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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Steam locomotive to visit Amarillo


AMARILLO — Union Pacific’s last steam engine train, No. 844, will roll through the Texas Panhandle this weekend during its 150th birthday celebration tour, said Raquel Espinoza, the company’s director of corporate and media relations.

The train’s team will make a service stop in Amarillo at 11:45 a.m. Saturday at 83 S. Pierce St. People cannot board the train, Espinoza said.

The 454-ton train left from Houston on Oct. 27 and is scheduled to arrive back to its home in Cheyenne, Wyo., on Nov. 8.

“It’s a rolling piece of history,” Espinoza said.
The locomotive was delivered in 1944 and has hauled freight and passengers. More recently, the train has served as the railroad company’s “goodwill ambassador,” making appearances at museums and heritage celebrations, according to a news release.

Union Pacific connects 23 states, mainly in the western part of the country, by rail and gives freight solutions and expertise, the news release said.
It’s neat to see generations of families come together to visit No. 844, Espinoza said.

“It’s a firsthand look of how passengers used to travel before cars and modern locomotives,” she said. “It’s important to do what we can to preserve as much history as possible.”

Sam Teague, president of the nonprofit Railroad Artifact Preservation Society, said the group will hold tours of the Amarillo engine — Santa Fe No. 5000 — at Southeast Second Avenue and Lincoln Street from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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