There is no other locomotive in the United States more famous than Union Pacific's 4-8-4 number 844. Built by the American Locomotive Company in 1944, it was the last 4-8-4 built for the railroad, and was never actually retired from the roster at the end of the steam era. I was saved and used on a few excursions and did service as a snow melter in Council Bluffs before being used on more excursions and special trains. We begin with a scene of 844 in regular service on a passenger train, and then see a couple of nice scenes of it in freight service east of Council Bluffs near the end of its steam-era service. Then we see it in the early 1960's, still as 844 on the first fantrip to Rawlins, WY after steam-era service ended.
There are numerous trips through the decade of the 60's, and you will see the transition to 8444 when a new GP30 gets the 844 number. Along the way in the 60's and early 70's we see a multitude of trips, and sometimes enjoy one-way ferry trips which would be on the point of regular passenger trains. We will see it for the last time on a regular Union Pacific Passenger train, and in later years on the last run of Amtrak in the area. After the 16mm footage is completed, we have included a few scenes in 1981 of a one-way trip to Denver from Cheyenne with hopper cars and a caboose, plus some scenes of an excursion to Sterling, Colorado from Denver.
This is super 8 sound footage by Greg Scholl. The majority of the silent 16mm footage was shot by Perry Becker, and Everett Rohrer, and we have added narration and appropriate background music. There are also servicing and roundhouse scenes as the engine is made ready and turned on the turntable. There is even a short break-in run from Omaha as well as other surprises during this program. There is a wealth of history and interesting images here that provides a great insight into "844 The Early Years".