UP tracks

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bobnsteam
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UP tracks

Postby bobnsteam » Mon Jun 18, 2018 3:59 pm

Guys,
Does UP run its steam exclusively on UP tracks? Insurance liability issues?
Bob

Millhouse
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Re: UP tracks

Postby Millhouse » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:31 pm

Far as I knew, most of the time, yes. I'm sure the other guys can expound more.

Charles T. McCullough
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Re: UP tracks

Postby Charles T. McCullough » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:00 pm

I am sure the 3985 has run on 'foreign' rail (CSX I think) as a 'borrowed' engine to look like an engine that used to run on those rails as part of a "Christmas Train". I think there are videos of it on YouTube. I am pretty sure the 844 (8444) has done so also.
Semper Vaporo,
Charles T. McCullough


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Fitz
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Re: UP tracks

Postby Fitz » Tue Jun 19, 2018 4:10 pm

On the 844/4449 doubleheader from north of Portland to Everett, 844 ran on BNSF trackage, but there may have been rights for both BNSF and UP, as there were UP tracks available, too.
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John Bohon
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Re: UP tracks

Postby John Bohon » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:43 am

In the nineties 3985 was brought east for the Clinchffield Christmas train in Eastern Tennessee. The train is still operated by CSX but that year was an anniversary and steam was used in place of the usual diesels. UP supplied 3985 because the Clinchfield bought several identical challengers that the WW II War Production Board had sent to the Rio Grande for the war effort. As built the engines were not that successful burning the better coals used by D&RGW and CRR and after the war the Grande wanted nothing more to do with the engines. The Clinchfied modified the engines and they went on to relatively successful careers hauling their trains. The 3985 was cosmetically altered to look like the CRR engines for the trip. It was a great publicity move and one I had hoped to see but the railroad had other ideas and I was not given the weekend off for the only chance I ever expect to have to see a challenger run.

John Bohon

Mark D
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Re: UP tracks

Postby Mark D » Fri Jun 22, 2018 9:55 am

John, do you know about when the U.P. converted their Challengers to oil burning?

Mark D.
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John Bohon
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Re: UP tracks

Postby John Bohon » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:27 am

Not really Mark. I remember reading some UP engines were converted after WW II due to coal shortages during strikes. Since UP ran to the west coast I assume they converted lots of engines to oil early. It is certainly possible some of the challengers were built as oil burners but I have no clue if that was the case. I think the challengers were easily more of a system wide locomotive than the Big Boys which operated in a relatively small territory. Of the two challengers still existing one was oil fired and the other, 3985, was coal fired. I think it must have been in the eighties when 3985 was converted to oil using parts from the other. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable in UP steam practices will be able to answer you question. Just about anyone would be better qualified than I.

John Bohon

Kevin Gilliam
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Re: UP tracks

Postby Kevin Gilliam » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:38 am

John Bohon wrote:Not really Mark. I remember reading some UP engines were converted after WW II due to coal shortages during strikes. Since UP ran to the west coast I assume they converted lots of engines to oil early. It is certainly possible some of the challengers were built as oil burners but I have no clue if that was the case. I think the challengers were easily more of a system wide locomotive than the Big Boys which operated in a relatively small territory. Of the two challengers still existing one was oil fired and the other, 3985, was coal fired. I think it must have been in the eighties when 3985 was converted to oil using parts from the other. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable in UP steam practices will be able to answer you question. Just about anyone would be better qualified than I.

John Bohon



3985 was converted in mid 1990. Several Challengers had been converted, and if memory recalls, they used the oil-firing setup from 3977 in North Platte to convert the 3985. There were attempts as well for one Big Boy, but for whatever reason, it didn't last long.

Mark D
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Re: UP tracks

Postby Mark D » Sat Jun 23, 2018 11:36 am

Thank you all for the information. I was wondering if it happened during the restoration to operation. Being that was done in 1990 it appears that it was done for that reason.
Mark D.
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John Bohon
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Re: UP tracks

Postby John Bohon » Sat Jun 23, 2018 3:18 pm

3985 ran for a few years after restoration as a coal burner. Fear of fires severely limited where and when UP could run the engine. After conversion to oil 3985 could roam the system like 844. Oil is also much easier to deal with on the road. A truck drives up and delivers the oil and there is no ash to get rid of. With an oil burning challenger sitting in a park to borrow parts from I am surprised the railroad did not do the conversion as part of the initial restoration. They certainly got there moneys worth out of the work.

John Bohon

bobnsteam
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Re: UP tracks

Postby bobnsteam » Tue Jun 26, 2018 11:10 am

Guys,
Nice posts. Can 4014 travel on all tracks and bridges due to its weight?
Bob

John Bohon
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Re: UP tracks

Postby John Bohon » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:03 pm

The short answer is no. There are going to be restrictions and the UP clearance department will be working overtime to find where 4014 can and cannot run. It is not just a matter of weight. The swing on the front engine will endanger wayside objects like signals as well as trains sitting on adjacent sidings. If I remember correctly 3955's front engine bounced off some hoppers while going around a curve on the Clinchfield. It also failed to negotiate a wye that had turned the same engines back in the day but had been realigned after steam ended. It is not easy running these steam critters on the mainlines these days.

John Bohon

Charles T. McCullough
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Re: UP tracks

Postby Charles T. McCullough » Tue Jun 26, 2018 4:13 pm

Steve Lee referred to the accident where 3985 struck some hoppers as, "we remodeled some hopper cars for them".
Semper Vaporo,
Charles T. McCullough


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