September 28, 2012

Rail icon remains on a roll

Fireman Ted Schulte kept the boiler pressure up as Union Pacific's historic Locomotive No. 844 headed to the capital Thursday for UP's 150th anniversary celebration this weekend in Old Sacramento.

No. 844, delivered in 1944, was the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific, and pulled some of its most notable passenger trains - Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, Portland Rose and Challenger - before diesels took over.

The engine has run hundreds of thousands of miles as Union Pacific's ambassador of goodwill.

Hailed as Union Pacific's "Living Legend," the engine is widely known among railroad enthusiasts for its excursion runs, especially over Union Pacific's fabled crossing of Sherman Hill between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyo.

As she pulled into Colfax Thursday, it was apparent that 844 hasn't lost its power to impress.

Nine-year-old Aiden McReynolds had to protect his ears from the horn.

Meanwhile, Ken Fletcher and Mike Virgil, both of Colfax, kept busy taking photographs.

For more information on Locomotive No. 844, go to www.up.com/aboutup/special_trains/steam/locomotives/844.shtml

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