Legendary steam locomotive No. 844 made a special stop in Chickasha, Okla., to celebrate Union Pacific Railroad's 150th Anniversary and the city's membership into the railroad's Train Town USA Registry.
Chickasha Mayor Hank Ross 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 Ross with an official Train Town USA resolution signed by Union Pacific Chairman Jim Young, and Chickasha's historical connection with Union Pacific will be featured on the company's special 150th anniversary website.
"We are proud to recognize Chickasha as we commemorate our railroad's sesquicentennial celebration and growing up together," Turner said. "Union Pacific has been part of the country's fabric throughout the railroad's 150-year history. Our shared heritage with Chickasha is a source of pride as we remember our past while serving and connecting our nation for years to come." The Rock Island Railroad built a rail siding 17 miles south of Minco, Okla., in 1892 and secured a boxcar to serve as an office-giving Chickasha its official start. The city grew quickly and a passenger depot opened in 1912, which served eight trains a day.
Chickasha grew along with the Rock Island Railroad and eventually became home to a four track rail yard, a locomotive repair shop, a roundhouse, a large freight facility and more than 300 employees. The Rock Island ceased operations in 1970 and was later purchased by Union Pacific Railroad. Today, Union Pacific Railroad continues to support its customers and remains a strong economic contributor to Chickasha. Arrival and departure times for the steam train can be found at www.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 upsteam.com.