It’s not often that I’ll rise before dawn and brave temperatures in the 30s with a howling wind … for a machine.
But what a machine! Steam Locomotive Engine No. 844 flew past the ghost town of Steins, N. M. at 8:15 this morning, welcomed by two dozen cold but enthusiastically waving train fans. The Union Pacific Heritage train was on its way to its first Arizona stop in Willcox and will arrive in Tucson for a display day on Friday. The New Mexico/Arizona Centennial Tour started in Cheyenne, Wyo., will last 32 days, and go through nine states.
No. 844 was the last steam locomotive built for United Pacific Railroad and was saved from being scrapped in 1960 to be held for special service.
And special it was – it’s been nearly 35 years since the U.S. Bicentennial when a steam locomotive last passed through the state.
To read more about it and to see an interactive map, check out the United Pacific website – from the warmth of your computer!