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Monday, October 15, 2012

Historic steam locomotive rolls through Johnson County

Posted: October 15, 2012 - 8:54am

Union Pacific Steam Locomotive No. 844 as seen by
the Kansas City Scout traffic camera at Interstate 35
and Southwest Boulevard in Kansas City, KS

The last steam locomotive built for the Union Pacific Railroad rolled through Johnson County, Kansas this morning.

Steam Locomotive No. 844 is a high-speed passenger engine which was delivered to Union Pacific in 1944. The locomotive ran passenger trains until diesel locomotives took over that role in the 1950's. No. 844 was placed in freight service in Nebraska between 1957 and 1959.

The locomotive was saved from being scrapped in 1960 and was held by the railroad for special service.

Union Pacific's webpage dedicated to No. 844, says "the engine has run hundreds of thousands of miles as Union Pacific's ambassador of goodwill."

No. 844 is beyond the halfway point in a 13,000 mile trek through 15 states as Union Pacific celebrates their 150th anniversary and 150 years since President Abraham Lincoln created the original Union Pacific by signing the Pacific Railway Act on July 1, 1862. The journey began in California, with a two day celebration, September 29-30th.

The train includes a 1960's vintage Promontory baggage car that has been retrofitted into a state-of-the-art traveling museum and a recently launched Union Pacific Locomotive which reduces emissions and provides a glimpse into the future of railroading.

This past Saturday, No. 844 steamed through Lawrence, Kansas where it was captured on video by the Lawrence Journal-World's Chief Photographer, Mike Yoder.

No. 844 was also captured on video this Monday morning as it passed through Merriam, Kansas, near Shawnee Mission Parkway and Interstate 35 by Operation 100 News follower, Curtis Wells.

The train is scheduled to arrive at in Houston, Texas on Friday, October 26th at 2 p.m. local time.

You can stay up-to-date with the location of the train by following GPS tracking on Twitter. The schedule for the remainder of the journey can be found here and more information on the famous Living Legend No. 844 can be found here from Union Pacific.

If you managed to capture No. 844 in pictures or video, you can submit them to Operation 100 News by email.
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