El Reno Celebrates Union Pacific Railroad's 150th Anniversary
UP 150 Express provides close-up look at how the railroad helped build America
El Reno, Okla, May 03, 2012 Legendary steam locomotive No. 844 pulled a special train celebrating Union Pacific Railroad's 150th Anniversary into downtown El Reno to begin the company's sesquicentennial festivities at the El Reno Burger Day Festival today.
El Reno Mayor Matt White served as honorary engineer aboard the train, called the UP 150 Express for its journey sharing Union Pacific's rich history with many key communities this year. Robert W. Turner, senior vice president - Corporate Relations for Union Pacific, presented Mayor White with El Reno's membership in Union Pacific's Train Town USA Registry, including an official Train Town USA sign and recognition on the company's 150th anniversary website, www.up150.com
The Train Town presentation was the first of many activities that honor El Reno's railroad roots. Oklahoma's Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley and Mayor White will dedicate a large mural that highlights Union Pacific Railroad's 150 years of service with images of three generations of locomotives including a steam engine, a Streamliner and a modern diesel locomotive. The community is encouraged to attend the dedication at the rail underpass located at the historic U.S. Route 66 Friday, March 4 at 9:30 a.m.
The UP 150 Express will be on display during the Burger Day Festival on Saturday, May 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the tracks near the Canadian County Historical Museum. In addition to getting an up close look at the last steam engine built for Union Pacific, visitors will be able to step inside Union Pacific's vintage Promontory baggage car that has been transformed into a state-of-the-art traveling museum. The traveling exhibit closely replicates the full-scale Building America exhibit opening May 12 at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The traveling exhibit takes visitors back in time using the latest interactive touch screen technology to illustrate how Union Pacific supported communities as they were established along the way as the transcontinental railroad was built. The interactive experience culminates with the modern Union Pacific Railroad, which transports goods American businesses and consumers use every day. "Our 150th anniversary is a milestone that provides us with the opportunity to thank our communities for supporting Union Pacific," Turner said. "We are happy to celebrate our past and look forward to continuing to meet America's freight transportation needs."
The UP 150 Express made a brief stop in Chickasha, which was also named to Union Pacific's Train Town USA Registry, before arriving in El Reno. The train will depart on May 6 and travel to a celebration in Council Bluffs, Iowa, May 10-13.
Arrival and departure times for the steam train can be found at www.upsteam.com
UP Steam App
Combining new technology with the historic allure of its steam locomotives, Union Pacific allows smart device users to track its legendary No. 844 steam engine with the touch of a screen. The UP Steam app offers real-time GPS location, up-to-the-minute schedules, and sends an alert when the locomotive is within 50 miles, among other features. The free app can be downloaded at Apple's App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod users.
Rail enthusiasts, Abraham Lincoln fans, students, history buffs and employees will enjoy visiting the railroad's interactive and resplendent historical timeline published at www.up150.com, Combining history and high-tech, the timeline highlights in detail 60 milestones in Union Pacific's history and features more than 100 photos from Union Pacific's archives.
Union Pacific Steam Locomotive No. 844
Steam Locomotive No. 844 is the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad. It 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 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 special trains and visited several Oklahoma cities during the Oklahoma Centennial in 2007. In 2010, No. 844 traveled to Harlingen, Texas, and Milliken, Colo., to be a part of heritage celebrations in those communities.
About Union Pacific
It was 150 years ago that Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. One of America's iconic companies, today, Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain. From 2000 through 2011, Union Pacific spent more than $31 billion on its network and operations, making needed investments in America's infrastructure and enhancing its ability to provide safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and emphasizes excellent customer service. Union Pacific operates competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.
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.