Historic Steam Locomotive to Pull Special Colorado State Fair Passenger Train
This is the second time the locomotive will have visited Pueblo.
Omaha, Neb. – Union Pacific’s historic steam locomotive No. 844 will pull a public special passenger train excursion between Denver and Pueblo, Colo. to celebrate railroad heritage.
In order to get in position to pull the “Colorado State Fair Mountaineer” special train, No. 844 will move to Denver’s Union Station from its base in Cheyenne, Wyo. on Thursday, August 23. On Friday, August 24, the locomotive will be on public display at Union Station from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. MDT.
The “Colorado State Fair Mountaineer” will make a round trip on Saturday, August 25, between Denver and Pueblo. Special trains decades ago carried passengers to the Colorado State Fair, and this marks the first time a passenger train has operated south of Denver since 1997 and the second time No. 844 has visited Pueblo. Tickets to ride on the 15-car passenger train are no longer available.
“We are proud to have No. 844 pull this historic passenger special with our collection of historical railroad equipment, which is the largest of any U. S. railroad,” said Steve Lee, Union Pacific’s manager - operating practices and locomotive engineer.
On Sunday, August 26, No. 844 will head back to its base in Cheyenne, Wyo.
No. 844, also known as Union Pacific’s “Living Legend,” returned to service in 2005 after one of the most extensive steam locomotive overhauls in the United States since the 1950s. The work began in 2000 and affected its running gear, pumps, piping, valves and springs, along with replacement of its firebox and extensive boiler work. The cab interior also was refurbished. No. 844 was the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad and 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 diesel-electric locomotives took over all 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.
No. 844 has run hundreds of thousands of miles for UP’s Heritage program. It has made appearances at Expo ’74 in Spokane, the 1981 opening of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans and the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Los Angeles Union Station in 1989.
A Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) transmitter was installed on one of the rail cars that will travel with No. 844. The GPS system has been integrated with a map on UP’s Web site. Enter the word “Steam” in the search box on the homepage for a shortcut to the map.
Web site visitors will be able to access route maps with varying amounts of detail. The GPS system will update the map every five minutes showing No. 844’s location.
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