An historic steam locomotive will be making stops in a few towns in Iowa soon. The locomotive, known at number 844, was the last steam locomotive delivered to the Union Pacific Railroad in 1944. UP spokesperson James Barnes says it worked as a passenger train until the mid 1950’s
He says when diesel-electric trains took over passenger operations, the 844 was placed in freight service in Nebraska until 1959. It was saved from being completely scrapped in 1960. Now, the train makes occasional "historic tours". The current tour covers 16 days and six states in the midwest.
"What (the locomotive) does today is it serves as our ambassador for both the industry and our railroad," Barnes says, "and it helps people better understand the history of trains in our country and the role they played in the development of our country." The 844 will make overnight stops in the Iowa towns of Carlisle and Boone.
It will make overnight stops in the Nebraska towns of North Platte, Grand Island, Fremont, and Fairbury. You can follow the locomotive’s schedule and tour stops by visiting http://www.UP.com%20 and entering the word "steam" in the search box.