Union Pacific 844 was one of 10 locomotives that were ordered by Union Pacific in 1944, designed for passenger engines. Like the rest of Union Pacific’s FEF-3 locomotives, UP 844 was originally designed to burn coal, but was later converted to run on fuel oil. UP 844 was reassigned to freight service when diesel-electric locomotives took over passenger service and operated from 1957 to 1959 in Nebraska. It was saved from scrapping in 1960. It was chosen for restoration and since 1962 the engine has run hundreds of thousands of miles as Union Pacific’s ambassador of goodwill.
This massive steam engine and it’s train were at the Amtrack station in downtown Houston this past Saturday, part of the Union Pacific’s 150th celebration. I saw President Lincoln there and he was only too happy to pose for a photo for me. He and the engine are both looking pretty good for their age.