Steam Locomotive No. 844 is the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad. It was delivered in 1944. A high-speed passenger engine, it pulled such widely known trains as the Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, Portland Rose and Challenger trains.
Many people know the engine as the No. 8444, since an extra '4' was added to its number in 1962 to distinguish it from a diesel numbered in the 800 series.
The steam engine regained its rightful number in June 1989, after the diesel was retired. When diesels took over all of the passenger train duties, No. 844 was placed in freight service in Nebraska between 1957 and 1959. It was saved from being scrapped in 1960 and held for special service.
The engine has run hundreds of thousands of miles as Union Pacific's ambassador of goodwill. It has made appearances at Expo '74 in Spokane, the 1981 opening of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, the 1984 World's Fair in New Orleans and the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Los Angeles Union Station in 1989.
Hailed as Union Pacific's "Living Legend," the engine is widely known among railroad enthusiasts for its excursion runs, especially over Union Pacific's fabled crossing of Sherman Hill between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming.
The 844 is housed in the UP steam shop in the Union Pacific Main Yard in Cheyenne WY. Appointments for tours of the UP Steam Shop must be made in advance at (307) 778-3339.
The UP Steam Shop Crew is made up of ten members including:
- Steve Lee, Manager of Train Operating Practices
- Reed Jackson, Conductor - Steam Crew Executive
- Jim Adams
- Ed Dickens
- Jack Holland
- Henry Krening
- Lynn Nystrom
- Mary Nystrom
- Ed Smith
- Ron Tabkee
The Union Pacific Steam Shop not only maintains the No. 844, but also maintains and houses the Challenger No. 3985. The Challenger is the world's largest operating steam locomotive and is the only operating engine of its class in the world today.
Inside Diameter: 86-3/16 in.
Pressure: 300 lbs.
Diameter: 25 in.
Stroke: 32 in.
Length: 150 1/32 in.
Width: 96-3/16 in.
2-1/4 in. Diameter: 198 x 19 ft. 0 in.
5-1/2 in. Diameter: 58
Driving: 2 ft. 0 in.
Engine: 50 ft. 11 in.
Engine & Tender: 98 ft. 5 in.