Last Steam Locomotive Built for Union Pacific Railroad Is Greeted by Thousands Along the 2,500-mile Little Rock Express Tour Route
On Board No. 844, June 01, 2011 Thousands of people have lined the Little Rock Express tour route as Union Pacific Railroad's No. 844, the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific, travels to and from North Little Rock, Ark., visiting communities that cast the most votes during Union Pacific's Great Adventure – You Route the Steam contest earlier this year.
The Little Rock Express route won in voting conducted via a special contest website. In addition, individuals who garnered the most "points" via Facebook and Twitter earned two tickets each for a special leg of the tour.
"The contest connected this legendary piece of railroad history to people of all ages through today's technology. It is our privilege to bring No. 844 to help the Little Rock Express voters celebrate their social media networking success," said Robert Turner, Union Pacific senior vice president - Corporate Relations.
About Union Pacific Steam Locomotive No. 844
Steam Locomotive No. 844 is the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad. It was delivered in 1945. A high-speed passenger engine, it pulled such widely known trains as the Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, Portland Rose and Challenger. When diesels took over all of the 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.
The engine has run hundreds of thousands of miles as Union Pacific's ambassador of goodwill. 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 Los Angeles Union Station in 1989. During the 1990s, No. 844 pulled numerous Denver Post Cheyenne Frontier Days specials and visited several Oklahoma cities during the Oklahoma Centennial in 2007. Last year, No. 844 traveled to Harlingen, Texas, and Milliken, Colo., to be a part of those communities' heritage celebrations.
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 at www.upsteam.com. Website visitors will be able to access a detailed schedule, route maps and other information. 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.
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 friendly 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.
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