Union Pacific 2-10-2 5511

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Union Pacific 2-10-2 5511
Posted by JOSEPH the steam buff on Friday, February 13, 2015 5:11 PM

I know that Union Pacific has the ONLY remaining  2-10-2 class as part of their steam fleet.   She is the well known 5511.   She even appeared in the last of the giants video.    My thought is this....    Why can,t she run in the steam program?....    From what I have heard is this..... Her boiler is in awesome shape.    If she was put in the shop she could be running in months.    I have heard that a rod or cylinder was bad.  The rod was repatched and welded for repair.     The tender is too short.    My question is this.... If so.   Can you cut the frame and part of the tender and lengthen them to were you can make her operational?   But also giving the opportunity to make her fuel tank or coal bunker and water tank longer giveing her the opportunity to run longer and still being able to get a purpose?......  I thought it,s a smart idea.  Now I don't,t know if those are the issues for sure.  I may be wrong.    

But to me.. If the tender is the ONLY issue keeping her from running....  Why not give it a shot to try to see if its, even possible to lengthen it?       

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Posted by csmith9474 on Friday, February 13, 2015 6:22 PM
Small drivers/too slow.
Smitty
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Posted by ACY Tom on Friday, February 13, 2015 10:01 PM

As mentioned, a 2-10-2 was never designed for the speeds that characterize the modern U.P.   I would vote against lengthening the tender, even if it were feasible.  I just have an aversion to modifications of the appearance of historical engines.  They modified the tender of C&O 614 for the experimental runs several years ago, with unfortunate results from an aesthetic standpoint.  Interestingly, another similar tender was said to exist at the time, so an alternative approach would have been possible. 

That said, it sure would be interesting to see an engine with Young valve gear in operation. 

Tom

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, February 13, 2015 10:05 PM

What good reaason does UP have to run the 2-10-2? What good reason does UP have to run any steam at all, for that matter?

The answer for both is: They don't.

UP would do just as good as a businuess without the steam program as with. We should be happy they operate what they can when they can; and even though they are bringing back a big boy, we have to remember their shops are only so big, and their pockets only so deep.

UP can only run so much before it becomes too much of an expense. Business before pleasure.

Also, that 2-10-2 is the only surviving wheel arangement from the UP, operation would mean destruction of some of that histrical fabric, after all, it's only original once. Lets keep it that way.

At least the 5511 is preserved, I don't ask anymore of UP than to keep it that way.

 

Not every steamer should operate,

S. Connor; out.

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Posted by Dr D on Friday, February 13, 2015 11:07 PM

UP 5511 2-10-2 was a drag freight engine from the era when just keeping the train moving over the line was the issue.  UP 5511 was one of many drag freight  engines kept on for "pusher service" getting freight over Sherman Hill.

Unfortunately, the modern steam excursion business is about moving at passenger speeds in such a manor as is contemporary to todays diesel passenger power.  

UP 5511 is unique, she is a historical class act so typical to Union Pacific of the 1920's.  She belongs to "the days before Northerns, the days before Challengers, the days before Big Boy.  When the only UP power was 4-12-2 and 2-10-2 and 2-8-2.  When Union Pacific passenger power was 4-8-2 and 4-6-2!  

She is an unqualified movie actor from an age of generic freight trains that went "Everywhere West!"  I see UP 5511 and I see the OLD WEST of which Union Pacific   has a substancial historical part!  UP 5511 is part of American railroad history of which there are very few remaining actors.  

No other 2-10-2 Santa Fe's, only one 4-12-2 Union Pacific, no 4-8-2 Mountains, no 4-6-2 Pacifics and just a couple of old 2-8-2 Mikes.  Wow!

A close look at UP 5511 reveals that the feed water heater was removed at some point and that after her movie appearance she was to be scrapped and her piston rods were cut with a cutting torch.  Some unknown hero just never ordered her sent her off to the dead line.  

The small four wheel tender makes her out to be just "that much more grunt" than a large freight Mikado 2-8-2.  The engines that moved the freight in the days of Woodie Guthrie.

My personal story of UP 5511 comes about in the 1960's when I was traveling west with my parents in a 1966 Airstream trailer pulled by a 1966 Chrysler New Yorker.  I had a copy of Ron Ziel's book Twilight of Steam.  When mom and dad came to Cheyenne, Wyoming, as a 16 year old kid I just walked from the passenger station over to the roundhouse and into the back shop to see the 8444 Northern, 3895 Challenger and 4023 Big Boy.  

To my surprise there was one well kept secret and it was UP 5511.  I walked over and looked over the engine saying "Wow!, what have we here?"  UP 5511 was not on the books of the railroad or in Ziel's account of Union Pacific steam it wasn't supposed to exist - a ghost engine for sure!

In those days no one cared if a 16 yr old kid went on railroad property for a look around - so I took them up on the invitiation.  Climbed the cab and walked the running boards of all the engines and tried the throttle and engineers seat.  If I remember right 4023 engine and tender were disconnected by a few feet.  It was a dream come true - to see such modern contemporary power in its historical setting and in such perfect condition - I looked down the huge empty back shop - marveled at the huge overhead crane that could lift locomotives and imagined the whole place busy repairing steam - and I grabbed a few photos before leaving.  

Big Boy was the longest steam engine I had ever seen.

As I left I couldn't help wonder what kind of western grace existed in that country that allowed such steam locomotives to remain cared for as part of the every day work enviornment.  Wyoming seemed saved unto itself - and the ghosts of 50 years of railroading seemed very friendly - and close at hand.

Two years later dad and I took the Union Pacific City of San Francisco from Chicago to the coast as a highschool graduation gift.  Leaving Chicago we ate in the diner and then went to the dome car for the night ride west through Illinois and Iowa.  All the seats were taken in the dome car, but a couple was just leaving, so we were able to get a seat in the dark for and hour or so before returning to our compartment.  

Dad started talking to a guy who turned out to be Walter Winchell.  Unknown to me until I realized he was the narrator for the popular TV series of the time "The Untouchables."  Walter I found out later in life was a leading New York news broadcaster of the 1930's and 40's on radio - he was replaced by Larry King.  

In the 1990's his biography was published and the reason he was on the train.  He was at the end of his career and was making a trip to the west coast in an effort to continue professional broadcasting and TV work for few more years.  Winchell's son had just committed suicide and he was talking to my dad and me - I did not understand the poinent pathos.  Sadly his trip was in vain and he died three years later.

The news broadcast to "Mr. and Mrs. American and all the ships at sea!" had come to an end!

Thankfully UP steam has not come to an end and never retired locomotive UP 844 will likely out live me.  But Ahhh - I remember her in my 16 year old youth!  When she and I were both young together.

Doc

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Posted by Thechief66 on Saturday, February 14, 2015 7:24 AM

As mentioned above, the piston rods have been cut. I took these pictures a couple of years ago during the UP open house.

 

 

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Posted by rfpjohn on Saturday, February 14, 2015 10:14 AM

A real beauty from the distant past days of real "He-man" railroading! Am I right in thinking there is only one other american drag-freight 2-10-2* in existance? The ex-SP engine at the Illinois Railway Museum. That one looked pretty rough when I saw her maybe 8 years ago.

* I'm not counting the Chinese locos in Iowa.

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Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Saturday, February 14, 2015 10:24 AM

Dr d, twilight of steam, an excellent book. Got my original copy still. Often open it for old time sake. The scrap yard scenes are still very distrubing.

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Posted by ACY Tom on Saturday, February 14, 2015 12:34 PM

Dr. D

You'll be happy to know that there are at least 6 North American 2-10-2's in existence:  1. AT&SF 940, Bartlesville, OK;  2. DM&N 502, Museum of Transport, St. Louis;  3. DM&IR 506, National Ry. Museum, Green Bay;  4. T&NO 975, Illinois Ry. Museum, Union, IL;  5. T&NO 982, Houston, TX;  6. UP 5511 (an LA&SL number), Cheyenne, WY.

Since 5511 has an LA&SL number, I have often thought that it might be better for her to be returned to California in the Pomona collection, and U.P. 4-12-2 no. 9000 returned to Cheyenne, which was her operating territory.  I don't know how much the 5511 actually was actually used on the LA&SL.

You also lamented the lack of a preserved U.P. 4-6-2.  Fortunately, two OR&N Pacifics survive: 3206, reported to be in Spokane, and 3203 in Portland.

Tom

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Posted by JOSEPH the steam buff on Saturday, February 14, 2015 5:49 PM

Of course!!!!!!! Thank you doctor.    I remember her.   The 197.    How did I miss her lol.    She is a beauty.  Can,t wait to see her running soon.

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Posted by rfpjohn on Sunday, February 15, 2015 4:21 AM

ACY: Thanks for the loco list. I don't know where I got the impression there were only two 2-10-2's left.

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Posted by ACY Tom on Monday, February 16, 2015 6:43 PM

I have edited the list that I posted a few days ago.  It now includes another U.P. (OR&N) Pacific, no. 3203 in Portland.

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, February 16, 2015 8:12 PM

It also might be of interest to some that UP #3206 (4-6-2) last operated in 1980; at only 100 psi.

The Inland NW Museum is planning to restore 3206 as funds become available, I'm not sure if that refers to operation or cosmetic work.

Anyone know?

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Posted by JOSEPH the steam buff on Monday, February 16, 2015 8:21 PM

I think it,s a operational status one.    How cool would  that be!!!!!!!

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Posted by davews on Monday, March 16, 2015 4:31 PM

"Business before pleasure?" If life were only about business, it wouldn't be worth living. There's no foolproof way to calculate the effect of an exciting public relations program on revenue, but heritage and history have value.

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Posted by thomas81z on Saturday, March 21, 2015 1:50 PM

Just curious  does anybody make 5511 in ho scale???

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Posted by ACY Tom on Saturday, March 21, 2015 4:40 PM

BLI produced a brass hybrid model of a UP 2-10-2 a few years ago & you may be able to find one if you look hard enough.  I think it had Walschaerts' valve gear.  No. 5511 has Young valve gear.  Way back in the Dark Ages, an importer called Balboa had a Japanese brass version.  There may have been other brass versions.  If you have access to The Brown Book, that should have the info (I've misplaced my copy). 

Tom

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Posted by ONRFan89 on Monday, March 23, 2015 11:39 PM

Evening, UP 5511 has been one of my favorite locomotive for many years. I share the dream of restoring her as do many others. But realistically she is a poor candidate for mainline usage and would be too large for a tourist railroad. 

UP 5511 would be like the UP 9000, Just to big and to slow for operation at todays speeds. I have a source that says the UP 5511 is missing most of it's cab interior as the gauges and such were offered to UP employees at one time.

Now, Regarding the short tender. I would love to see the ex-C&O tender langishing in the CSX Baltimore yard paired up with the UP 5511 after being Union Pacificized. This is the tender, http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=27969 

Robert 

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Posted by ACY Tom on Monday, March 23, 2015 11:49 PM

The C&O tender is indeed an orphan, as there is no existing C&O loco that would have used that type of tank.  Too bad the last C&O Mike was cut up in the 1960's. But it's not a U.P. tender either, so it wouldn't look right behind 5511.  In any case, isn't 5511 an oil burner?

Tom

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Posted by West Coast S on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 6:12 PM

There is precedence for C&O tenders and UP 2-10-2's, UP salvage and reassigned several that were orginally assigned to their ex-C&O war babies this dramatic improvement contributed to longer operating ranges. 5511 does burn oil.

Dave

Dave

SP the way it was in S scale
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Posted by ACY Tom on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 7:01 PM

Those C&O tenders were rectangular tenders from ex-C&O H-7 2-8-8-2's.  They had nothing in common with the C&O coal-carrying Vanderbilt tender in Baltimore.  In any event, 5511 never used that type either. 

Tom

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Posted by ONRFan89 on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 7:46 PM

Guys, The point is the UP 5511 tender would be too small. The C&O tender in Baltimore is a coal tender. But converting the tender to oil should not be too hard. The UP 5511 has sort of a vanderbilt tender that is too small for operations in todays railroad environment. I can see the C&O tender being rebuilt to mimic the UP 5511's shorty tender. Specifically the wooden structure on the back of the 5511 tender. Other UP 2-10-2 locomotives did have larger vanderbilt tenders. Atleast that is what I call this body style no matter what road it is on.

There are two C&O vanderbilt tenders. The tender in Baltimore and there is another here http://www.odcnrhs.org/equipment_roster/records/record_025.htm

The Baltimore tender would be the most likely to be scrapped and would make the most sense for use with the 5511.  

Robert

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Posted by challenger3980 on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 3:41 PM

While it's not Likely to run again(How many times did we hear "A Big Boy will NEVER RUN AGAIN"" I would rather see the 5511 run with an "INCORRECT" tender than NEVER SEE IT RUN again.

 Keep the "Correct" tender stored unmodified, and nothing is lost, they can be re-coupled if ever put back into "Display" Status, while not as simple as coupling freight cars, it is not that big of a deal to do.

 As far as operating it "Destroying" it's "Original Fabric" does it have the ORIGINAL FROM THE BUILDER Boiler? I don't know, but I would suspect that the Boiler or at least tubes and flues were replaced at least once in it's working life.

Boiler, tube and Flue replacement were normal part of maintance on steam locomotivesso I don't feel that this is as big a concern as some make it out to be. How many 1932 Ford's or 1957 Chevys have the original from the factory spark plugs in them, yet they are still highly Valued sought after vehicles.

The boiler barrel, tubes and flues are hidden behind the boiler jacket out of sight, so even cold on display where is the value in the "Original Fabric"? I personally would find more value in seeing the 5511 OPERATING, and at some point IF the boiler needed replacing, then replace a componet that is not visible anyway.

Doug

May your flanges always stay BETWEEN the rails

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Posted by ACY Tom on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 7:56 PM

Maybe we should just agree to disagree.  I acknowledge that the C&O tender could give the 5511 greater range in the unlikely event the engine is ever restored to operation.  Yes, Fords and Chevies have been restored with non-original parts.  New parts aren't always obvious or objectionable.   But to my eyes, this would be something like restoring a Ford with a Chevy trunk.  You disagree, and that's your right.

Tom

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Posted by challenger3980 on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 8:23 PM

My Point was, that I would rather see it OPERATING and have the "Wrong" tender, than to not have it restored to operation at all. After thinking about it more, rather than changing tenders, or modifying the "Proper" tender, it shouldn't be too difficult to use a tank car for additional water capacity. I don't know what the oil capacity is, but suspect that it could be sufficient for a days steaming in the expected excursion use, it could be used in. The UP never used Aux tenders in regular service, and nobody seems to complain about the 3985 or 844 using an Aux tender, or even two, so a ubiqutious tank car trailing the tender shouldn't be too objectionable, to get a short legged locomotive restored, and operating.

Even Steve Lee, claimed that a Big Boy would NEVER, RUN AGAIN. I don't expect that we will ever see 5511 steam again, but I will stop short of saying never. The 4014 may not be under steam YET, but she is HOME and the UP has publicly announced their intention to restore her to service, a LOT could happen to kill this project, but it is supposedly a SINCERE plan to restore her to service, and a LOT of Good Faith effort has been made.

Doug

May your flanges always stay BETWEEN the rails

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Posted by JOSEPH the steam buff on Friday, June 05, 2015 1:03 AM

Fiinding out now that there might be   at least a bigger tender.   Does up know about this larger tender?   Will they possibly trade something or buy it?   Or are they not interested because they want to keep historical fabric?   

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Posted by nobullchitbids on Monday, February 05, 2018 11:11 PM

Actually, in this circumstance, it is possible to have our cake and eat it too.

 

#5511 will never steam again, but that does not mean she never will run.  It is possible to run a steam locomotive in demonstration mode using compressed air.  This would solve almost all the difficulties of "restoration" such as the absence of critical cab appliances, the tender being too short, or the engine being too slow.  It still would be necessary to restore the piston rods, since they have been cut, but the problems of boiler integrity (and the FRA regulations that go along with maintaining it) would be avoided since the air could be piped directly to the cylinders from tanks installed inside the tender.  The drivers then would have to be mounted on rollers rather than rail itself so that the engine in effect would run in place.

 

Now, who wants to bell this cat?  Because I guarantee you the effort would not be free, and UP already is doing more than its fair share of pulling the cart.

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Posted by ONRFan89 on Tuesday, February 13, 2018 7:01 PM

The large C&O tender in question is still available and is said to belong to the WMSRR. Alternatively to using the C&O tender on 5511 maybe it will find use on C&O 1309.

I still would vote for the 5511 to get the big C&O tender.

CSX would like to it to be gone from their yard sooner rather than later. Scrapping the big tender would be a true lose considering how few big tenders remain that are not in use already.

Robert

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Posted by WILLIAM A GIBSON JR on Thursday, February 15, 2018 8:44 PM

Dr D

UP 5511 2-10-2 was a drag freight engine from the era when just keeping the train moving over the line was the issue.  UP 5511 was one of many drag freight  engines kept on for "pusher service" getting freight over Sherman Hill.

Unfortunately, the modern steam excursion business is about moving at passenger speeds in such a manor as is contemporary to todays diesel passenger power.  

UP 5511 is unique, she is a historical class act so typical to Union Pacific of the 1920's.  She belongs to "the days before Northerns, the days before Challengers, the days before Big Boy.  When the only UP power was 4-12-2 and 2-10-2 and 2-8-2.  When Union Pacific passenger power was 4-8-2 and 4-6-2!  

She is an unqualified movie actor from an age of generic freight trains that went "Everywhere West!"  I see UP 5511 and I see the OLD WEST of which Union Pacific   has a substancial historical part!  UP 5511 is part of American railroad history of which there are very few remaining actors.  

No other 2-10-2 Santa Fe's, only one 4-12-2 Union Pacific, no 4-8-2 Mountains, no 4-6-2 Pacifics and just a couple of old 2-8-2 Mikes.  Wow!

A close look at UP 5511 reveals that the feed water heater was removed at some point and that after her movie appearance she was to be scrapped and her piston rods were cut with a cutting torch.  Some unknown hero just never ordered her sent her off to the dead line.  

The small four wheel tender makes her out to be just "that much more grunt" than a large freight Mikado 2-8-2.  The engines that moved the freight in the days of Woodie Guthrie.

My personal story of UP 5511 comes about in the 1960's when I was traveling west with my parents in a 1966 Airstream trailer pulled by a 1966 Chrysler New Yorker.  I had a copy of Ron Ziel's book Twilight of Steam.  When mom and dad came to Cheyenne, Wyoming, as a 16 year old kid I just walked from the passenger station over to the roundhouse and into the back shop to see the 8444 Northern, 3895 Challenger and 4023 Big Boy.  

To my surprise there was one well kept secret and it was UP 5511.  I walked over and looked over the engine saying "Wow!, what have we here?"  UP 5511 was not on the books of the railroad or in Ziel's account of Union Pacific steam it wasn't supposed to exist - a ghost engine for sure!

In those days no one cared if a 16 yr old kid went on railroad property for a look around - so I took them up on the invitiation.  Climbed the cab and walked the running boards of all the engines and tried the throttle and engineers seat.  If I remember right 4023 engine and tender were disconnected by a few feet.  It was a dream come true - to see such modern contemporary power in its historical setting and in such perfect condition - I looked down the huge empty back shop - marveled at the huge overhead crane that could lift locomotives and imagined the whole place busy repairing steam - and I grabbed a few photos before leaving.  

Big Boy was the longest steam engine I had ever seen.

As I left I couldn't help wonder what kind of western grace existed in that country that allowed such steam locomotives to remain cared for as part of the every day work enviornment.  Wyoming seemed saved unto itself - and the ghosts of 50 years of railroading seemed very friendly - and close at hand.

Two years later dad and I took the Union Pacific City of San Francisco from Chicago to the coast as a highschool graduation gift.  Leaving Chicago we ate in the diner and then went to the dome car for the night ride west through Illinois and Iowa.  All the seats were taken in the dome car, but a couple was just leaving, so we were able to get a seat in the dark for and hour or so before returning to our compartment.  

Dad started talking to a guy who turned out to be Walter Winchell.  Unknown to me until I realized he was the narrator for the popular TV series of the time "The Untouchables."  Walter I found out later in life was a leading New York news broadcaster of the 1930's and 40's on radio - he was replaced by Larry King.  

In the 1990's his biography was published and the reason he was on the train.  He was at the end of his career and was making a trip to the west coast in an effort to continue professional broadcasting and TV work for few more years.  Winchell's son had just committed suicide and he was talking to my dad and me - I did not understand the poinent pathos.  Sadly his trip was in vain and he died three years later.

The news broadcast to "Mr. and Mrs. American and all the ships at sea!" had come to an end!

Thankfully UP steam has not come to an end and never retired locomotive UP 844 will likely out live me.  But Ahhh - I remember her in my 16 year old youth!  When she and I were both young together.

Doc

 

Dr D

UP 5511 2-10-2 was a drag freight engine from the era when just keeping the train moving over the line was the issue.  UP 5511 was one of many drag freight  engines kept on for "pusher service" getting freight over Sherman Hill.

Unfortunately, the modern steam excursion business is about moving at passenger speeds in such a manor as is contemporary to todays diesel passenger power.  

UP 5511 is unique, she is a historical class act so typical to Union Pacific of the 1920's.  She belongs to "the days before Northerns, the days before Challengers, the days before Big Boy.  When the only UP power was 4-12-2 and 2-10-2 and 2-8-2.  When Union Pacific passenger power was 4-8-2 and 4-6-2!  

She is an unqualified movie actor from an age of generic freight trains that went "Everywhere West!"  I see UP 5511 and I see the OLD WEST of which Union Pacific   has a substancial historical part!  UP 5511 is part of American railroad history of which there are very few remaining actors.  

No other 2-10-2 Santa Fe's, only one 4-12-2 Union Pacific, no 4-8-2 Mountains, no 4-6-2 Pacifics and just a couple of old 2-8-2 Mikes.  Wow!

A close look at UP 5511 reveals that the feed water heater was removed at some point and that after her movie appearance she was to be scrapped and her piston rods were cut with a cutting torch.  Some unknown hero just never ordered her sent her off to the dead line.  

The small four wheel tender makes her out to be just "that much more grunt" than a large freight Mikado 2-8-2.  The engines that moved the freight in the days of Woodie Guthrie.

My personal story of UP 5511 comes about in the 1960's when I was traveling west with my parents in a 1966 Airstream trailer pulled by a 1966 Chrysler New Yorker.  I had a copy of Ron Ziel's book Twilight of Steam.  When mom and dad came to Cheyenne, Wyoming, as a 16 year old kid I just walked from the passenger station over to the roundhouse and into the back shop to see the 8444 Northern, 3895 Challenger and 4023 Big Boy.  

To my surprise there was one well kept secret and it was UP 5511.  I walked over and looked over the engine saying "Wow!, what have we here?"  UP 5511 was not on the books of the railroad or in Ziel's account of Union Pacific steam it wasn't supposed to exist - a ghost engine for sure!

In those days no one cared if a 16 yr old kid went on railroad property for a look around - so I took them up on the invitiation.  Climbed the cab and walked the running boards of all the engines and tried the throttle and engineers seat.  If I remember right 4023 engine and tender were disconnected by a few feet.  It was a dream come true - to see such modern contemporary power in its historical setting and in such perfect condition - I looked down the huge empty back shop - marveled at the huge overhead crane that could lift locomotives and imagined the whole place busy repairing steam - and I grabbed a few photos before leaving.  

Big Boy was the longest steam engine I had ever seen.

As I left I couldn't help wonder what kind of western grace existed in that country that allowed such steam locomotives to remain cared for as part of the every day work enviornment.  Wyoming seemed saved unto itself - and the ghosts of 50 years of railroading seemed very friendly - and close at hand.

Two years later dad and I took the Union Pacific City of San Francisco from Chicago to the coast as a highschool graduation gift.  Leaving Chicago we ate in the diner and then went to the dome car for the night ride west through Illinois and Iowa.  All the seats were taken in the dome car, but a couple was just leaving, so we were able to get a seat in the dark for and hour or so before returning to our compartment.  

Dad started talking to a guy who turned out to be Walter Winchell.  Unknown to me until I realized he was the narrator for the popular TV series of the time "The Untouchables."  Walter I found out later in life was a leading New York news broadcaster of the 1930's and 40's on radio - he was replaced by Larry King.  

In the 1990's his biography was published and the reason he was on the train.  He was at the end of his career and was making a trip to the west coast in an effort to continue professional broadcasting and TV work for few more years.  Winchell's son had just committed suicide and he was talking to my dad and me - I did not understand the poinent pathos.  Sadly his trip was in vain and he died three years later.

The news broadcast to "Mr. and Mrs. American and all the ships at sea!" had come to an end!

Thankfully UP steam has not come to an end and never retired locomotive UP 844 will likely out live me.  But Ahhh - I remember her in my 16 year old youth!  When she and I were both young together.

Doc

 

Dr D

UP 5511 2-10-2 was a drag freight engine from the era when just keeping the train moving over the line was the issue.  UP 5511 was one of many drag freight  engines kept on for "pusher service" getting freight over Sherman Hill.

Unfortunately, the modern steam excursion business is about moving at passenger speeds in such a manor as is contemporary to todays diesel passenger power.  

UP 5511 is unique, she is a historical class act so typical to Union Pacific of the 1920's.  She belongs to "the days before Northerns, the days before Challengers, the days before Big Boy.  When the only UP power was 4-12-2 and 2-10-2 and 2-8-2.  When Union Pacific passenger power was 4-8-2 and 4-6-2!  

She is an unqualified movie actor from an age of generic freight trains that went "Everywhere West!"  I see UP 5511 and I see the OLD WEST of which Union Pacific   has a substancial historical part!  UP 5511 is part of American railroad history of which there are very few remaining actors.  

No other 2-10-2 Santa Fe's, only one 4-12-2 Union Pacific, no 4-8-2 Mountains, no 4-6-2 Pacifics and just a couple of old 2-8-2 Mikes.  Wow!

A close look at UP 5511 reveals that the feed water heater was removed at some point and that after her movie appearance she was to be scrapped and her piston rods were cut with a cutting torch.  Some unknown hero just never ordered her sent her off to the dead line.  

The small four wheel tender makes her out to be just "that much more grunt" than a large freight Mikado 2-8-2.  The engines that moved the freight in the days of Woodie Guthrie.

My personal story of UP 5511 comes about in the 1960's when I was traveling west with my parents in a 1966 Airstream trailer pulled by a 1966 Chrysler New Yorker.  I had a copy of Ron Ziel's book Twilight of Steam.  When mom and dad came to Cheyenne, Wyoming, as a 16 year old kid I just walked from the passenger station over to the roundhouse and into the back shop to see the 8444 Northern, 3895 Challenger and 4023 Big Boy.  

To my surprise there was one well kept secret and it was UP 5511.  I walked over and looked over the engine saying "Wow!, what have we here?"  UP 5511 was not on the books of the railroad or in Ziel's account of Union Pacific steam it wasn't supposed to exist - a ghost engine for sure!

In those days no one cared if a 16 yr old kid went on railroad property for a look around - so I took them up on the invitiation.  Climbed the cab and walked the running boards of all the engines and tried the throttle and engineers seat.  If I remember right 4023 engine and tender were disconnected by a few feet.  It was a dream come true - to see such modern contemporary power in its historical setting and in such perfect condition - I looked down the huge empty back shop - marveled at the huge overhead crane that could lift locomotives and imagined the whole place busy repairing steam - and I grabbed a few photos before leaving.  

Big Boy was the longest steam engine I had ever seen.

As I left I couldn't help wonder what kind of western grace existed in that country that allowed such steam locomotives to remain cared for as part of the every day work enviornment.  Wyoming seemed saved unto itself - and the ghosts of 50 years of railroading seemed very friendly - and close at hand.

Two years later dad and I took the Union Pacific City of San Francisco from Chicago to the coast as a highschool graduation gift.  Leaving Chicago we ate in the diner and then went to the dome car for the night ride west through Illinois and Iowa.  All the seats were taken in the dome car, but a couple was just leaving, so we were able to get a seat in the dark for and hour or so before returning to our compartment.  

Dad started talking to a guy who turned out to be Walter Winchell.  Unknown to me until I realized he was the narrator for the popular TV series of the time "The Untouchables."  Walter I found out later in life was a leading New York news broadcaster of the 1930's and 40's on radio - he was replaced by Larry King.  

In the 1990's his biography was published and the reason he was on the train.  He was at the end of his career and was making a trip to the west coast in an effort to continue professional broadcasting and TV work for few more years.  Winchell's son had just committed suicide and he was talking to my dad and me - I did not understand the poinent pathos.  Sadly his trip was in vain and he died three years later.

The news broadcast to "Mr. and Mrs. American and all the ships at sea!" had come to an end!

Thankfully UP steam has not come to an end and never retired locomotive UP 844 will likely out live me.  But Ahhh - I remember her in my 16 year old youth!  When she and I were both young together.

Doc

 

Dr D

UP 5511 2-10-2 was a drag freight engine from the era when just keeping the train moving over the line was the issue.  UP 5511 was one of many drag freight  engines kept on for "pusher service" getting freight over Sherman Hill.

Unfortunately, the modern steam excursion business is about moving at passenger speeds in such a manor as is contemporary to todays diesel passenger power.  

UP 5511 is unique, she is a historical class act so typical to Union Pacific of the 1920's.  She belongs to "the days before Northerns, the days before Challengers, the days before Big Boy.  When the only UP power was 4-12-2 and 2-10-2 and 2-8-2.  When Union Pacific passenger power was 4-8-2 and 4-6-2!  

She is an unqualified movie actor from an age of generic freight trains that went "Everywhere West!"  I see UP 5511 and I see the OLD WEST of which Union Pacific   has a substancial historical part!  UP 5511 is part of American railroad history of which there are very few remaining actors.  

No other 2-10-2 Santa Fe's, only one 4-12-2 Union Pacific, no 4-8-2 Mountains, no 4-6-2 Pacifics and just a couple of old 2-8-2 Mikes.  Wow!

A close look at UP 5511 reveals that the feed water heater was removed at some point and that after her movie appearance she was to be scrapped and her piston rods were cut with a cutting torch.  Some unknown hero just never ordered her sent her off to the dead line.  

The small four wheel tender makes her out to be just "that much more grunt" than a large freight Mikado 2-8-2.  The engines that moved the freight in the days of Woodie Guthrie.

My personal story of UP 5511 comes about in the 1960's when I was traveling west with my parents in a 1966 Airstream trailer pulled by a 1966 Chrysler New Yorker.  I had a copy of Ron Ziel's book Twilight of Steam.  When mom and dad came to Cheyenne, Wyoming, as a 16 year old kid I just walked from the passenger station over to the roundhouse and into the back shop to see the 8444 Northern, 3895 Challenger and 4023 Big Boy.  

To my surprise there was one well kept secret and it was UP 5511.  I walked over and looked over the engine saying "Wow!, what have we here?"  UP 5511 was not on the books of the railroad or in Ziel's account of Union Pacific steam it wasn't supposed to exist - a ghost engine for sure!

In those days no one cared if a 16 yr old kid went on railroad property for a look around - so I took them up on the invitiation.  Climbed the cab and walked the running boards of all the engines and tried the throttle and engineers seat.  If I remember right 4023 engine and tender were disconnected by a few feet.  It was a dream come true - to see such modern contemporary power in its historical setting and in such perfect condition - I looked down the huge empty back shop - marveled at the huge overhead crane that could lift locomotives and imagined the whole place busy repairing steam - and I grabbed a few photos before leaving.  

Big Boy was the longest steam engine I had ever seen.

As I left I couldn't help wonder what kind of western grace existed in that country that allowed such steam locomotives to remain cared for as part of the every day work enviornment.  Wyoming seemed saved unto itself - and the ghosts of 50 years of railroading seemed very friendly - and close at hand.

Two years later dad and I took the Union Pacific City of San Francisco from Chicago to the coast as a highschool graduation gift.  Leaving Chicago we ate in the diner and then went to the dome car for the night ride west through Illinois and Iowa.  All the seats were taken in the dome car, but a couple was just leaving, so we were able to get a seat in the dark for and hour or so before returning to our compartment.  

Dad started talking to a guy who turned out to be Walter Winchell.  Unknown to me until I realized he was the narrator for the popular TV series of the time "The Untouchables."  Walter I found out later in life was a leading New York news broadcaster of the 1930's and 40's on radio - he was replaced by Larry King.  

In the 1990's his biography was published and the reason he was on the train.  He was at the end of his career and was making a trip to the west coast in an effort to continue professional broadcasting and TV work for few more years.  Winchell's son had just committed suicide and he was talking to my dad and me - I did not understand the poinent pathos.  Sadly his trip was in vain and he died three years later.

The news broadcast to "Mr. and Mrs. American and all the ships at sea!" had come to an end!

Thankfully UP steam has not come to an end and never retired locomotive UP 844 will likely out live me.  But Ahhh - I remember her in my 16 year old youth!  When she and I were both young together.

Doc

 

  • Member since
    January, 2016
  • 2 posts
Posted by WILLIAM A GIBSON JR on Thursday, February 15, 2018 8:50 PM

Dr D

UP 5511 2-10-2 was a drag freight engine from the era when just keeping the train moving over the line was the issue.  UP 5511 was one of many drag freight  engines kept on for "pusher service" getting freight over Sherman Hill.

Unfortunately, the modern steam excursion business is about moving at passenger speeds in such a manor as is contemporary to todays diesel passenger power.  

UP 5511 is unique, she is a historical class act so typical to Union Pacific of the 1920's.  She belongs to "the days before Northerns, the days before Challengers, the days before Big Boy.  When the only UP power was 4-12-2 and 2-10-2 and 2-8-2.  When Union Pacific passenger power was 4-8-2 and 4-6-2!  

She is an unqualified movie actor from an age of generic freight trains that went "Everywhere West!"  I see UP 5511 and I see the OLD WEST of which Union Pacific   has a substancial historical part!  UP 5511 is part of American railroad history of which there are very few remaining actors.  

No other 2-10-2 Santa Fe's, only one 4-12-2 Union Pacific, no 4-8-2 Mountains, no 4-6-2 Pacifics and just a couple of old 2-8-2 Mikes.  Wow!

A close look at UP 5511 reveals that the feed water heater was removed at some point and that after her movie appearance she was to be scrapped and her piston rods were cut with a cutting torch.  Some unknown hero just never ordered her sent her off to the dead line.  

The small four wheel tender makes her out to be just "that much more grunt" than a large freight Mikado 2-8-2.  The engines that moved the freight in the days of Woodie Guthrie.

My personal story of UP 5511 comes about in the 1960's when I was traveling west with my parents in a 1966 Airstream trailer pulled by a 1966 Chrysler New Yorker.  I had a copy of Ron Ziel's book Twilight of Steam.  When mom and dad came to Cheyenne, Wyoming, as a 16 year old kid I just walked from the passenger station over to the roundhouse and into the back shop to see the 8444 Northern, 3895 Challenger and 4023 Big Boy.  

To my surprise there was one well kept secret and it was UP 5511.  I walked over and looked over the engine saying "Wow!, what have we here?"  UP 5511 was not on the books of the railroad or in Ziel's account of Union Pacific steam it wasn't supposed to exist - a ghost engine for sure!

In those days no one cared if a 16 yr old kid went on railroad property for a look around - so I took them up on the invitiation.  Climbed the cab and walked the running boards of all the engines and tried the throttle and engineers seat.  If I remember right 4023 engine and tender were disconnected by a few feet.  It was a dream come true - to see such modern contemporary power in its historical setting and in such perfect condition - I looked down the huge empty back shop - marveled at the huge overhead crane that could lift locomotives and imagined the whole place busy repairing steam - and I grabbed a few photos before leaving.  

Big Boy was the longest steam engine I had ever seen.

As I left I couldn't help wonder what kind of western grace existed in that country that allowed such steam locomotives to remain cared for as part of the every day work enviornment.  Wyoming seemed saved unto itself - and the ghosts of 50 years of railroading seemed very friendly - and close at hand.

Two years later dad and I took the Union Pacific City of San Francisco from Chicago to the coast as a highschool graduation gift.  Leaving Chicago we ate in the diner and then went to the dome car for the night ride west through Illinois and Iowa.  All the seats were taken in the dome car, but a couple was just leaving, so we were able to get a seat in the dark for and hour or so before returning to our compartment.  

Dad started talking to a guy who turned out to be Walter Winchell.  Unknown to me until I realized he was the narrator for the popular TV series of the time "The Untouchables."  Walter I found out later in life was a leading New York news broadcaster of the 1930's and 40's on radio - he was replaced by Larry King.  

In the 1990's his biography was published and the reason he was on the train.  He was at the end of his career and was making a trip to the west coast in an effort to continue professional broadcasting and TV work for few more years.  Winchell's son had just committed suicide and he was talking to my dad and me - I did not understand the poinent pathos.  Sadly his trip was in vain and he died three years later.

The news broadcast to "Mr. and Mrs. American and all the ships at sea!" had come to an end!

Thankfully UP steam has not come to an end and never retired locomotive UP 844 will likely out live me.  But Ahhh - I remember her in my 16 year old youth!  When she and I were both young together.

Doc

 
Do not forget the UP 4-6-2s. There is two of these, still around.
 
wag216

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