Union Pacific Railroad's Legendary Steam Locomotive to Visit South Texas On a Heritage Tour
Tour will take locomotive to several locations for the first time
Omaha, Neb., March 15, 2010 Union Pacific Railroad's historic steam locomotive, No. 844, will travel more than 3,500 miles from its base in Wyoming on a 28-day, eight-state tour to South Texas, to celebrate the railroad's history and heritage.
The "Valley Eagle Heritage Tour" will begin April 2 when No. 844 leaves Cheyenne, Wyo., and travels to North Platte, Neb. The locomotive will make overnight stops and be on display in the following cities before arriving back in Cheyenne April 29:
- North Platte, Neb.;
- Marysville, Parsons and Coffeyville, Kan.;
- Kansas City, Mo.;
- McAlester, Okla.;
- Ft. Worth, Hearne, Houston, Bloomington, Raymondville, Harlingen, Palestine and Longview, Texas; and
- North Little Rock and Van Buren, Ark.
"This will be the first time No. 844 has operated south of Houston and we look forward to bringing a piece of living history to this part of our rail network," said Joe Adams, vice president of public affairs for Union Pacific's Southern Region. "Our steam locomotives play a special role in our collection of historical railroad equipment, which is the largest of any U. S. railroad."
The tour was named after a Missouri Pacific Railroad passenger train that operated between Houston and Brownsville. The Valley Eagle began running in late-1948 until the train was discontinued in June 1962. Missouri Pacific merged with Union Pacific in 1982.
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 regular steam service ended. The work, which started in 2000, included overhauling the locomotive's 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 passenger locomotive, 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. During the 1990's No. 844 pulled several of the Denver Post Cheyenne Frontier Days specials and visited several Oklahoma cities during the Oklahoma Centennial in 2007.
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. GPS updates are also available at http://twitter.com/UP_Steam.
During 2010, the Reed Jackson concession car displays a commemorative sign celebrating the National Model Railroad Association's 75 years of service to the model railroad community.
About National Model Railroad Association
Headquartered in Chattanooga, Tenn., the National Model Railroad Association (NMRA) is a nonprofit corporation with members from every U.S. state as well as countries around the world. The organization is charged with establishing and enforcing the standards and recommended practices that ensure compatibility of products in the model railroad hobby. Local divisions host meetings, conventions, home layout visits and train shows. Throughout 2010, the 20,000 members of the National Model Railroad Association are celebrating its 75 years of service to the model railroading hobby and industry. NMRA was founded in Milwaukee in 1935. Learn more at www.nmra.org.
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.
The statements and information contained in the news releases provided by Union Pacific speak only as of the date issued. Such information by its nature may become outdated, and investors should not assume that the statements and information contained in Union Pacific's news releases remain current after the date issued. Union Pacific makes no commitment, and disclaims any duty, to update any of this information.