August 29, 2012
What an honor to announce that Rail Fest 2012 will be home to some of the most historic and commemorative locomotives in the Union Pacific family! This year we will have ALL SIX ‘Heritage’ locomotives attending. We have included a brief description of each visiting locomotive and hope that you will have an opportunity to view them throughout the weekends’ festivities.
While you’re here, don’t forget to take a moment to watch the Union Pacific in action. Below you will find several places within the area that will provide you with an up-close encounter with passing trains. All of the following locations are safe for pedestrians and great for photography enthusiasts.
Once again, we welcome you to Rail Fest 2012. We hope that you enjoy your time here in Rail Town USA and look forward to seeing you soon!
David M. Harrold
What Locomotives will be at Rail Fest 2012?
While the lineup of locomotives that will be on display at Rail Fest is always subject to change, the following are scheduled be in North Platte for Rail Fest 2012. We hope you’ll take this opportunity to see and learn about some of Union Pacific’s most treasured locomotives! Click here for a printable list of the locomotives that will be at Rail Fest 2012.The Locomotives will be located here.
UP No. 844 “Living Legend” Steam Locomotive
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.
Many people know the engine as the No. 8444, since an extra '4' was added to its number in 1962 to distinguish it from a diesel numbered in the 800 series. The steam engine regained its rightful number in June 1989, after the diesel was retired.
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.
Union Pacific Railroad Museum
The Union Pacific Railroad Museum is taking its Building America exhibit on the road, or at least out on the rails. The Promontory, a Union Pacific Railroad 1962-vintage baggage car, has been transformed into a state-of-the-art traveling museum. Complete with 13 large, dramatic graphics and the latest in interactive touch video screen technology, the Promontory will immerse visitors in Union Pacific's 150-year history.
The traveling exhibit is a smaller version of the Building America exhibit that will open at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on May 12, 2012.
Traveling exhibit visitors will have an opportunity to interact with history via a 65-inch touch video screen highlighting many of the 27 communities the car will be visiting in 2012. The video screen features an interactive map showing the Union Pacific system from 1869 to the present. The 150-year railroad timeline, from 1862 to present, also is available in a touch screen kiosk.
This car is named for Promontory Summit, Utah, just north of Great Salt Lake and the site selected for the joining of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads. Completion of the railroad–the greatest engineering feat of the 19th century–culminated in a celebration there on May 10, 1869. Promontory Point, often erroneously referred to as the location for the ceremony, juts out into the lake itself. It was the location of a salt works for many years.
UP No. 7400 Pink Ribbon Locomotive
Omaha, Neb., September 28, 2010 – Union Pacific Railroad today unveiled its Pink Ribbon Locomotive, UP No. 7400, created as a tribute to the company's support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and the many lives – employees, community members, friends and family – affected by breast cancer.
"Union Pacific is proud of our thousands of employees, spearheaded by LEAD, our professional woman's group, who have helped raise awareness and funds that go toward breast cancer awareness," said Jim Young, Union Pacific chairman and chief executive officer.
"This is truly an exciting day for Susan G. Komen for the Cure," said Judy Adams, managing director, affiliate relations for Komen for the Cure. "LEAD and many other Union Pacific employees have done so much for our organization. It's a great honor for our promise to end breast cancer forever to be recognized in this very special way." The Pink Ribbon Locomotive primarily will pull automotive and intermodal trains and will travel throughout Union Pacific's 23-state, 7,000-community network.
UP No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America Locomotive
Houston, Texas, March 31, 2010 – Union Pacific Railroad today unveiled the UP No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America Locomotive, created as a tribute to the organization's centennial celebration. The UP No. 2010 honors Scouting's 100-year impact on the nation and the many Scouting enthusiasts in Union Pacific's work force and communities.
"Union Pacific and the Boy Scouts of America have played leadership roles in shaping America's history. With the UP No. 2010, we are proud to celebrate 100 years of Scouting, progress and patriotism," said Robert W. Turner, Union Pacific senior vice president-Corporate Relations.
"We are deeply honored by the tribute Union Pacific has given to Scouting through the creation of the commemorative locomotive," said Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. "We also owe a great deal of gratitude to our UP employee Scouting alumni base, which has spearheaded the movement to create the UP No. 2010. Their efforts mean that for years to come, the locomotive will serve as a reminder of the impact millions of Scouts have had on this country for 100 years."
UP 956 - Miniature Train
One of Union Pacific Railroad's most popular Goodwill Ambassadors is a miniature train. Built in Union Pacific's Omaha locomotive and rail car repair shops in 1956, the mini-train is sometimes called the "Pride of the Omaha Shops."
The locomotive number UP 956 was chosen because the miniature locomotive was patterned after a 900-series passenger locomotive and built in '56. The locomotive was made from a tow tractor used to pull luggage wagons at large passenger train depots. A "flat-head" four-cylinder gasoline engine powers the miniature train locomotive. The locomotive and rail cars run on rubber tires so the train can operate on any solid surface.
Until 1998, the miniature train traveled around the UP system in a pair of matched boxcars numbered UP 903014 and UP 903015. Today the train moves to each event in a custom trailer built exclusively for the mini-train.
"The railroads that are now a part of Union Pacific added more than track and territory, they also contributed the expertise and knowledge of the many people who worked for those great lines," said Bob Turner, senior vice president-Corporate Relations. "The creation of our Heritage Series is just one way we are honoring the generations of men and women who helped to build a great nation and the foundation for our future."
UP No. 1995 Chicago & North Western Railroad
The Chicago & North Western was a road of contrasts — serving Chicago commuters, Michigan iron mines and Illinois coal fields. It amassed a sprawling network of branch lines throughout the Midwest and established the industry’s first safety campaign by coining the phrase "Safety First."
The line also was a key link between Chicago and the West. Chicago & North Western was the first railroad to connect with Union Pacific at Council Bluffs in 1867, and in 1984, partnered with UP to open a connector line to the coal fields in Wyoming’s Powder River Basin – enabling the region to become a major U.S. energy source. The Chicago & North Western and Union Pacific merged in 1995.
The Chicago & North Western locomotive is the fifth unit in the heritage fleet and was unveiled at the Ogilvie Transportation Center in Chicago on July 15, 2006.
UP No. 1989 Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
The "Grand Canyon of the Arkansas River," known as the Royal Gorge, was one of the highlights on the route through the Rockies when The Denver & Rio Grande was known as the Scenic Line of the World.
Rio Grande Industries purchased Southern Pacific Lines on Sept. 12, 1988, and combined the systems on Oct. 13, 1988, operating under the name Southern Pacific. Union Pacific and Southern Pacific merged on Sept. 11, 1996.
Incorporating historic colors and graphic elements of the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, the heritage locomotive unveiled in June 2006 pays tribute to the men and women of the railroad who "went everywhere the hard way."
UP No. 1982 Missouri Pacific Railroad
In 1982, a Union Pacific-Missouri Pacific-Western Pacific merger was approved by the Interstate Commerce Commission. On January 1, 1997, Missouri Pacific Railroad legally was merged into Union Pacific Railroad, with UPRR remaining as the surviving corporation.
When designing the locomotive, the creative team concentrated on two particular time periods: the 1940s, when Mo-Pac introduced a blue, gray and white color scheme with a thin yellow accent stripe, and the 1960s, when the paint scheme was altered to a solid dark blue with the MP buzz saw logo.
The result for the MoPac heritage locomotive was a two-tone blue and white color scheme that harkens back to the streamliner days and combines the buzz saw logo and screaming eagle graphic introduced in the 1960s. The design implies both power and speed.
The Missouri Pacific Heritage locomotive was unveiled in Omaha, Neb., on July 30, 2005.
UP No. 1988 Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad
The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, affectionately referred to as the Katy, was created in 1865. By the time it joined Union Pacific in 1988, the Katy served six midwestern states with more than 3,377 miles of track. It was an important north-south link between the Midwest and Texas, especially for the growing coal business. The Katy had primary operating centers in Denison, Texas; Bellmead, Texas; and Parsons, Kan.; and was headquartered in Dallas.
The new Katy Heritage Series locomotive is numbered 1988 to reflect the year its namesake joined Union Pacific, and the locomotive will initially operate within territory served by the Katy. The Katy locomotive was unveiled Sept. 20, 2005.
UP No. 1983 Western Pacific Railroad
From 1910 until merging with Union Pacific Railroad in 1982, the Western Pacific was one of the West's most popular railroads. Attracting fans from all over the world, the WP's short but diverse route featured everything from urban industrial trackage in the thriving metropolis of the San Francisco Bay area to the scenic splendors and sleepy mountain communities of the famous Feather River Route and on through the desert wastelands of Eastern Nevada and Utah
In 1970, a solid green paint scheme with orange lettering was introduced, followed by the addition of an orange nose in 1979, the final WP color scheme. The heritage locomotive was unveiled in Omaha, Neb., in July 2005.
UP No. 1996 Southern Pacific
Founded in 1865 by a group of businessmen in San Francisco, the Southern Pacific was created as a rail line from San Francisco to San Diego. Through the years the line expanded to more than 13,000 miles of rail covering most of the southwestern United States. Southern Pacific was noted for a number of firsts; including stewardship of its lands, unique cab-forward articulated steam locomotives, computers, development of the double-stack container car and corporate diversification.
The emergence of truck transportation and other marketplace changes in the 1970s led to Southern Pacific’s decline. It merged with Union Pacific on Sept. 11, 1996.
The new locomotive incorporates Southern Pacific’s historic colors and graphic elements to honor the men and women of the line affectionately known as the "Espee."
Click here for a printable list of the locomotives that will be at Rail Fest 2012.