That should get the attention of at least three blog readers: Sam, Barbara and Bob. Any others?
Yesterday we photographed Union Pacific Engine 844, which is traveling across southern Arizona in honor of Arizona's centennial in 2012. The engine is really massive--the last steam engine built for UP.
A high speed passenger engine, it was delivered to the railroad in 1944 and pulled such famous passengers trains as The Overland Limited and The Portland Rose. Since it was taken out of service in 1960, it has logged thousands of miles as UP's ambassador. John and I have ridden behind it on several fan trips between Denver and Julesburg, CO, and Denver and Cheyenne, WY. For more information on the engine, click here.
On October 29, 844 left its home in Cheyenne to visit both New Mexico and Arizona in honor of their centennial celebrations. It has made stops in Colorado Springs; Dalhart, Texas; Alamogordo, NM; El Paso, Texas; Phoenix, Tucson and Yuma. Saturday morning it left Tucson and we caught it twice, on its way to Gilbert, where the engine was serviced and took on water, and as it crossed Baseline Road on its way from Gilbert to Tempe.
In Gilbert, there were quite a few people, meaning they appeared in each photo we took.
Even a limo driver stopped to take a picture.
There weren't as many people around at the second location. Here she comes across Baseline.
Two of the cars in the consist are named for interesting people, Howard Fogg, a famed railroad artist, and Lynn Nystrom, a well-known railroad crewman, often working as the fireman.
Here is a short video of the train crossing Baseline Road, for those who want sound and motion, as well as sight.