Union Pacific Steam Survivors examines the status of 52 still-extant UP steam locomotives. Most were either given to communities or museums. A few were retained by the railroad in its own corporate collection.
During the 1950s, as American railroads were making the transition from steam to diesel power, Union Pacific's policy of good relations with its on-line communities was instrumental in the donation of many retired steam locomotives. Museums, some of them off-line, were also recipients. These steam survivors, while in some instances limited to only one or two extant examples of certain types, are well diversified. They range in size from small switch engines to that of the world's largest steam locomotives - the Big Boys.
What makes Union Pacific unique from other large Class I railroads which donated old locomotives is that the railroad has otherwise continued to maintain two operative steam engines. UP 4-8-4 type No. 844 and 4-6-6-4 type No. 3985 are based at Cheyenne, Wyoming, for exhibition purposes. However, the majority of preserved UP steam will continue to be on static display in community parks and museums. These other engines, especially those at outdoor display sites, need and will continue to need regular maintenance.
Steam historian Lloyd E. Stagner relates the service history of these locomotives. Also, steam preservationist Bob Yarger comments on possible ways these machines can be saved for long-term posterity. Together, the authors provide an informative and illustrated guide on what can be done to save some of these historic relics of a past transportation age before its too late.
South Platte Press, softcover, 48 pages, 8.5 x 11 x .25 in., B&W photographs.