The Union Pacific’s steam engine No. 844 was in Sparks, Nevada yesterday…and I took the day off to go see it! Most of the photographs are taken with my Panasonic Lumix FZ150 in Film Grain mode.
No. 844 is traveling 13,000 miles through 15 states as part of Union Pacific’s 150th anniversary celebration. The tour makes its next stop in Ogden, Utah, on Saturday, September 22. From Ogden, the UP 150 Express heads to Sparks, Nevada, for a stop on September 26. The sixth leg of the tour will conclude when No. 844 anchors a huge, two-day signature event in Old Sacramento September 29-30 that will include free excursion train rides and free entrance into both the California State Railroad Museum and Sacramento History Museum.
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.
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.