Stories

Union Pacific Fans in Massachusetts

by Bob Levesque

Growing up in Fall River, Mass., in 1958, we Boy Scouts were big Union Pacific train fans. Of course, there was no UP presence in the New England states, but that didn't stop us from being fans. This appreciation for all things UP started when we purchased our monthly Boy’s Life magazine, a magazine for scouts. In the magazine of the '50s and '60s was an offer from the Union Pacific Railroad for free colored pictures of UP train cars and locomotives. These were large, professional-quality pictures that we treasured and hung above our model train sets. It made a huge impression on us 11-year-olds to get something for free of such great quality. Together with our love of model trains, we grew up thinking that this might be a great company to work for. And it almost happened.

In late 1963, my family moved to central Nebraska where we had relatives. In Juniata, I got my first birds-eye view of my favorite railroad since the UP track ran right behind my uncle’s farm. After moving to Hastings, I found the track went right by my friend’s house! After college, I got my first job in Omaha and have worked there my whole life. I worked for companies just east and just west of Union Pacific Headquarters, driving by on the way to and from work.

For many years when the track was at grade level, we would wait with the neighbors at about 158th and Pacific St. for the UP steam locomotive to come to Omaha from Cheyenne. Needless to say, we got some great pictures! Until recently, I forgot about my desire as a child to one day work at Union Pacific. I am still a big UP train fan and I still have fond memories of that great big rollin’ railroad which is only about a mile down the street from where I currently work.

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1958-2012
Steam Trains, Love, Working at UP
Omaha, NE-Fall River, MA
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