Union Pacific’s No 844 steam locomotive will be making its way across Nebraska starting Sunday where it will be on display in Omaha during the College World Series. Calli Hite is the corporate communications director for U.P. and says No. 844 was built in 1944 and was the last steam locomotive built for the railroad. The train pulled passenger cars throughout the U.P. system until they replaced with diesel locomotives in the late 1950’s. No. 844 was then used for freight service and in 1960 it nearly ended up in the scrap pile before being rescued and restored.
Hite says, “844 underwent an extensive overhaul for three years. That included we replaced the boiler and made new parts and pretty much the whole thing was taken apart and put back together. All of that work was done by a team of about twelve people in Cheyenne, Wyoming.”
No. 844 will leave Cheyenne Sunday and will make several stops along the way. At 9:30 MT the train will arrive in Kimball at East 1st and Walnut Street. It will then stop at 11 MT at Oberfeller and Front Street in Lodgepole and at 12:30 MT at Spruce Street Crossing in Ogallala before heading to North plat at 4 p.m. CT. The train will remain there overnight before heading out at 8 a.m. CT Monday, June 12th. The first top is in Cozad at 9:15 a.m. CT at Meridian near Old Depot, at 10:4t a.m. CT at 150 W. Railroad Street in Kearney, 12:15 p.m. at Oak Street Crossing near Front Street in Grand Island, 2 p.m. at 26th Ave. Crossing in Columbus and at 4:45 p.m. it will arrive U.P. Heritage Park in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Hite says it will remain there until Friday, June 16th when it will make its way to 12 and Cuming Street in Omaha during the College World Series. She says, “That is called Union Pacific’s Home Plate. You can’t miss it. There will be a big 1940’s era steam locomotive and behind it a series of bright yellow historic rail cars.” She adds their steam engineer Ed Dickens will also be there to answer questions about the train. He was the project leader in restoring No. 844. It will remain in Omaha through June 27th.
No 844 will leave the metro at 8 a.m. on Friday June 30th with stops at 10 a.m. CT in Fremont at 10 S. Main Street, at 12:15 p.m. CT in Central City at the 13th Street Crossing, 2:30 p.m. at the Pedestrian Overpass in Overton and at 4:45 p.m. CT back in North Platte.
On Saturday, July 1st, the train will make stops at 9:30 a.m. MT at the S. Spruce Street Crossing in Ogallala, 11:30 a.m. MT at 10th and Grant in Sidney, at 1:30 p.m. MT at the Main Street Crossing in Pine Bluffs and then back home to Cheyenne.
Hite says it will stop for about 30 minutes at each location so Nebraskans are urged to come out and take a look. She says you can track the train by logging on to www.upsteam.com.