a blog about cars, car blog

The View
Through The Windshield
About Cars ... and Everything Else I See
by Joe Sherlock

Union Pacific 'Challenger' Steam Locomotive
photos - page 2 (posted 9/27/2005)

UP locomotive

On a sunny Thursday morning (9/22/05), we headed to the Portland Union Pacific Railroad yard to see the Challenger steam loco take off. There were at least 200 train buffs present.

We waited. Finally, two switch locos coupled up a consist of classic UP streamliner 40s-era passenger cars. The coupling was done with the engineer's compartments empty. The "operator" stood next to the cars being coupled and moved the yard diesels using a box on his chest, secured with a neck strap. This box contained switches and joysticks and that is how the diesel engines were driven - like a radio-controlled race car. It was very effective - I've never seen a smoother couple-up.

Then the cars were backed up, the mighty articulated Challenger was coupled to the head end and the train took off - 50 minutes late. The Challenger bellowed gigantic quantities of steam and smoke but was surprisingly quiet. It had a commanding whistle, though.

Here are some photos from the rail yard:

More Challenger Photos
| page 1 |
page 2 | page 3 |

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copyright 2005 - Joseph M. Sherlock - All applicable rights reserved


Disclaimer

The facts presented in this blog are based on my best guesses and my substantially faulty geezer memory. The opinions expressed herein are strictly those of the author and are protected by the U.S. Constitution. Probably.

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