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.