UP 844 IN TEXAS
I remember living in Houston, Texas, and spending most of my time with my grandfather at UP rail yards, watching operations and watching them switch...the typical boy scene in a UP presentation 1940s video. And I remember one special day I went to see my other grandfather on the other side of town, and he kept talking about a Challenger, and I had never in my life heard of it. Well one day he took me down the street and there was the amazing 3985. I couldn't believe how large it was. I thought my love for trains was immense but that totally put it to a new rank. The wheels are huge, the heat was sooo warm, the boiler just glossy in the sun ... seeing all the controls and the smell from the cab. I was blown away. Ever since then, my love for trains grew - mostly my love for steam power. Since then I have been a true supporter of the UP Steam and I have never been more amazed then I was that day as a kid. With in the last three years I have seen the 844, once in North Platte, Neb., Houston, Texas, and then again in COS Co.
I just can't express how much that program means to me, and even how much I want to work with it one day. The smell of the smoke, the feel of the steam, the look of it billowing out the stack, the dynamo hissing, the golden color of the head light. It just always made me smile. There isn't anything more real, needed, respected, loved, wanted, complex, and helpful to America's economy as the railroad. U.P is one of my favorites, because it is rooted in history. I hope it stays that way.