Last Steam Locomotive Built for Union Pacific Visits Omaha for Railroad Heritage Celebration
Onboard No. 844, June 18, 2009 Thousands of people have lined the route as Union Pacific Railroad's No. 844, the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific, travels through eastern Wyoming, across Nebraska and western Iowa to celebrate railroad history and heritage at the Omaha area's Railroad Days celebration.
"The crowds along the route have been tremendous and we sincerely appreciate those who have taken the time to come and experience a part of Union Pacific's heritage," said Steve Lee, Union Pacific's manager – operating practices and one of No. 844's engineers.
"Union Pacific's historical ties run so deep in Omaha and Council Bluffs that it is only fitting we display such a historically significant steam locomotive during Railroad Days," said Brenda Mainwaring, Union Pacific's director – public affairs for Nebraska and Iowa.
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 nearly every part was overhauled including its running gear, pumps, piping, valves and springs, along with replacement of its firebox and extensive boiler work. No. 844 was built and delivered to Union Pacific Railroad 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.
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. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and provides Americans with a fuel-efficient, environmentally responsible and safe mode of freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad emphasizes excellent customer service and offers competitive 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.
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