Historic Steam Locomotive to Visit Nation's Corn Belt During Heritage Tour

Omaha, Neb., June 19, 2007 – Union Pacific Railroad's historic steam locomotive, No. 844, will travel more than 3,000 miles from its base in Wyoming on a 16-day, six-state tour in the Midwest, to celebrate the railroad’s history and heritage.

The "Corn Belt Rocket Tour" will begin on June 22 when No. 844 leaves Cheyenne, and travels to North Platte, Neb. Before circling back through Nebraska and returning to Cheyenne on July 7, the locomotive will make overnight stops and be on display in:

  • North Platte, Grand Island and Fremont, Neb.;
  • Carlisle and Boone, Iowa;
  • Trenton, Liberty and Kansas City, Mo., and
  • Fairbury, Neb.

"This will be the first time No. 844 has stopped in the Midwest cities of Carlisle, Iowa, Trenton and Liberty, Mo., and Fairbury, Neb. 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."

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 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 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 James Barnes at (402) 544-3560.

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