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  • Back Cover
  • Inside Spread

Union Pacific 2019 Calendar


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The Union Pacific pioneered transcontinental rail service. Eventually, running freight through half of America meant long consists hauled by some of the largest locomotives ever built. Reaching back to the end of the steam era, Union Pacific 2019 pictures giants ranging from mainline Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 Big Boys and Challenger 4-6-6-4s, to the Bull Moose 2-8-8-0 compound articulated engine and the unique Union Pacific Type 4-12-2. Steam on!

Engines and locations in the 2019 calendar include:


Union Pacific 4004 (4-8-8-4) has a westbound manifest freight in tow as it pulls up to the coal dock on the #3 track at Harriman, Wyoming, on a snowy January day in 1955. Since leaving Cheyenne, the 4004 has traveled a little more than twenty-five miles and has consumed almost twenty tons of coal in doing so. As you can see from this picture, steam engines had a tremendous appetite when working full bore. In its career of seventeen years, it ran more than one million miles before being retired in 1958. Eight Big Boys were saved, and the 4004 was one of the lucky ones. It is on public display at Holliday Park in Cheyenne, Wyoming.


Union Pacific 9725, a General Electric C44-9W, and 3252, an EMD SD40-2, are rolling an eastbound vehicle train through a snowstorm near Echo, Utah, on February 25, 1996.


How’s this for power? Union Pacific 828 (4-8-4), 4001 (4-8-8-4) and 9000 (4-12-2) are all at the coal dock at Cheyenne, Wyoming, on March 9, 1956. Built by the American Locomotive Company for the Union Pacific in 1926, the 9000 is freshly painted. It will be running light to Denver to head up a passenger special the next day. The weather this day is warm and partly cloudy. The next day, the 9000, the last survivor of the 4-12-2 fleet of eighty-eight engines, pulled the passenger special to Cheyenne and then back to Denver in a roaring snowstorm.


Union Pacific 3530, a “Bull Moose” compound articulated 2-8-8-0 built by the American Locomotive Company in 1920, is a point helper with a brace of diesels leaving Buford, Wyoming, seen here in the background, on March 24, 1949. Pretty they were not. They were dependable, though, with a maximum speed of 40 m.p.h., which is relatively slow, so by 1953 they were replaced by more modern steam power.


On the morning of March 29, 1953, Union Pacific 9010 (4-12-2) and 3709 (4-6-6-4) were leading a westbound freight several miles east of Granite Canyon, Wyoming. The 3709 suddenly lost power, and the train stopped, blocking the westbound line. The problem turned out to be a clogged smoke box. The dispatcher had two locomotives, 5093 (4-10-2) and 5516 (2-10-2), running light eastbound. At Granite he crossed them over to the westbound main track. The helpers were coupled into the train, and the air was pumped up. This view shows them getting under way. It was a slow trip to Sherman Summit, but once they arrived they got the problem engine set out, and the remaining engine could handle the downhill run to Laramie. Two photographers were in the right place at the right time.


Union Pacific 4001 (4-8-8-4) is working an eastbound freight through Hermosa, Wyoming, on June 21, 1956. When the first one of these twenty-five behemoths was nearly completed at the American Locomotive Company, where they were built in 1941, someone in the shop chalked the words “Big Boy” on the smokebox. The name stuck. The 4000’s only operated between Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Ogden, Utah, and on the Cheyenne-Denver Line. They had a short service life. All the Big Boys were off the roster by August 1959. Fortunately, the 4014 was saved and has been moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where it is being rebuilt to go back into limited service.


Union Pacific Challenger 3810 is crossing the South Platte River near Quimby, Colorado, running on the Dent Branch north of Denver on August 22, 1954. The 3810 was in the first group of Challengers built in 1936 by the American Locomotive Company. When the Union Pacific completed all its purchases in 1943, the railroad owned 105 Challengers in several configurations. Challenger 3810 worked at various locations around the system before it was removed from service in June 1956. During the next few years, all the Challengers except two would also be scrapped.


Union Pacific 4007 is on the #3 track with a westbound freight several miles past Cheyenne, Wyoming, on June 30, 1958. The 4007 with its manifest freight will rejoin the Main Line at Dale Junction and proceed from there to Laramie, Wyoming. The #3 track was used for heavy trains because the grade was from ½ to ¾ percent less than Main Line #1 through Buford. The crossing at the summit of the Sherman Mountains is about 500 feet lower than Main Track #1. Passenger, mail, and hot trains used #2 track because it was nine miles shorter than the #3 track. Completed in 1953, the #3 track took slow freight traffic off the other lines, enabling passenger and other trains to run a slightly faster schedule.


Union Pacific 1938 (2-8-2) is a point helper for 3823 (4-6-6-4) on a westbound 106-car freight rolling through Omaha, Nebraska, with a trainload of empty reefers on September 30, 1956. When this train reached Summit, in the west end of Omaha, the 1938 would be cut off and return to Council Bluffs, while the 3823 would continue on west with the train. Well-known Omaha-area photographers Lou Schmitz, Jack Pfeifer, and Bob Malinoski, the latter an Erie Railroad employee, teamed up and took many excellent train photographs, including this one.


Union Pacific Veranda Turbine 70 and Big Boy 4000 are double-headed on a westbound freight passing through Hermosa, Wyoming, on October 11, 1954. Turbine 70 is only about a year and a half old in this view. It was delivered to the Union Pacific in July 1954. After a relatively short service life, the 70 was removed from service at the end of April 1964.


The Boise, Idaho, depot sits in the background as the fireman on Union Pacific 805 (a Class FEF-1 Northern) waters up his locomotive. (The FEF in the nomenclature on the cab means 4-8-4.) This is Train #18, the eastbound “Portland Rose,” an all-heavyweight consist with five head-end cars. The photograph was taken in 1939. The month and day are not indicated, but the foliage would suggest the date was late fall, maybe November. This slide is seventy-nine years old, and the color has held up well.


Union Pacific Big Boy (4-8-8-4) 4005 is on an eastbound freight, pulling into the center siding at Hermosa, Wyoming, on November 15, 1954. Although all the 4000’s were originally built to burn coal, the 4005 was converted in 1964 to use oil as fuel. The experiment was conducted for two years, but the engine did not perform as well on oil, so it was changed back to burn coal, and no further tests of that kind were conducted.


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