TRUCKEE — Legendary steam locomotive No. 844 chugged in to Truckee Thursday morning, puffing plumes of gray and white and delighting elementary school children, residents and train buffs.
No. 844 is traveling 13,000 miles through 15 states as part of Union Pacific's 150th anniversary celebration.
“We touch those who have memories, and kids who only know Thomas and The Polar Express,” said volunteer Wayne Hansen, a retired military man traveling on the goodwill tour. “We are triggering emotions from the past for the old folks, and hopefully creating new memories for the young ones.”
Truckee-Tahoe Swim Team coach Debbie Meyer attended the event with her grandaughter, remembering her grandmother and she riding the trains from Baltimore to San Francisco.
“Our 150th anniversary continues in the western U.S. as we thank our communities for supporting Union Pacific,” said Scott Moore, vice president, Public Affairs West for Union Pacific. “We are happy to celebrate our past and look forward to continuing to meet America's freight transportation needs.”
After lumbering over the Sierra Nevada, No. 844 will be on public display in Sacramento, where visitors can step inside Union Pacific's vintage Promontory baggage car, now transformed into a state-of-the-art traveling museum.
The exhibit takes visitors back in time using the latest interactive touch screen technology to illustrate how Union Pacific supported communities as they were established along the way as the transcontinental railroad was built. The interactive experience culminates with the modern Union Pacific Railroad, which transports goods American businesses and consumers use every day.
The Check out No. 844 at the California State Railroad Museum, Old Town Sacramento, 25 I St., Sept. 29-30 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Rail enthusiasts, Abraham Lincoln fans, students, history buffs and employees will enjoy visiting the railroad's interactive and resplendent historical timeline published at www.up150.com.
Find photo gallery at www.facebook.com/sierrasun1.
— Information from www.up.com.