I have posted previously about my love of vintage steam locomotives, and how fortunate I am to live here in Golden Spike country. Every two or three years, Union Pacific’s Steam Excursions see fit to run through my town. It is an epic experience to chase these rare giants from Wyoming to Nevada while wishing I was born 30 years sooner.
This is the very track bed that hundreds of American, Irish and Chinese laborers carved out of the mountain pass in my back yard culminating in the famous driving of the Golden Spike joining the 2 transcontinental railroads at Promontory, Utah, 10 May 1869. This trestle bridge was erected in 1929 about the same time the second track was nailed down. The locomotive is Union Pacific’s #844, the last of this series delivered to Union Pacific by the American Locomotive Company in 1944. UP 844 was originally designed to burn coal, but was later converted to run on fuel oil. UP 844 is allegedly able to handle 26 passenger cars at over 100 mph on straight and level track, and has been designed to safely operate up to 120 mph, hence the often used Corvette tag.