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Steam & Excursion > Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired


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Date: 02/10/20 13:23
Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: JLW2K

Just got this in my inbox from the Official UP Steam Club:

We'd like to thank all of you for helping us celebrate the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad in 2019. More than 1 million people visited the Big Boy No. 4014 as it traveled on its unforgettable tour across the Union Pacific system.The celebration began with the christening of No. 4014 in Cheyenne, Wyoming, May 4, followed by the historic double-header excursion where Big Boy was joined with the Living Legend No. 844 as they traveled to Ogden to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike at ceremonies held May 9. The Great Race to Odgen was followed by The Great Race Across the Midwest throughout the summer. The tour season concluded with The Great Race Across the Southwest in the fall. Over 109 days, No. 4014 travelled 8,645 miles though towns, cities and communities in 17 states Union Pacific is proud to serve.No doubt thousands of photos and videos were taken at tour stops and locations along the way, many of which you shared on the UP Steam Club Facebook group – thank you! In fact, fans posted more than 55,000 photos, videos and stories, helping us record this very special moment in history.We're proud of everyone who helped make the 2019 steam season a success, and we're thankful that you helped us keep safety at the forefront during these celebrations. We couldn't have done it without you.Fun facts about our 2019 tour:
  • More than 1.1 million people visited Big Boy during the 109 days on tour.
  • More than 115,000 visited the "Experience the Union Pacific" rail car.
  • Fans traced the Big Boy's location on the Steam Trace map more than 3.5 million times.
  • More than 1,500 TV, print and digital news stories were published about the tour with a potential reach of more than 105 million.
Streamlining Steam Operations:

As you're probably aware, beginning in October 2018 Union Pacific launched Unified Plan 2020, a bold new operating plan that implements Precision Scheduled Railroading principles in an effort to secure UP's place as the industry leader in safety, service and financial performance.As part of this effort, the railroad streamlined its operations in all areas, including the Union Pacific Steam and Heritage Fleet programs. While there's no question these changes have impacted operations, the Cheyenne Steam Shop remains in operation, UP's Heritage Fleet continues to be housed in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and planning is under way for 2020 steam activities.As a member of the UP Steam Club, you'll be among the first to know of upcoming steam schedule information, so keep an eye on your e-mail or our Facebook group for UP Steam Club updates.  

The Challenger No. 3985 Will Remain Officially Retired:

Since work was completed on No. 4014 people have asked about the fate of The Challenger No. 3985.The short answer: There are no plans to restore No. 3985. Many years of hard operation have resulted in the locomotive requiring a complete frame-up restoration similar to what was needed to make No. 4014 operational. Historically, Union Pacific's steam program has had two steam locomotives on its roster, and that count will remain the same moving forward.No. 3985 last operated in "regular" train service in 1957. It was retired in 1962 and stored in the roundhouse in Cheyenne, Wyoming, until 1975 when it was placed on display near the Cheyenne depot. A group of Union Pacific employees volunteered their services to restore the locomotive to running condition in 1981. Where No. 3985 will ultimately reside is still in question, but it's safe to say the locomotive will remain officially retired from service.  

Keep Sharing Those Photos, Video and Stories on FacebookThe 2019 steam season may be over but we know you still have lots of photos and stories left to share, so keep sharing them at the Official Union Pacific Steam Club Facebook Group!If you're not already a member of the UP Steam Club Facebook Group, joining is easy: Just click on the following URL and ask to become a member: https://www.facebook.com/groups/UPSteamClub/  Before joining in the discussion, take a moment to read our Facebook Policy.This policy also explains what we will – and will not -- allow group members to post, with special emphasis on safe photos and videos.  From the Steam Team: 2019 Fun FactsMany have asked us, "What is it like running a Big Boy?" Here are some interesting fun facts to consider regarding the 2019 travel year:
  • The complete restoration of the Big Boy took 2-1/2 years to completely dissemble and rebuild from the frame up. The entire engine was removed and completely taken apart piece-by-piece so we could ensure the best serviceability with the end product.
  • Trip planning is a careful analysis of the current state of the network operationally, as well as where this giant locomotive can actually operate. As many already have observed, UP 4014 can go nearly everywhere on the vast Union Pacific system. Before Big Boy operated we first planned carefully with our many partners at Union Pacific Center and the Harriman Dispatching Center in Omaha, Nebraska.
  • More than a generation ago, the railroad was set up to handle big steam. Today, we must bring everything we need for steam operations with us in support cars. When we parked at night other work began. We had to inspect the locomotive just as they did back in the 1940s. Several of us carefully inspected the locomotive to ensure all was well and made necessary adjustments.
  • We inspected not only UP 4014 and the tender but also the two water cars and diesel locomotive. Walk-around inspections were performed at least twice daily -- before departure and after arrival – we "hammer tested" every accessible nut, bolt, pin and other critical part.
  • There also were air brake inspections that included checks for leakage, functionality, piston travel and brake shoe condition.
  • Both fuel and water were replenished and two types of grease were used -- hard grease for the connecting rods and soft grease for the valve gear and other components. We replenished the force feed lubricators with three types of oil – valve oil, high- and moderate-temperature steam cylinder oil, and what we call "engine oil" -- a machinery oil similar to what is used in your automobile engine.
We look forward to seeing everyone soon as we continue to perform our work here in Cheyenne making the Heritage equipment ready for a 2020 trip! Watch your email and the UP Steam Club Facebook group for the latest information on UP Steam. And please tell your friends to join the Steam Club. And most importantly when you are trackside viewing trains, always remain at least 25 feet back from the track!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/10/20 13:25 by JLW2K.



Date: 02/10/20 13:27
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: HotWater

Interesting. I wonder when 844 will also be "retired".



Date: 02/10/20 13:37
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: callum_out

Doesn't 844 need a ground up rebuild currently?

Out



Date: 02/10/20 13:38
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: HotWater

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Doesn't 844 need a ground up rebuild currently?
>
> Out

No, why would it?



Date: 02/10/20 14:52
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: jethat

What about the E's? 6936? He already told me in a conversation I had with him on FB there is no money for them but why not make that part of the official announcement? He clains they cut his budget to me any way. He cut me off when he fihured out I was pro old crew..



Date: 02/10/20 14:58
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: walstib

How long is this old crew vs. new crew nonsense going to continue?

Ed has been at the helm for the better part of a decade now.

Asking for a friend.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 02/10/20 15:07
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: jethat

walstib Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How long is this old crew vs. new crew nonsense
> going to continue?
>
> Ed has been at the helm for the better part of a
> decade now.
>
> Asking for a friend.
>
> Posted from iPhone
Probably forever. Much of the anomosity comes from divkens himself. He accedently sent me a video of Steve Lee saying why he though the 4000 restoration wasnt praacticle just last month. Dickens HATES the old crew and that right there is where it all runs from.



Date: 02/10/20 15:15
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: callum_out

So my 844 rebuild need didn't get very far and I'm sure everyone would have missed the point anyway. So the
4014 runs a trip or two, few months, what would keep the steam crew together for the rest of the time. Excuses
on whatever else the 4014 needs only goes so far, going to be interesting to see if the group gets scattered to
other positions during extended down time.

Out 



Date: 02/10/20 15:17
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: HotWater

walstib Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> How long is this old crew vs. new crew nonsense
> going to continue?

Well,,,,,,isn't that pretty much up to the current manager, who is STILL holding a grudge?

> Ed has been at the helm for the better part of a
> decade now.

Yes, and look at all that has gone wrong!

> Asking for a friend.

Sure you are.
 



Date: 02/10/20 15:21
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: HotWater

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So my 844 rebuild need didn't get very far and I'm
> sure everyone would have missed the point anyway.

OK,,,,,,,so just what IS the "point"?????

> So the
> 4014 runs a trip or two, few months, what would
> keep the steam crew together for the rest of the
> time.

Probably doing all sorts of maintenance and "repairs" on 4014.

Excuses
> on whatever else the 4014 needs only goes so far,
> going to be interesting to see if the group gets
> scattered to
> other positions during extended down time.

Well,,,,,,,the UP has already furloughed two members of the steam crew.

>
> Out 



Date: 02/10/20 15:41
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: up3985

Well maybe 3985 will have a chance if she gets donated to a museum somewhere. Could later be leased to UP for heritage work maybe? (just thinking out loud here)



Date: 02/10/20 15:42
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: Bucyrus-Erie

HotWater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well,,,,,,,the UP has already furloughed two
> members of the steam crew.

Which members?

Jim Lee
Lake Hopatcong, NJ
 



Date: 02/10/20 16:03
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: HotWater

Bucyrus-Erie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> HotWater Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Well,,,,,,,the UP has already furloughed two
> > members of the steam crew.
>
> Which members?
>
> Jim Lee
> Lake Hopatcong, NJ

The "over the road" person, and an Electrician. The "Over the Road" man simply exercised his seniority and went back to work, but the Electrician didn't have enough seniority, and is  now "on the street".



Date: 02/10/20 16:13
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: callum_out

Jack, the point was that the crew needed something to keep them employed and it wouldn't surprise me to hear Ed start a
list of things the 844 needs (besides the leaky rod packing). Send them all packing, hire a contractor to run the steam trips
as required. That's the very reason the Class 1s use contractors, use them when needed and only then. 

Out 



Date: 02/10/20 16:19
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: ALCO630

jethat Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> What about the E's? 6936? He already told me in a
> conversation I had with him on FB there is no
> money for them but why not make that part of the
> official announcement? He clains they cut his
> budget to me any way. He cut me off when he
> fihured out I was pro old crew..

Why WOULDN’T anyone believe his budget got cut. I’m sure there was consideration to eliminate it entirely.

Posted from iPhone

Doug Wetherhold
Macungie, PA



Date: 02/10/20 16:21
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: callum_out

One of the original considerations on the 4014 was to contract out the rebuild.

Out



Date: 02/10/20 16:22
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: jethat

callum_out Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Jack, the point was that the crew needed something
> to keep them employed and it wouldn't surprise me
> to hear Ed start a
> list of things the 844 needs (besides the leaky
> rod packing). Send them all packing, hire a
> contractor to run the steam trips
> as required. That's the very reason the Class 1s
> use contractors, use them when needed and only
> then. 
>
> Out 
What other class 1 brings in steam? Union Pacific could have a better steam operation if they created a non profit and donated all of the heritage equipment then leased it back or just allowed it to run under their insurance umbrella and donated. Old employees might donate their time and such. Dickens would have to go under that plan..



Date: 02/10/20 16:27
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: JMT-844-97

HotWater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> UPChallenger3985 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > HotWater Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > Interesting. I wonder when 844 will also be
> > > "retired".
> >
> > Wouldnt surprise me with Dickens (a lying
> phony)
> > in charge.
>
> Especially since 844 is associated with previous
> Steam Crews, which the current manager intensely
> dislikes.

Here’s a crazy thought: maybe Ed is indifferent about the old crew. I know, doesn’t really fit your narrative, but it has been 10 years and Ed is still there. I have also yet to hear him utter a bad word about the old crew (10 years now).



Date: 02/10/20 17:27
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: HotWater

JMT-844-97 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> HotWater Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > UPChallenger3985 Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > HotWater Wrote:
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> > > -----
> > > > Interesting. I wonder when 844 will also be
> > > > "retired".
> > >
> > > Wouldnt surprise me with Dickens (a lying
> > phony)
> > > in charge.
> >
> > Especially since 844 is associated with
> previous
> > Steam Crews, which the current manager
> intensely
> > dislikes.
>
> Here’s a crazy thought: maybe Ed is indifferent
> about the old crew.

Wrong!

I know, doesn’t really fit
> your narrative, but it has been 10 years and Ed is
> still there. I have also yet to hear him utter a
> bad word about the old crew (10 years now).

Apparently you have NOT been around him very much/often. 



Date: 02/10/20 17:27
Re: Official Info from UP: Streamlined Ops and 3985 Retired
Author: jethat

JMT-844-97 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> HotWater Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > UPChallenger3985 Wrote:
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> > -----
> > > HotWater Wrote:
> > >
> >
> --------------------------------------------------
>
> >
> > > -----
> > > > Interesting. I wonder when 844 will also be
> > > > "retired".
> > >
> > > Wouldnt surprise me with Dickens (a lying
> > phony)
> > > in charge.
> >
> > Especially since 844 is associated with
> previous
> > Steam Crews, which the current manager
> intensely
> > dislikes.
>
> Here’s a crazy thought: maybe Ed is indifferent
> about the old crew. I know, doesn’t really fit
> your narrative, but it has been 10 years and Ed is
> still there. I have also yet to hear him utter a
> bad word about the old crew (10 years now).
Do you know Dickens personally? I've had interaction with him on FB and I can promise you he is not indifferent to the old crew. Far from it.



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