Vintage Steam Train Tours Houston
Monday, April 12, 2010 2:47 PM
The last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad is on tour today at Amtrak until 8 p.m. - the first time on tour in this area.
Steam Locomotive No. 844 was delivered in 1944 and became known as Union Pacific's "Living Legend." The high-speed passenger engine pulled the Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, Portland Rose and Challenger.
No. 844 was assigned to freight service in Nebraska between 1957 and 1959 when diesels took over passenger trains. It was spared from the scrap heap in 1960 and has been used for special runs and as an ambassador of goodwill for Union Pacific.
The steam locomotive is traveling south of Houston for the first time - so the tour has been dubbed The Valley Eagle, after the popular Missouri Pacific passenger train of the same name, which traveled between Houston and Brownsville between 1948 and 1962.
You can view this historic locomotive at Amtrak's station at 902 Washington Ave. It pulls out of the station at 8 a.m. tomorrow, headed toward the Rio Grande Valley. Based in Wyoming, No. 844 departed Cheyenne on April 2 and has stopped in Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma enroute to Texas.
Click here for the complete tour schedule.
Read more statistics here on this historic locomotive. It weighs 454 tons, carries 23,500 gallons of water and 6,200 gallons of fuel.
Grab your camera - or bring your cell phone - and take some snapshots of this giant legend. If you visit, please share your thoughts about your experience.