Special Passenger Train Will Bring Civic Leaders to Omaha for Ak-Sar-Ben's River City Roundup Activities
Union Pacific Helps Community Celebrate Time-Honored Traditions
Omaha, Neb., September 24, 2007 The last high-speed diesel-electric locomotives built in the mid-1950s for use on the Union Pacific Railroad's last famous streamliner and domeliner passenger trains will pull a special passenger train September 27, bringing elected officials and civic leaders to Omaha for Ak-Sar-Ben’s River City Roundup (ARCR) rodeo activities.
This will be the 12th time Union Pacific has operated this special train to help celebrate the long history the railroad has of bringing passengers to Omaha for rodeo, 4-H or county fair activities. 2007 marks the 80th edition of the Ak-Sar-Ben 4-H Livestock Exposition and the 60th edition of the rodeo.
The ARCR special train ran 10 consecutive times, from 1982 to 1991, pulled by one of UP’s steam locomotives No. 844 or No. 3985 or the E-9 diesel locomotives. No. 844 pulled the train seven times, No. 3985 two times and the E-9s two other times. This will be only the second time Union Pacific has operated a special ARCR train since 1991, with the last train operating in 2003. The ARCR special train departs North Platte, Neb., at 8 a.m. and will make stops in Lexington, Kearney, Grand Island, Columbus and Valley on its way to Omaha, arriving at Durham Western Heritage Museum at 5 p.m.
About the E-9 Locomotive Passenger Set
Union Pacific has restored three E-9 passenger locomotives: No. 951, 949 and 963B, to be used in special train service. The first of the set, 951, was returned to the roster in 1984 after having been retired in 1980 to substitute for steam engine No. 844 on the annual "River City Roundup" train because the steam engine was on display that year at the New Orleans World's Fair.
No. 951 was one of 69 E-9 locomotives once owned by Union Pacific. Built in 1955, it pulled such famous trains as the City of Los Angeles, City of Portland, City of San Francisco, City of St. Louis and the Challenger. When Amtrak took over most of the nation's rail passenger service in 1971, No. 951 was one of eight units retained by UP for special service. The rest of the E units were sold or transferred to Amtrak.
In 1974, No. 951 was loaned to the sponsors of the American Freedom Train to promote the AFT's bicentennial tour. The locomotive was repainted with a red, white and blue bicentennial paint scheme and toured much of the nation pulling the "Preamble Express" in advance of the widely publicized steam-powered Freedom Train tours in 1975 and 1976. The locomotive was returned to UP after the tour and repainted to its traditional yellow in 1978.
Nos. 951, 949 and 963B, were rebuilt with modern components in 1993, although their outward appearance continued to retain the look of the 1955 era. Locomotives No. 951 and 949 are also equipped with Track Image Recorders (TIR) that digitally record an engineer’s-eye view of the track, crossings and signals directly in front of a train.
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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