Union Pacific Challenger 3985: The Union Pacific Challenger 3985 pulls the Portland Rose Excursion train in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Denver-Portland passenger route. This photograph was taken September 18, 1995, near Soda Springs Idaho. Estimated speed: 55 mph.
At over 1 million pounds, Challenger 3985 is the world's larges operating steam locomotive. It was designed by the Union Pacific and built in 1943 by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO). It is one of 105 Challengers built for the Union Pacific between 1936 and 1943 and is the only operating engine of it's class in the world today.
With a top speed of 70 mph and a driver diameter of 69 inches, the Challengers were designed for fast freight service, but occasionally saw duty at the head of passenger trains
At the conclusion of the Portland Rose Excursion, the 3985 returned to the Cheyenne Wyoming roundhouse for a complete restoration, which is expected to take five years. Union Pacific's 844, freshly restored after a five year restoration in the backshop, will replace the 3985 on excursion duties. Copyright 1995.
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