OMAHA, Neb. — Union Pacific Railroad’s historic steam locomotive, No. 844, will travel to Milliken, Colo., from its base in Cheyenne, Wyo., to help the community celebrate its centennial and the railroad’s history and heritage.
The “City of Milliken Centennial Special” will depart Cheyenne on June 25 at 5 p.m. and arrive in Milliken at 7:30 p.m. No. 844 will be on public display at the Broad St. crossing in Milliken on June 26 beginning at 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., before it departs Milliken at 7 p.m., arriving back in Cheyenne at 10:30 p.m.
“This will be the first time No. 844 has operated over the line between Dent and Milliken and we look forward to bringing a piece of living history to help the community celebrate their Centennial,” said Dick Hartman, Union Pacific’s director of public affairs for Colorado and Wyoming
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 regular steam service ended. The work, which started in 2000, included overhauling the locomotive’s 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 passenger locomotive, 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. During the 1990’s No. 844 pulled several of the Denver Post Cheyenne Frontier Days specials and visited several Oklahoma cities during the Oklahoma Centennial in 2007. Earlier this year No. 844 traveled to Harlingen, Texas to be a part of that community’s centennial celebration.
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 website. Enter the word “Steam” in the search box on the homepage for a shortcut to the map.
Website 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. GPS updates are also available at http://twitter.com/UP_Steam.
During 2010, the Reed Jackson concession car displays a commemorative sign celebrating the National Model Railroad Association’s 75 years of service to the model railroad community.