View Full Version : OT - UP Challenger Locomotive Tour

06-09-2004, 10:42 PM
Hope Neil doesn't find this too OT for the machinist site, just wanted to pass word along about Union Pacific's #3985 Challenger locomotive tour going on right now.

Went to see it today in Houston and hope to catch a live run Friday. I'm not a "live steamer" per se, but sure enjoy steam locamotives. Awsome power from a by-gone era!

Challenger's remaining schedule will take it thru TX, AR, OK, KS, MO, IA, and NE in June.

Detailed schedule at http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/excurs/houston.shtml

or http://www.upsteam.com

If you live near one of the towns on the schedule, be sure to take the time to go see it.


06-09-2004, 11:32 PM
Thanks for the info Dennis, it's been a while since I've seen the 3985, well worth seeing the largest, most powerful steam locomotive (still operating) on the planet. You never know when the end may come (witness Norfolk Southern http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//frown.gif)

06-10-2004, 02:33 AM
I've been in the cab of the Royal Hudson #2860 when standing under steam. Very impressive. It is scheduled to be back running next year.


06-16-2004, 04:42 PM
"If you live near one of the towns on the schedule, be sure to take the time to go see it."

Double check with the railroad first. We checked on Boone, IA for June 25 and were told there wouldn't be any public viewing allowed.

"The last we heard from the Union Pacific railroad is that the engine will be stopping in Boone overnight June 25 but will not be on display for the public."

06-16-2004, 05:04 PM
Dan, that shouldn't keep you from seein' her run down the tracks though! They made a run here in Houston for some M. D. Anderson kids fighting cancer. The short trip took them down to a power plant and back. Scoped out the trip using the UPRR web site and found a real nice place to watch and get some pics.

Absolutely amazing! 1,000,000 lbs plus gliding along at 15 or 20 mph and smooth as glass. It was definitely something to see and hear.

Hope you can find a spot to watch her run.


06-16-2004, 08:11 PM
True Dennis. But the Union Pacific Railroad link says General Public at the top which I took to mean that it was a schedule for the General Public to see the train.

Just want to let people know this isn't true. In fact, I think it's very misleading.

06-16-2004, 09:47 PM
It is also something to see/hear when it"s doing 60 +, or working a little hard in the Feather River Canyon.
Last time it was in Ca. I got up at 4:30 am, vidoed it from Marysville to Portola, time well spent.
I made a dual mount for my tripod, mounted camcorder and 35mm together, pretty decent results.
I wish someone would resurect the Cab Forward on display in Sac. They were really neat.

06-16-2004, 10:35 PM
There used to be a weekly or maybe monthly excursion run in Nebraska, of a huge steamer and several Pullman cars for a roundtrip run between two smaller towns. I understand the rails run alongside a blacktop road for quite some distance, great for video making. Any of you fellas in the Nebraska area familiar with this?


06-16-2004, 10:56 PM
I was down to Cheyenne Wy last summer and looked at a BigBoy that is there too, I wonder why they didn't refit it instead of the Challenger....can only think the Challenger was in better shape


06-16-2004, 11:01 PM
Alcova, That would be a dream come true for any railfan, a Big Boy under steam. UP's reasons were pretty basic. It's too big for most of todays railroading infrastructure. Too heavy for many bridges, and that there is simply no turn tables left that are big enough to turn it.

06-17-2004, 02:06 AM
Guido, I think there is a steam excursion line somewhere in the Fremont area that runs on the old Chicago and Northwestern tracks. I'll see if I can find the name of the operation and post it in this thread.