Legendary steam locomotive No. 844 is on the first leg of the UP 150 Express, a multi-segment tour celebrating Union Pacific's 150th anniversary, and sharing the company's rich history with the communities it serves.
Visitors can 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.
No. 844 will pull the traveling exhibit 13,000 miles through 15 states as part of Union Pacific's 150th anniversary celebration. The tour makes its next stop in Council Bluffs to be part of the Celebrate Council Bluffs activities and will be on display May 11-13.
"Our 150th anniversary is a milestone that provides us with the opportunity to thank our communities for supporting Union Pacific," said Robert W. Turner, senior vice president - Corporate Relations for Union Pacific. "We are happy to celebrate our past and look forward to continuing to meet America's freight transportation needs."
Known as the Living Legend, No. 844 is scheduled to make overnight stops with stationary displays along the route before arriving back in Cheyenne, Wyo., May 15. The second segment of the UP 150 Express will begin at Union Pacific's Home Plate during the College World Series in Omaha, June 15-26. Other community displays are planned throughout the year in several other cities in the following states:
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 also are available at http://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 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.