UP 150 Express Heads to Houston for Union Pacific Railroad's 150th Anniversary Celebration October 26-28
Spring, Texas, October 22, 2012 Legendary steam locomotive No. 844 is on the final leg of the UP 150 Express tour, which culminates at Union Pacific Railroad's 150th anniversary celebration at Houston's Amtrak Station, October 26-28. The trip commemorates 150 years since President Abraham Lincoln created Union Pacific by signing the Pacific Railway Act.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker will serve as honorary engineer when the steam train arrives, October 26. Union Pacific Executive Vice President Diane Duren and Charley Eisele, Union Pacific senior vice president - Strategic Planning & Administration, will join the mayor aboard the locomotive and proclaim Houston as an official Train Town at an arrival ceremony that kicks off the weekend-long celebration. Duren and Eisele will present Mayor Parker with a Train Town USA resolution signed by Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young and Houston's historical connection with Union Pacific will be featured at UP150.com.
The arrival ceremony precedes a huge community celebration, October 27-28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to getting a close-up look at No. 844, Houstonians can step inside Union Pacific's vintage Promotory baggage car that has been transformed into a state-of-the-art traveling museum. The traveling display closely replicates the full-scale Building America exhibit that opened earlier this year 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 establishing 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.
The two-day festivities feature children's rides aboard Union Pacific's mini train. There is no charge for the activities and the first 500 people to arrive at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 27, will receive a limited-edition 150th anniversary pin from Union Pacific.
"Our 150th anniversary is a milestone that provides us with the opportunity to thank our communities for supporting Union Pacific," said Joe Adams, Union Pacific vice president, public affairs – southern region. "We are happy to celebrate our past and proud to commemorate more than a century and a half of progress with the city of Houston."
Known as the Living Legend, No. 844 is scheduled to make overnight stops along the UP 150 Express route before traveling back in Cheyenne, Wyo. Arrival and departure times for the steam train can be found at UPSteam.com. Website visitors can follow No. 844 on a GPS system map that updates its location every five minutes. GPS updates are also available at Twitter.com/UP_Steam.
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 for iPhone, iPad and iPod users at Apple's App Store.
Rail enthusiasts, Abraham Lincoln fans, students, history buffs and employees will enjoy visiting the railroad's interactive and resplendent historical timeline published at 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. It also traveled to Arizona and New Mexico for the states' centennial celebrations in 2011.
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, Coal, 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.
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