UP’s 150th In Portland

by Steve Eshom on July 24, 2012

Two weeks ago Union Pacific brought their E units and the 150th Anniversary train to Portland for display.  Thanks to a family Disneyland vacation my only opportunity to see the train was Friday the 13th, one of the two days it was on display.  The other days it spent in the Northwest I was either in sunny California or was just too warn out from the trip to consider much of a chase.

The fun thing about visiting on Friday was we had the train to ourselves!  Only 50 or so folks wandered around while we took our tour.  This allowed me an opportunity to photograph some details around the train and the locomotives that I wouldn’t normally get.  I also had a chance to meet Ken Fitzgerald, who travelled with the train as the photographer.  He was busy taking photos of VIPs on the rear platform but I did have a chance to chat with him a bit.

I do have to say I was a bit disappointed with the condition of the train.  From a distance everything looked great.  When I walked along the platform next to the train I noticed how dirty it was.  I was shocked to see a light haze of mud on the windows and the sides.  At the front I found the nose of the 951 peppered with bugs.  Had the UP not washed the train?  UP is a class outfit so I’m really surprised they hadn’t hit it with a pressure washer before putting it on public display.   That minor gripe aside (damn, I’m picky) the train really did look good.

Happy Birthday Union Pacific, here’s to another 150!

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