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The Subject is UPRR # 3985?

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The Subject is UPRR # 3985?
Posted by samfp1943 on Monday, December 13, 2021 2:52 PM

The Topic Article is "Big Plans"  PG14-15 Jan 2022 Issue... 

   Terrific article, and lots of information ! Thumbs UpThumbs Up 

The question(s) that sprang to my mind was/were   "(#3985)" 

    It is an engine I've followed for a number of years; in-person, and in reading. !    So I feel sort of personally involved in what's going on with it.

        Easily, A favorite steam locomotive.Cool

My questions are numerous: Is she going to be out, and about, in the future?

Will she be be 'stuffed and mounted' somewhere?  

Are there plans to possibly, work on her, at 'The Roundhouse'[Maybe, a long-term 'project'?] 

As it is said, from time to time, 'Enquiring Minds, etc.....'

Sure would like to have that crystal ball, and some in-sight to go along with it! WowYeah  Whistling

Merry Christmas; Happy New Year !  Y'aLL !  Bow

 

 


 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, December 13, 2021 7:43 PM

The last I've heard of 3985 is there's no plans to restore it to operation at this time. 

That doesn't mean they're going to scrap it, or have it stuffed and mounted on a plinth somewhere, or shove it somewhere and forget about it. 

It'll be brought back at some point, just don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Monday, December 13, 2021 8:42 PM

At this time per a close friend who works for the UP in the steam program.  The plan is for 3985 to be eventually restored to running condition once they finally finish figuring out what all is needed to get her back into the same shape as 844 and 4014 were restored to.  To call her a basket case is an understatement.  Her overhaul that restored her to operation in the 80s was a slap a bandage on multiple problems and then keep applying to keep her running.  This is according to our friend who is at the shop.  So far here's a short list of what's been found.  Unacceptable material used to repair the boiler itself staybolts made with uncertified materials.  Firebox is below minimum requirements this is a short list.  Think of what was found on the 844 and according to our friend multiply it by 5 and you are going to get close.  It's all fixable but going to cost more than what the Big Boy did by at least 50 to 70 percent.  

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Posted by BaltACD on Monday, December 13, 2021 10:09 PM

Shadow the Cats owner
At this time per a close friend who works for the UP in the steam program.  The plan is for 3985 to be eventually restored to running condition once they finally finish figuring out what all is needed to get her back into the same shape as 844 and 4014 were restored to.  To call her a basket case is an understatement.  Her overhaul that restored her to operation in the 80s was a slap a bandage on multiple problems and then keep applying to keep her running.  This is according to our friend who is at the shop.  So far here's a short list of what's been found.  Unacceptable material used to repair the boiler itself staybolts made with uncertified materials.  Firebox is below minimum requirements this is a short list.  Think of what was found on the 844 and according to our friend multiply it by 5 and you are going to get close.  It's all fixable but going to cost more than what the Big Boy did by at least 50 to 70 percent.  

I don't THINK UP has in their mind plans to ever have more than two steamers operable at one time.  I really think having the 844 & 4014 opeating together in 2019 for the Golden Spike tour was probably the last time there will even be two operating at the same time.

The costs of keeping any of the three engines in legal operating condition just show how much cost was wrapped up in operating steam engines during the transition from steam to diesel.  Fuel costs per ton-mile between the two forms of motive power may have been comparable - but the costs of continuing maintenance were heavily in favor of diesels.

If anything was once made by man - it can be remade, the only question is at what cost.

Never too old to have a happy childhood!

              

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Posted by kgbw49 on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 7:03 AM
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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 9:57 AM

Story from Ed Dickens was that UP did not want to spend the (colossal) amount to renew 3985 to full audited quality.  I do not find this surprising -- nor would I find it surprising that UP won't spend a not-inconsiderable amount just to 'plinth' 3985 for static display.

My suspicion is that all the pieces are being carefully preserved and that the locomotive will be rebuilt at some future time as needed.  One thing I think is reasonably assured: it won't be scrapped.

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Posted by SD70Dude on Tuesday, December 14, 2021 5:40 PM

Further to what Overmod said, UP outlined the official status of 3985 in one of the regular steam club newsletters a year or two ago.  I don't know of any newer updates, and as far as I know the locomotive remains stored indoors in Cheyenne.  

Union Pacific

**The Challenger No. 3985 Will Remain Officially Retired**

Since work was completed on No. 4014 people have asked about the fate of The Challenger No. 3985.

The short answer: There are no plans to restore No. 3985. Many years of hard operation have resulted in the locomotive requiring a complete frame-up restoration similar to what was needed to make No. 4014 operational. Historically, Union Pacific's steam program has had two steam locomotives on its roster, and that count will remain the same moving forward.

No. 3985 last operated in "regular" train service in 1957. It was retired in 1962 and stored in the roundhouse in Cheyenne, Wyoming, until 1975 when it was placed on display near the Cheyenne depot. A group of Union Pacific employees volunteered their services to restore the locomotive to running condition in 1981.

Where No. 3985 will ultimately reside is still in question, but it's safe to say the locomotive will remain officially retired from service.

Greetings from Alberta

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Posted by jeffhergert on Wednesday, December 15, 2021 9:33 PM

It's still carried on the roster.  Needless to say, most of it's Federal time on various items have expired.

Jeff 

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Posted by SD70Dude on Thursday, April 28, 2022 2:41 PM

Big news!

Union Pacific has donated 3985, 5511 (2-10-2), 6936 (DDA40X), 966B (E9B shell/steam generator car), eight passenger cars and a caboose to the Railroading Heritage of Midwest America group. 

RRHMA is better known for operating Milwaukee 261 and recently acquiring the massive former NRE and Rock Island shop complex in Silvis, Illinois.

https://www.trains.com/trn/news-reviews/news-wire/railroading-heritage-of-midwest-america-union-pacific-agree-to-donation-of-challenger-other-locomotives-cars/

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Shadow the Cats owner on Thursday, April 28, 2022 2:59 PM

RRHMA has already announced that they will be bringing both 5511 and 3985 back to life again.  They know they have a friendly railroad in the Iowa Interstate plus are close to Chicago so any excursions they announce for 3985 will be a success.  Plus they have enough slower speed track for 5511 to run on.  

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Thursday, April 28, 2022 3:06 PM

While I'm happy to see these getting a good home, it's sad to see the Centennial go. While I sadly understood the Big Boy sidelining the 3985, I was hoping the 6936 might return to service once the Big Boy had been restored.

Perhaps there's hope at least for the three E9's if they're being retained. Too bad that E8 #928 isn't officially UP property since she needs a good home as well.

I suppose this means no museum in Cheyenne? UP had seemed to be moving towards that direction, with I believe the intention being that it would be housed in the roundhouse while the backshop would be used by the steam crew. 

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, April 28, 2022 3:08 PM

Now we know why they wanted Silvis.  They'll have a lot more equipment to display and work on.  I just sincerely hope that they have the volunteer base to handle their rapid expansion.

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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, April 28, 2022 3:10 PM

Leo_Ames

I suppose this means no museum in Cheyenne? UP had seemed to be moving towards that direction, with I believe the intention being that it would be housed in the roundhouse while the backshop would be used by the steam crew. 

...and then came PSR...  At least they are giving them to a good home and not just letting them deteriorate.

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Posted by wjstix on Thursday, April 28, 2022 3:57 PM

"RRHMA plans to repaint and redecorate the business cars into their historic WP and SP liveries and offer them for charter on Amtrak and private trips. Most of the remaining cars will be repainted in RRHMA’s Milwaukee Road colors."

(I imagine the E-9B will be decorated to match the E-9A unit recently decorated with a modified Milwaukee Road scheme.)

"RRHMA will first restore No. 3985, which last operated in 2010, with No. 5511 to be restored after work on 3985 is complete."

"Open houses at Silvis to see the equipment will be scheduled in the future."

https://261.com/2022/04/28/up-donation/

 

Stix
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Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, April 28, 2022 4:39 PM

Stunning news!

And God bless Steve Sandberg and the RRHMA!

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Posted by pennytrains on Thursday, April 28, 2022 6:28 PM

A fascinating new chapter in 3985's history is about to unfold!  Big Smile

Big Smile  Same me, different spelling!  Big Smile

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Posted by BaltACD on Friday, April 29, 2022 8:28 AM

While it appears that the equipment has gone to a 'good home'.  My concern is if the good home will have or be able to develop the financial resources that will be necessary to pull off their intentions with the equipment.  Restoring locomotives to legal operating condition is not a inexpensive undertaking.  I suspect the reason UP has donated the equipment was that they didn't want to make the necessary expenditures to get the equipment to legally operable condition.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, April 29, 2022 11:16 AM

Backshop
 
Leo_Ames

I suppose this means no museum in Cheyenne? UP had seemed to be moving towards that direction, with I believe the intention being that it would be housed in the roundhouse while the backshop would be used by the steam crew.

...and then came PSR...  At least they are giving them to a good home and not just letting them deteriorate.

At least they are giving them to a good home that won't 'plinth' them cold indefinitely... which is everything UP would consider over at least the next few years.

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Friday, April 29, 2022 6:19 PM

I agree completely. I think this is great news even if it saddens me to see the Centennial depart permanently as part of the heritage fleet and the door closed to the 3985 returning as part of the steam program.

I had hoped 10-15 years down the road that they'd consider reversing her retirement and rebuild her in preparation of one of the others going down for overhaul. Then cycle a fleetmate out of service for a long-term overhaul and rinse and repeat the process indefinitely with two steamers on the active roster and the third under overhaul. 

I wonder if there are eventual plans for a happy ending for the 838. Would be great to see her restored as a static display one day when she's finished as a parts source, although even that won't be an insignificant task with how picked over she is. Hopefully they've had the foresight to hold on to some of the 844's worn out parts like her side rods that were replaced by parts off the 838, to make the job easier.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, May 2, 2022 2:49 PM

Could someone define "plinth?"

Still in training.


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Posted by Flintlock76 on Monday, May 2, 2022 3:39 PM

Lithonia Operator

Could someone define "plinth?"

 

Basically a large block that supports something else.  Sometimes used for the base of a statue's pedestal, sometimes the base for something else.  In the case of 3985 it would be the permanent display foundation. 

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Posted by Ulrich on Monday, May 2, 2022 5:01 PM

I'm glad I got see the 3985 back in July of 1993.. rode behind her from Denver to Laramie, with several stops enroute for photos. 

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Posted by zugmann on Monday, May 2, 2022 8:32 PM

Overmod
At least they are giving them to a good home that won't 'plinth' them cold indefinitely... which is everything UP would consider over at least the next few years.

I mean, that has yet to be seen.  Hope for the best, don't be surprised by the worst?  I think some people are getting their hopes way up for these engines.

  

The opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of

my employer, any other railroad, company, or person.

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Posted by Backshop on Monday, May 2, 2022 8:48 PM

zugmann

 

 
Overmod
At least they are giving them to a good home that won't 'plinth' them cold indefinitely... which is everything UP would consider over at least the next few years.

 

I mean, that has yet to be seen.  Hope for the best, don't be surprised by the worst?  I think some people are getting their hopes way up for these engines.

 

I agree.  With the way the railroads are going, where would 3985 run anyways? I'd be happy with indoor display where it's not exposed to the elements.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, May 2, 2022 10:20 PM

Flintlock76

 

 
Lithonia Operator

Could someone define "plinth?"

 

 

 

Basically a large block that supports something else.  Sometimes used for the base of a statue's pedestal, sometimes the base for something else.  In the case of 3985 it would be the permanent display foundation. 

 

Thanks, Flint.

Still in training.


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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Monday, May 2, 2022 10:23 PM

I guess if I had to choose one to be made operable, it would be the 5511, as it is more different from 4014 than 3985 is.

Still in training.


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Posted by Paul of Covington on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 12:43 AM

   Ah, but to this beholder's eye, 3985 is the best looking one in the bunch.

_____________ 

  "A stranger's just a friend you ain't met yet." --- Dave Gardner

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 7:27 AM

Paul of Covington

   Ah, but to this beholder's eye, 3985 is the best looking one in the bunch.

 

You can make a good case for that. To me, on 4014, the platform ahead of the boiler is too long, speaking purely aesthetically.

Still in training.


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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 10:14 AM

Lithonia Operator
To me, on 4014, the platform ahead of the boiler is too long, speaking purely aesthetically...

There are people who would probably complain about Jesus' hairstyle at the Second Coming, too... speaking purely aesthetically, of course... Angel

Not that I disagree with the Jabelmann Challengers having better proportions, mind you.

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Posted by Lithonia Operator on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 1:07 PM

Really, whatever the heck was Jesus thinking?

Still in training.


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