|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Copyright 2012 - Polk County Publishing Company
No. 844 draws a crowd in Livingston
BY VALERIE REDDELL
LIVINGSTON — High speed rail may seem like a new idea, but Steam Locomotive No. 844 has been hauling — well, everything — across North America at speeds of up to or even exceeding 100 miles per hour long before air travel, according to Ed Dickens, Union Pacific Steam Team leader and Engineer on this trip. No. 844 was the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific. It was delivered in 1944 and it pulled many of the specialty trains such as the Overland Limited, the Los Angeles Limited, the Portland Rose and Challenger. The vintage locomotive has never been retired, Dickens said. When diesel engines took over much of the passenger train duties, No. 844 was used for freight. It was saved from the scrap yard for special service. It is now nicknamed Union Pacific’s “Living Legend”. The engine and tender weigh 454 tons and are just over 114 feet long. The boiler has an inside diameter of 86 inches and the locomotive carries 23,500 gallons of water. The trip to Houston is the final event for the year celebrating Union Pacific’s 150th Anniversary. Now that you’ve met No. 844, you can visit www.up150.com if you would like to order souvenir merchandise, learn more about that particular engine or Union Pacific’s history.