World's Largest Operating Steam Locomotive to Visit the Plains and Upper Midwest

The Special Steam Locomotive Will Travel 1,750 Miles During the 23-day Tour

Media Kit


Challenger 3985

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Omaha, Neb., September 12, 2008 – Union Pacific Railroad's "Challenger" No. 3985, the world's largest operating steam locomotive, will be on a five-state, 1,750-mile tour from Cheyenne, Wyo., to St. Paul, Minn., to celebrate railroad heritage.

During this tour, the 65-year-old locomotive will be on display in:

  • North Platte, Neb., for Rail Fest, Sept. 18 – Sept. 23;
  • Boone, Iowa, Sept. 24;
  • St. Paul, Minn., Sept. 27 – Sept. 29;
  • Sioux City, Iowa, Oct. 2; and
  • Council Bluffs, Iowa, Oct. 4 – Oct. 8.

The Challenger will make overnight stops in:

  • Missouri Valley, Iowa, Sept. 22;
  • Mason City, Iowa, Sept. 25; and
  • St. James, Minn., Sept. 30.

Union Pacific's No. 3985, an articulated locomotive with a "hinged" frame to allow it to negotiate curves, is 122 feet long. It weighs more than one million pounds, has six-foot diameter drive wheels and can reach a top speed of 70 miles per hour. No. 3985 was built in 1943 for fast freight service and was retired in 1959. In 1981, it was restored to running condition by UP employee volunteers for special service. The Challenger is based in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

A Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) transmitter was installed on one of the rail cars that will travel with No. 3985. 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. 3985's location.

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 and serves the fastest-growing U.S. population centers. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad offers competitive long-haul 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.

For more information, contact Mark Davis: (402) 544-5459.

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.