travel from its homebase in Cheyenne, Wyo., and make overnight stops in North Platte, Neb., and Fairbury, Neb., on its way to and from Kansas City.
Also on display at Kansas City’s Union Station will be two modern locomotives, one with a Missouri Pacific Railroad paint scheme, another with a Katy paint scheme, in honor of the employees from those Union Pacific predecessor railroads; a baggage car with a graphic montage of Union Pacific’s historic and modern day operations; a rubber-tired miniature train that will provide free rides to children of all ages; and several information displays that will include jobs available at Union Pacific, grade crossing safety and the volunteer efforts of Union Pacific Employee Club.
No. 844, also known as Union Pacific’s "Living Legend," is returning to special event 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. No. 844 has run hundreds of thousands of miles for UP's Heritage program.
Union Pacific’s No. 6936 is one of the 47 "Centennial" locomotives built exclusively for the railroad between 1969 and 1971. The Centennials are the largest and most powerful diesel-electric locomotives ever built. They stretch more than 98 feet, pack 6,600 horsepower, weigh 278 tons, and run as fast as 85 miles per hour. The name "Centennial" was selected to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike. The Golden Spike ceremony, which marked the completion of the transcontinental railroad, was held at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869. The locomotives were numbered in the 6900 series to honor the ‘69 date. The Centennials, designed for high-speed freight service, featured many new engineering advances. They operated in fast freight service over most of the UP system until their retirement in 1984. Eleven of the locomotives were donated for public display in various parks and museums.
The Missouri Pacific Railroad paint scheme locomotive, UP1982, and the Katy paint scheme locomotive, UP1988, are two of the six Heritage series locomotives honoring the people and the railroads that have made today’s Union Pacific Railroad. Each of the six technologically advanced diesel-electric locomotives feature a unique paint scheme, incorporating graphic elements from the six major railroads that have merged with Union Pacific. The Missouri Pacific, Western Pacific and the Missouri-Kansas-Texas (Katy) locomotives were unveiled in 2005, with the Chicago & North Western, Southern Pacific, and Denver & Rio Grande this year.
The Heritage Series marks the fifth time in company history that Union Pacific has painted locomotives in colors other than the traditional UP "Armour Yellow" paint scheme. Previously, locomotives were custom made in 1991 to honor UP employees serving in the Persian Gulf War, in 1994 to call attention to the United Way Campaign, in 1996 for the Atlanta Games Olympic Torch Relay Train, and in 2002 for the Salt Lake City Games Olympic Torch Relay Train.
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.
Currently, Union Pacific has job openings at many locations throughout its 23-state operating system. There are over 70 jobs available in train service in Kansas City. Representatives from the railroad’s Human Resources department will be on hand to answer questions about these and other jobs available at Union Pacific. Interested applicants are encouraged to visit www.unionpacific.jobs.
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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