The Challenger

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  • Member since
    November 2017
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The Challenger
Posted by CNW_4009 on Saturday, August 3, 2019 11:48 AM

What are UP's plans for the challenger?  When was it last run?

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • 8,903 posts
Posted by Overmod on Saturday, August 3, 2019 12:27 PM

Per Ed Dickens (at West Chicago last Sunday) -- 3985 will be stored and NOT sent through the 100-point quality restoration process, at least not at this time.

There is little perceived benefit in spending the multiple millions needed for the 'full' rebuild of the Challenger, already a somewhat oversized excursion locomotive, when they have the Big Boy -- a more iconic and famous locomotive -- to work to its 1472-day limit (with the characteristics of the rebuild, and periodic quality inspections, indicating a rebuild of the Big Boy would even then be more cost-effective than a full reconstruction of the Challenger)

This doesn't mean the 3985 will be permanently 'plinthed', let alone scrapped, nor does it imply  that either the Heritage Steam Shop or its currently operating engines are in danger of any loss of corporate support.  But I wouldn't expect any meaningfully-significant technical work on 3985 to be undertaken until priorities change.

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