Historic Steam Locomotive to Visit Pacific Northwest on Heritage Tour
The tour will take the locomotive to several locations for the first time
Omaha, Neb., April 24, 2007 Union Pacific Railroad's historic steam locomotive, No. 844, will travel more than 3,000 miles from its base in Wyoming on a 29-day, four-state tour to the Pacific Northwest, to celebrate the railroad’s history and heritage.
The "Pacific Northwest Portland Rose Heritage Tour" will begin on May 3 when No. 844 leaves Cheyenne, Wyo., and travels to Rock Springs, Wyo. The locomotive will make overnight stops and be on display in:
- Rock Springs, Wyo.
- Pocatello, Boise, Nampa and Montpelier, Idaho
- La Grande, Hinkle, The Dalles, Portland, Ore.
- Tacoma, Wash.
before arriving back in Cheyenne on May 31.
"This will be the first time No. 844 has operated north of Portland and we look forward to bringing a piece of living history to this part of our rail network," said Steve Lee, Union Pacific’s manager – operating practices and locomotive engineer. "We are extremely proud of our collection of historical railroad equipment, which is the largest of any U. S. railroad, especially our steam locomotives."
While in the Pacific Northwest, No. 844 will pull a special public excursion train on Saturday, May 19 between Tacoma and Everett, Wash. The Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation is sponsoring the Puget Sound Steam Special. For ticket information contact TicketsWest at www.ticketswest.com or 800-992-8499.
Joining No. 844 for a portion of the trip, between Portland and Everett, Wash., will be the Southern Pacific steam locomotive No. 4449. This will mark the second time these two steam locomotives will pull the same train, the first was when they both pulled a few legs of the American Freedom Train during the United States’ bicentennial celebration in 1976.
No. 844, also known as Union Pacific’s "Living Legend," returned to service in 2005 after one of the most extensive steam locomotive overhauls in the United States since the 1950s. The work began in 2000 and affected its running gear, pumps, piping, valves and springs, along with replacement of its firebox and extensive boiler work. The cab interior also was refurbished. No. 844 was the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad and 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 diesel-electric locomotives 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 the Los Angeles Union Station in 1989.
A Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) transmitter was installed on one of the rail cars that will 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.
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 further information, contact Gene Hinkle at (402) 514-9406.
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