Union Pacific's Historic Steam Locomotive No. 844 Coming to Omaha/ Council Bluffs for Railroad Days Celebration
Omaha, Neb., June 01, 2009 Union Pacific Railroad's historic steam locomotive, No. 844, will be coming to Omaha and Council Bluffs, Iowa, in June to celebrate the Railroad's history and heritage as part of the community's Railroad Days celebration.
"Union Pacific's historical ties run so deep in Omaha and Council Bluffs that it is only fitting we display such a historically significant steam locomotive during Railroad Days," said Brenda Mainwaring, Union Pacific's director – public affairs for Nebraska and Iowa.
"We are proud to have No. 844 on display during the weekend when the Omaha/Council Bluffs area takes time out to celebrate the impact the rail industry has on the community now and in our past," said Steve Lee, UP's manager – operating practices and steam locomotive engineer.
In Omaha and Council Bluffs, Lauritzen Gardens, the Durham Museum, the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, RailsWest Railroad Museum and the Historic General Dodge House have teamed up to showcase the rich railroad heritage the area has during Railroad Days 2009. More information about Railroad Days is at http://www.omaharailroaddays.com.
The steam locomotive will be on public display at the Durham Museum for Railroad Days on Saturday, June 20 and Sunday, June 21. Guest will have an opportunity to look inside the cab of the legendary locomotive from a viewing platform alongside the locomotive.
The locomotive will be moved and on display at Golden Spike Park in Council Bluffs on Monday, June 22 and Tuesday, June 23 before heading back to its home base in Cheyenne, Wyo., on Wednesday, June 24.
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 the 1950s. The overhaul began in 2000 and included extensive overhauls of its running gear, pumps, piping, valves and springs, along with replacement of its firebox and extensive boiler work. Even the cab interior has been refurbished. No. 844 was the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad and 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 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 Los Angeles Union Station in 1989. It is based in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
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.
Twitter users will be able "follow" the 844 at twitter.com/up_steam. Tweets will include the 844's latest GPS location as well as brief reports from along the route.
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.
For further information, contact Mark Davis at (402) 544-5459.
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