random thoughts on railroad photography, railfanning, technology, and such

Entries from March 28, 2010 - April 3, 2010


Tracking a Legend on Her Journey and Kudos to UP!

Now that the Union Pacific’s Valley Heritage Tour is underway, you can follow the train’s progress and current location on a map that is updated every 5 minutes thanks to the generosity and talents of the Union Pacific Railroad!  Here is what the application looks like with an overview of the route highlighted:

Union Pacific’s Steam Locomotive Tracking Application - Overiew Map

And here is a view of the map zoomed in:

Union Pacific’s Steam Locomotive Tracking Application - Detailed View

You can also follow the train, and Union Pacific, on Twitter and Facebook for the very latest updates. There is even an RSS feed of their “tweets” available as shown below:

RSS Feed Showing UP_Steam’s Tweets

I would like to tip my hat to the Union Pacific Railroad for extending these services out to the public. It is a very good use of technology that allows us to follow the train’s journey while I am a mere 900 miles away and still feel like I am there.  Thank you Union Pacific.  Your Public Relations and Information Technology groups are doing a great job!  Keep it “up.”  (Get it?, UP - oh nevermind…)

Now if we could only stream live in cab video…!

RSS Feed of UP_Steam's Tweets


Union Pacific Railroad Unveils No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America Commemorative Locomotive

UP 2010, Special Locomotive Celebrates Scouting’s 100-year History

Houston, Texas, March 31, 2010 – Union Pacific Railroad today unveiled the UP No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America Locomotive, created as a tribute to the organization’s centennial celebration. The UP No. 2010 honors Scouting’s 100-year impact on the nation and the many Scouting enthusiasts in Union Pacific’s work force and communities.

“Union Pacific and the Boy Scouts of America have played leadership roles in shaping America’s history. With the UP No. 2010, we are proud to celebrate 100 years of Scouting, progress and patriotism,” said Robert W. Turner, Union Pacific senior vice president-Corporate Relations.

“We are deeply honored by the tribute Union Pacific has given to Scouting through the creation of the commemorative locomotive,” said Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. “We also owe a great deal of gratitude to our UP employee Scouting alumni base, which has spearheaded the movement to create the UP No. 2010. Their efforts mean that for years to come, the locomotive will serve as a reminder of the impact millions of Scouts have had on this country for 100 years.”

A very rare honor, Union Pacific has created only 14 commemorative locomotives in its nearly 150-year history. The Boy Scouts-themed locomotive is decorated with a series of four distinct graphics:

  •     The national Boy Scouts of America logo
  •     The BSA’s 100th Anniversary logo
  •     The words “100 Years of Scouting”
  •     Ten emblems representing stages of Scouting and an 11th emblem for the 2010 National Scout Jamboree

Union Pacific No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America Locomotive

The Union Pacific No. 2010 Boy Scouts of America Locomotive was built at the General Electric plant in Erie, Pa., and delivered to North Little Rock, Ark., as UP No. 7469. In the process of having graphics applied in honor of the Boy Scouts of America’s 100th Anniversary celebration, the locomotive was renumbered to UP No. 2010.

Because it is one of the newest, most reliable and most fuel-efficient locomotives in the Union Pacific fleet, the UP No. 2010 likely will carry service-sensitive consists such as automotive and intermodal trains traveling from facilities in Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Marion, Ark., to West Coast facilities in Los Angeles, Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

Model:  GE 4400-horsepower “C45AC”
Weight:  207 tons
Length:  73 feet, 2 inches
Width:  10 feet, 3 inches
Height:  15 feet, 6 inches
Maximum Speed:  75 miles per hour
Engine Diesel:  12-cylinder
Emblems:  11, representing 10 “stages of Scouting” and National Scout Jamboree



iPhone Art - "Now Arriving Track 11"

I arrived at Los Angeles’ Union Station during my commute today in time to see Amtrak’s westbound Sunset Limited (Amtrak #1) terminate its 1,700 mile journey from New Orleans a full fifteen minutes ahead of schedule.  The northbound Coast Starlight (Amtrak #14) waits on Track 12 to depart shortly to Seattle.

Here’s what she looked like to me as she pull into Track 11:

“Now Arriving Track 11”