The Lope: To See Her Again

Thursday, August 30, 2007

To See Her Again

(schedule updated Sept 4)

Union Pacific's steam locomotive #844, seen here in Salina, KS, last April, will be on the move again September 3 - 23. The locomotive will be pulling the "Oklahoma Centennial Sooner Rocket" in celebration of Oklahoma's 100th birthday and will make stops at employee sites. It may also be on display to the general public in cities listed in the schedule at the bottom of this post; check your local news agency for specifics.

Here's another shot from Salina last year. The locomotive will follow a different path this time; it won't cross Kansas east to west as it did last year, and her north-south course will be over different track, most of the way.

Rides will not be available to the general public. This run is for invited employees, customers, teachers, students, emergency responders and military personnel. However, the train will be viewable, of course, from many public areas along its route. 844's path will include this track under the highway 77 overpass near Herington, as it did last May. Union Pacific reports on their website that "The territory south of Herington is new to UP Steam and has not seen a steam locomotive since 1949."

Alas, the train will not go from Herington to Hutchinson (above) to Pratt as it did last year.

I published four posts on my little love affair with the 1944 vintage steam engine:

See a lot of steam engine bits in 844.

See the interiors of vintage passenger cars when the train stops in Claremore, Oklahoma in 844 Returns.

See what it's like up in the cab in 844: Riding the Iron Horse.

Ride from Coffeyville to Kansas City in Goodbye, 844; 'Til We Meet Again.

I'm not sure we'll have time this year, but I do urge those of you in 844's path to go out and see it, especially if you've not seen a live steam engine before.

And the thing is alive, I tell ya.

Here's a brief clip of the locomotive at rest; it is dynamic, even then.

Steam locomotives like 844 need a lot of water and stop for it regularly; they also need frequent lubrication. This accounts for some of the brief stops in its schedule.

If you seek 844, please be careful and don't do anything your surviving friends and relatives will regret. Trains can't stop very fast and have a tendency to really mess up cars and drivers who try to beat them over intersections. It's not a good way to die, and it might scratch the locomotive. Find a spot with a good view, and don't get too close to the tracks.

Here's a clip of 844 in Hutchinson, Kansas, last May 3. The movie is way too long, as I started it and then moved to my still-shooting position. I promise, the train eventually does show up. If I obtain some editing software, I'll shorten it.

Also, on stretches where the tracks run alongside the road, you may see strings of cars jockeying for the position parallel to the locomotive. This works marginally well as long as everyone is careful and not selfish, but that is often not the case.

Union Pacific has a GPS tracking page, so you can see where the locomotive is. I've used it before and it's handy, despite its sometimes awkward pan/zoom controls.

I've copied the revised schedule from the Union Pacific website (it changed on Sept 4), but as always, you should go to the link for the schedule before you plan on a trip to see 844 as there could be more changes. I should also note from personal experience that the train may be early or late to any point along its path; plan a wide swath of time to see it. Note that the locomotive will cross Route 66 at El Reno twice, for those of you who like trains and the Mother Road.

Sept 3, 8:00 AM - Depart Cheyenne WY for North Platte, NE

Sept 4, 8:00 AM - Depart North Platte for Fairbury NE

Wednesday Sept 5, Fairbury, NE to Herington, KS
8:00 Depart Fairbury
8:45 Arrive Marysville
9:00 Depart Marysville
10:30 Arrive Menoken
11:00 Depart Menoken
11:15 Arrive Topeka
11:45 Depart Topeka
2:30 Arrive Herington - Hope Industrial Lead

Thursday Sept 6, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Herington Layover and display

Friday Sept 7, Herington to Wichita, KS
9:00 Depart Herington
9:45 Arrive Marion
10:25 Depart Marion
10:45 Arrive Peabody
11:15 Depart Peabody
11:45 Arrive Whitewater
12:15 Depart Whitewater
1:30 Arrive Wichita - Railroad Museum

Saturday Sept 8, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Wichita Layover and display

Sunday Sept 9, Wichita to Enid, OK
8:00 Depart Wichita
9:15 Arrive Wellington
9:45 Depart Wellington
10:30 Arrive Caldwell
11:00 Depart Caldwell
11:45 Arrive Medford
12:15 Depart Medford
1:30 Arrive Enid - Old Depot
(The Wellington Daily News reports that 844's stop in Caldwell will be at US 81 and Arapahoe Street)

Monday Sept 10, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM - Enid Layover and display

Tuesday Sept 11, Enid to El Reno, OK
8:00 Depart Enid
8:45 Arrive Hennessey
9:15 Depart Hennessey
10:30 Arrive Kingfisher
11:00 Depart Kingfisher
12:00 Arrive El Reno - Track 033

Wednesday Sept 12, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM - El Reno Layover and display
(Metro Family Magazine reports that 844 will be on display at the former Rock Island depot, which is now the Canadian County Historical Museum.)

Thursday Sept 13, El Reno to Waurika, OK
8:00 Depart El Reno
9:30 Arrive Chickasha
10:00 Depart Chickasha
11:30 Arrive Duncan
12:15 Depart Duncan
1:15 Arrive Waurika - at WJWT RR Connection

Friday Sept 14, Waurika to Chico to Lone Star to Chico to Waurika
8:00 Depart Waurika
10:00 Arrive Chico
10:30 Depart Chico
10:40 Arrive Lone Star
11:00 Depart Lone Star
11:15 Arrive Chico
11:30 Depart Chico
1:00 Arrive Waurika - at WJWT RR Connection

Saturday Sept 15, Waurika, OK to Chickasha
8:00 Depart Waurika
9:00 Arrive Duncan
9:30 Depart Duncan
11:00 Arrive Chickasha - Old Depot

Sunday Sept 16, Layover and display in Chickasha - 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Monday Sept 17, Chickasha to Enid
8:00 Depart Chickasha
9:30 Arrive El Reno
10:00 Depart El Reno
10:45 Arrive Kingfisher
11:15 Depart Kingfisher
12:00 Arrive Hennessey
12:30 Depart Hennessey
1:15 Arrive Enid
(The Wellington Daily News reports that 844 will stop this day in Caldwell, KS at US 81 and Arapahoe Street at 7 p.m. This is in conflict with the UP's posted schedule; If I find out which is correct, I'll enter the information here.)

Tuesday Sept 18, Enid to Wichita
8:00 Depart Enid
9:15 Arrive Medford
9:45 Depart Medford
10:30 Arrive Caldwell
11:00 Depart Caldwell
11:45 Arrive Wellington
12:15 Depart Wellington
1:00 Arrive Wichita - Railroad Museum

Wednesday Sept 19, Wichita to Topeka
8:00 Depart Wichita
9:45 Arrive Whitewater
10:15 Depart Whitewater
10:45 Arrive Peabody
11:15 Depart Peabody
11:45 Arrive Marion
12:15 Depart Marion
1:00 Arrive Herington
1:30 Depart Herington
3:30 Arrive Topeka - Old Santa Fe Main at East Topeka

Thursday Sept 20, Layover and display in Topeka - 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Friday Sept 21, Topeka to Hastings
8:00 Depart Topeka
8:30 Arrive Menoken Jct.
9:00 Depart Menoken Jct.
10:30 Arrive Marysville
11:00 Depart Marysville
1:30 Arrive Hastings - Track 008

Saturday Sept 22, Hastings to North Platte
8:00 Depart Hastings
11:30 Arrive North Platte

Sunday Sept 23, North Platte to Cheyenne
9:00(Central) Depart North Platte
11:30 Arrive Sidney
12:01 Depart Sidney
3:00 Arrive Cheyenne
Sept 24, 8:00 AM - Depart North Platte for Cheyenne


Blogger JDP said...

Where the heck is Lone Star TX? There may be a road trip for me in he near future!

Thu Aug 30, 11:13:00 AM  
Blogger Bubby said...

I have seen her, as you know. She is a beauty to behold and yes, she lives and breathes... even when at rest.

Mon Sep 03, 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger The Topiary Cow said...

Wow. Gorgeous photos.

Wanna train ride now.....

Tue Sep 04, 11:04:00 AM  

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