Central Missouri On-Board for Steam

9 years 1 week 15 hours ago Friday, January 21 2011 Jan 21, 2011 Friday, January 21, 2011 6:54:00 AM CST January 21, 2011 in News

COLUMBIA - Union Pacific announced Tuesday a steam locomotive will visit towns across Missouri including Boonville and Jefferson City. Thousands of people voted for one of four proposed routes in an online contest during the first two weeks of January.The Little Rock Express Route in Missouri and Arkansas beat The Tuscola Turn proposal, which included Iowa and Illinois, by about 3,000 votes.

The Little Rock Express racked up a total of 76,217 more than the three other proposed routes lined across Texas, Louisiana, Idaho and Utah.  The steam locomotive will depart Kansas City and will eventually pass through Boonville and Jefferson City.  The train will head south toward Arkansas after it passes through St. Louis.

The big question now is when the historical train will make the excursion.  Early reports say it will happen sometime this summer.

Union Pacific has not yet annouced the name of the lucky individual who will serve as the "Honorary Engineer."  He or she will have the opportunity to ride along during the roughly 700-mile excursion.

According to UP, The Challenger - No. 3985 is one of two steam locomotives Union Pacific keeps for special train service.  It was designed in 1943 by the American Locomotive Company and is the only operating enigine of its class in the world today.

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