Welcome to Railway Preservation News
Welcome to Railway Preservation News
home articles briefs classifieds flimsies interchange

RyPN Briefs November 21, 2007
previous brief ~ return to briefs index ~ next brief
Book Review: Union Pacific Steam Survivors

By Lloyd E. Stagner, South Platte Press, David City, Nebraska, $19.95.

Lloyd Stagner, a career Santa Fe employee, is well known for his numerous books on steam locomotives. The prolific author, now over 80, has recently followed up his previous work on the remaining Santa Fe steam locomotives with another paperback volume on the remaining steam locomotives from the Union Pacific.

Like the Santa Fe, the UP was generous in donating locomotives to on line cities and museums, and over 50 engines still survive, in conditions ranging from operable to deplorable. The book gives full listings of the survivors and their specifications, with photos from various eras of nearly all of them. Remaining wheel arrangements range from 4-4-0 to 4-8-8-4, with the 2-8-0 wheel arrangement predominating. Twenty one UP Consolidations survive in three distinct types, in conditions from pristine to embarrassing.

Notably missing in extant wheel arrangements are the 2-6-0, 0-8-0 and 4-8-0, which were few in number on the UP, plus the 4-8-2 Mountain type, the 4-10-2 Overlands and the big 2-8-8-0 Bull Moose articulateds, which survived late with none saved. Second hand engines acquired during WWII, such as Chesapeake & Ohio and Norfolk & Western 2-8-8-2s, were disposed of soon after the war.

There are many historic photos, valuable in showing that the sad derelicts of today were once actually active revenue producers, plus others depicting their existence over the decades as static reminders of the past. Due to space restrictions, not all of the extant UP engines are pictured.

A good proportion of the park engines have had the asbestos lagging removed, with most losing the boiler jackets and a few other parts in the process. For the more numerous wheel arrangements, it appears at least one or more examples still has an intact jacket, which could ease the pattern making process should a full cosmetic restoration be attempted on the others.

Besides the railroad's well-known 844 and 3985, only two other UP locomotives have been returned to full operation since the road's last revenue steam runs in 1959, with 0-6-0 4466 operating for a time at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento and 2-8-0 618 running at Heber City, Utah. Two other 400-series 2-8-0s have been under long overhaul at North Freedom, Wisconsin and Union, Illinois, but are yet to be completed.

This writer was asked to provide a brief summary of what can be done to reverse the condition of derelict display locomotives, as well as a short chapter on the three remaining UP roundhouses, which could eventually provide shelter for some of the engines. See their website for ordering details.