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One thing about the UP stram program.  It gets people out to see the railroad.  Maybe it is cheaper per set of eyeballs than more conventual media forms.  And that train will be on the local news programs.  More eyeballs....

People will be headed to the UP site to track it and get more info.  More eyeballs.

UP may have the one think to break through the endless same old, same old white noise of advertising and media.

Last edited by Dominic Mazoch
@bigkid posted:

I think the "Joke" is that people with an axe to grind (and I am not going to say whether it is justified or not, I don't know) relished anything that diminished what they were doing with 4014. What the "joke" translates to is "4014 isn't really running, it is basically a static display on rolling wheels pushed by a diesel, it isn't really running", ie it is the equivalent of a disneyland ride. From what I have seen of the video, as an admitted non expert, certainly looked to me like it was pulling.

To be correct, 4014 is capable from time to time, as has been showed in SOME videos. Having conversed with some Pilot Engineers/Conductors that are NOT steam qualified, there have been many, MANY instances when 4014 was not "steaming properly" and the diesels were providing assistance.

I was talking to an acquaintance, who is a member of one of the rail historical societies around here who restore train cars and the like to donate to museums, said that he thought some of it was jealousy by groups that run steam, that the UP got all this publicity for getting the 4014 running, such a big deal was made about it, and they felt slighted because they have been doing this for years with little publicity or whatnot.

Sorry, but that is total bs, as most if not all museums could care less what the UP does with their steam program.

The other thing seems to be rooted around Ed Dickens, my friend said he didn't really know but had heard it had to do with the previous head of the steam crew being forced out (by Dickens I guess), but he was careful to say he didn't know, but that some of it was personal.

Yes, it has DEFINITELY been "personal" that the current manager really hates the previous manager, i.e, Steve Lee. Also, the current manager did NOT "force out" Steve Lee, as the previous manager, i.e. Steve Lee was PROMOTED to Superintendent of Heritage Fleet Operations in about July of 2010. Steve Lee later retired at the end of December 2010.

Me, all I see is that they took something moldering in a static display in a park and brought it back to life, whether it was like me and needs a push here and there once in a while I don't know, but it certainly looked and acted like a steam engine, had a great whistle, and I think exuded personality, too I give UP a lot of credit,

All it took was many millions of dollars!

I work for a company that would look at doing something like that and immediately have to deny people paper clips and note pads to make themselves feel better that they were reigning in 'excess' *shrug*. You can bet there are a lot of paper pushers at UP that need therapy every time they see the Steam program budget, I guarantee that.

True, and you are correct that there are a LOT of different department heads that are against the "steam program". However, what counts in the end is one, and ONLY ONE, opinion,,,,,,,,,,,,THAT being the CEO's opinion!

Well the 3,000 or so people in Rochelle Illinois enjoyed seeing that baby, whether it was pushed or not, back in 2019. I know as I was one of them. What a hoot of a day that was. She was in town for about 45 minutes and people were just crawling around everywhere to get a photo or just see the train. My wife and I got the last room in the motel in town the night before. The locals just didn't know what was happening.

Sorry for the thumb but I was just so freaked out!



I have a short, like 20 second, vid of 4014 pulling (or being pushed) into town but it was taken in vertical mode. What I like about it is all the people holding up their phones like the apes with the sticks in 2001 Space Odyssey.

Train ON!

Jim K

Last edited by Bogart
@Hot Water posted:
@bigkid posted:

Me, all I see is that they took something moldering in a static display in a park and brought it back to life, whether it was like me and needs a push here and there once in a while I don't know, but it certainly looked and acted like a steam engine, had a great whistle, and I think exuded personality, too I give UP a lot of credit,

@Hot Water posted:

All it took was many millions of dollars!

Well, of course it did. They raised $3.8 million just to begin the re-restoration of 611, and there was more after that. And this would have been considerably less work than what it took to make the 4014 ready to roll again. All these restorations cost millions. They use volunteer labor on some aspects of some of the restorations, which of course saves money, but then it takes years and years to complete the work. They've been working on ATSF 2926 for the past 20 years with volunteer labor, and there's still a huge amount to do, and it's still cost a lot of money. But you know this.

It's still hard to believe that the relatively few members of the UP steam crew were able to pull 4014 out of a park where it had been sitting, and hadn't been operated in well over half a century, and re-finish it into prime and operational condition in the time they did. Amazing, really.

Last edited by breezinup
@breezinup posted:

Well, of course it did. They raised $3.8 million just to begin the re-restoration of 611, and there was more after that. And this would have been considerably less work than what it took to make the 4014 ready to roll again. All these restorations cost millions. They use volunteer labor on some aspects of some of the restorations, which of course saves money, but then it takes years and years to complete the work. They've been working on ATSF 2926 for the past 20 years with volunteer labor, and there's still a huge amount to do, and it's still cost a lot of money. But you know this.

Volunteer labor and public donations by totally dedicated people can NOT compare to the the UP steam program.

It's still hard to believe that the relatively few members of the UP steam crew were able to pull 4014 out of a park where it had been sitting, and hadn't been operated in well over half a century, and re-finish it into prime and operational condition in the time they did. Amazing, really.

Well, besides the "relatively few members of the UP steam crew", there was LOTS of outside contractor work, not to mention all the drive wheel machine work, including new tires and crankpins, provided by the Strasburg Rail Road Machine Shop.

1) It wasn't my millions.  Those millions belonged to a corporation that, apparently, willingly spent them.  What business or concern of mine is that?!

2) I'm pretty sure the "experts" aren't saying that the 4014 isn't capable of making her own steam or running under her own power.  However, one could and should take issue with them constantly repeating it in such a manner that it is perceived as the only truth.

3) As I stood on the Main St. overpass in Cambridge, MN and both videoed and shot pictures of 4014 as she passed beneath me, I can say, unequivocally, that she was operating under her own power and that the diesel was idling, not under power.  Yup, there are those who could say that I'm not a "real railroader" but I've had enough experience working with prototype equipment that I am certain my observations are correct.

4) I can't speak to the experiences that some may have had with the current head of UP's steam/heritage program or what he may be like to work for.  I can't opine whether or not he's a good steam engineer either.  I can say that my personal experience with him is that he's a very skilled PR person, that the interactions I've seen between him and the public, unlike some of those that choose to interact with the "public" here, are pleasant, welcoming and make him a good ambassador for the program.

5) As to the point of the OP, I'm glad to see this announcement.  I can't say, at this time, whether or not I'll ever be able to see 4014 in person again.  I do know that, without this sort of announcement, there is no hope of it at all.  I hope UP continues to operate this program, hopefully long enough to outlive both myself and the current manager.  Perhaps that would make everyone happy.

The millions spent by UP could be a concern to a stockholder.

That is why public companies have boards of directors and a CEO/CFO, to make decisions like this. There are shareholders who think spending money on R and D is 'wasted money', some of them are big enough to influence how a company operates, and said company often ends up going off the rails *shrugs*. Stockholder management doesn't always make for the best decision making in any event.

As far as the 'millions it cost', likely they decided the PR value and good will value (both of which affect the valuation of a company) is worth it. Given the time span to get 4014 running, likely it was a blip in the budget of a billion dollar + corporation each year for several years.

@Bogart posted:

Looking at the 5 year numbers it doesn't appear that the share holders saw a hit that could be attributed to the 4014. And it all could be considered PR in MHO.

https://www.google.com/search?...=chrome&ie=UTF-8

PR and what is known as "Good Will". I doubt stock analysts (who are who the company cares about really) even knew this was happening, as long as the cost side of the 10k figures aren't soaring, and revenue and profits are doing okay, they won't care.

I'm curious to know how engineer's to run steamers are selected?

Each main line operating steam locomotive "organization" provide their own operating crew members, i.e. Engineers and Firemen. The Engineers MUST be FRA certified in order to comply with the host railroad's policies. The host railroad only provides Pilot Crews (Engineer & Conductor) that are familiar with the rules and THAT specific operating district.

I know that out here the BR&W has a volunteer crew. That said, how do more engineers become able to operate a steam engine?

Traing, training and MORE TRAINING, plus lots of time spent as Fireman.

Operators licence must be earned?

Not only "earned" but FRA certified under a Federally approved training/certification program.

Could you touch on this @Hot Water Imagine it's different for every railroad or steam program.

Not really. Every main line or short line or museum steam, diesel, or electric, operation MUST have a Federally approved training & certification program for their Engineers and Conductors. Main line steam operations, like the UP, NKP 765, MIL 261, SP 4449, Santa Fe 3751, etc. all have their own FRA certified Engineers.

The millions spent by UP could be a concern to a stockholder.

You and I look at it as big money.  For a corporation like UP, it's pocket change--if that.  As someone explained to me once, on the level of a multi-billion dollar company like UP, the cost of the steam program is roughly 30 minutes of wages out of an entire year.  It's less than nothing.  It's simply down to whether they want  to spend it.

@Hot Water posted:

Beautifully answered sir. I thought that it would be a ton of training with something like an internship of sorts. I do remember seeing something(quite a while ago) about someone who was an understudy to the engineer. I want to say that this was in the mid to late 90's, but imagine that the rules and regulations have gotten a bit more strict. I remember the engineer explaining about listening to the sound the rods and such made when banged on. Has to have the right sound otherwise something might not be right. Of course that was a while ago, and I did only watch it once, so memory if pretty foggy on the whole of that.

If the 4014 comes anywhere near where you are or can get to - go!  My wife and I chased the 4014 in October 2019 at the start of the "southwestern tour" that lasted until December (IIRC).  We caught it in southwestern UT and eastern NV - a trip I described in this post:  https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...rn-utah-october-2019  It was great fun and frankly, pretty amazing to see that the UP folks were able (even with help, as if that matters) to resurrect a cold, static engine that had been on display in a park in Pomona, CA for 50+ years into the fire-breathing monster in front of us.  Kudos to UP for having/maintaining a steam program that other class 1 RR's ignore (I guess NS is planning on running the 611 again??).

Sure it cost money to do this - but so what.  Its not my money (nor yours) and as someone else noted above, its largely chump change for the folks at UP.  While I have no idea what UP's annual advertising budget is, it must be many times larger than whatever this cost.  There must be some advertising/goodwill/community building return on this investment (unless the current UP president and/or board chair are huge steam enthusiasts willing to spend the company's money regardless... or maybe the green eyeshade folks just haven't gotten the bills yet).  Again, it doesn't matter - its OPM being spent on something that was a huge nostalgia trip for me (and many others), as I grew up in western NE at the tail end of the UP steam era and saw Big Boys and Challengers roaming the western NE and WY rails.

Was the accompanying diesel involved in moving/stopping the train?  I don't know - and as far as I can tell from the lack of any data presented here - neither does anyone else.  Someone - in one of the previous discussions on the topic - pointed out that it would make sense for the diesel to be involved somewhat, as a way of extending the range of the steam engine (water and fuel facilities aren't as plentiful along RR's these days and steam engines aren't known for their efficiency in the use of either) and probably saving on brake wear.  In the end, that doesn't matter to me either...

Some of the very best photos of the 4014 2019 southwestern tour were taken by Erik Lindgren and posted on OGR here:  https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...#115037109860665313, as well as other photos he posted on RailPictures.net

- Rich

Last edited by richs09
@kgdjpubs posted:

You and I look at it as big money.  For a corporation like UP, it's pocket change--if that.  As someone explained to me once, on the level of a multi-billion dollar company like UP, the cost of the steam program is roughly 30 minutes of wages out of an entire year.  It's less than nothing.  It's simply down to whether they want  to spend it.

Pretty much true. If UP was in circumstances where they were slashing costs where this would matter, like revenue was way down, their profits were tanking, stock was tanking, then they would likely suspend the steam program, perhaps even drop it, but they would be doing that with a lot of costs. When times are going good, which right now I suspect is true with the UP given the amount of stuff being shipped and probably with the mad rush to try and get the supply chain rebuilt, it is not likely to be an issue with shareholders or stock analysts, it is prob merged in with the PR budget.  I am sure there are people inside UP that probably grumble about having a steam program at all, but they exist in all companies, same people who question community programs, charitable donations, paying for employees training, paying for coffee, etc.

@bigkid posted:

Pretty much true. If UP was in circumstances where they were slashing costs where this would matter, like revenue was way down, their profits were tanking, stock was tanking, then they would likely suspend the steam program, perhaps even drop it, but they would be doing that with a lot of costs. When times are going good, which right now I suspect is true with the UP given the amount of stuff being shipped and probably with the mad rush to try and get the supply chain rebuilt, it is not likely to be an issue with shareholders or stock analysts, it is prob merged in with the PR budget.  I am sure there are people inside UP that probably grumble about having a steam program at all, but they exist in all companies, same people who question community programs, charitable donations, paying for employees training, paying for coffee, etc.

I think the wildly successful tours of the Big Boy absolutely confirmed that the expenditure was more than worth it for the UP. In addition, for a company doing such a renovation and operation for advertising and public relations purposes, there are doubtless plenty of tax advantages by way of business deductions that greatly reduced the actual costs paid by UP.

@richs09 posted:


Was the accompanying diesel involved in moving/stopping the train?  I don't know - and as far as I can tell from the lack of any data presented here - neither does anyone else.  Someone - in one of the previous discussions on the topic - pointed out that it would make sense for the diesel to be involved somewhat, as a way of extending the range of the steam engine (water and fuel facilities aren't as plentiful along RR's these days and steam engines aren't known for their efficiency in the use of either) and probably saving on brake wear.  In the end, that doesn't matter to me either...

- Rich

The inclusion of a diesel has been explained before, and someone with knowledge (or better recall) can jump in. My recollection was that a major reason is to provide additional braking capability.

I suspect they may also use it for HEP for the passenger cars.

No. None of the UP regular diesels are equipped with HEP capabilities. The UP executive passenger car fleet contains at least two different (maybe 3 different) power cars that provide HEP for the train. The steam crew Boiler Dorm car is also equipped with a Cat HEP generator set, in order to provide HEP for the steam crew support cars, when not handling any executive cars.

Also, ever since the 4014 has been restored to operation, top management of UP REQUIRES that a diesel unit, or two, be along for any and all "assistance", and NOT just dynamic brake assistance, as was done prior to 2011.

I can't blame them for having a diesel with the train,there is another factor. The project went down to the wire to make it to the commemoration of the 1869 golden spike in Utah (well, as close as they could get, given Promentory point is now cut off from the rest of the rail system as far as I know), they only did the final fire up testing just before. As anyone who has restored something as relatively simple as a car knows, that shakedown cruise often is full of surprises, on something as big and intricate as a steam engine, even more so. Cylinder leaks, oil leaks, bearings that fail, any number of things can go wrong. The trip to Utah and the rest of the tour were kind of like a shakedown cruise, they didn't have time that year to take it back to the roundhouse and give it a good going over.....so having a diesel in case of breakdown is not all that hard to understand. Would love to see UP allow them to run without a diesel in the consist quite honestly just to silence the complaints once and for all.

First off don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see 4014 back on the rails.  Maybe as stated above they didn't get a chance to work out the bugs, get it firing correctly and the like.  But, until I see 4014 doing this with no diesels during a photo op, it's just a show piece, steamed up to blow the whistle go on tour and look awesome doing it to the general public.

@Hot Water posted:


Also, ever since the 4014 has been restored to operation, top management of UP REQUIRES that a diesel unit, or two, be along for any and all "assistance", and NOT just dynamic brake assistance, as was done prior to 2011.

@superwarp1 posted:

First off don't get me wrong, I'm glad to see 4014 back on the rails.  Maybe as stated above they didn't get a chance to work out the bugs, get it firing correctly and the like.  But, until I see 4014 doing this with no diesels during a photo op, it's just a show piece, steamed up to blow the whistle go on tour and look awesome doing it to the general public.



Unfortunately that sounds like "it ain't gonna happen" because from what HW posted, a diesel is required to be with it regardless.

Last edited by MartyE
@Hot Water posted:

No. None of the UP regular diesels are equipped with HEP capabilities. The UP executive passenger car fleet contains at least two different (maybe 3 different) power cars that provide HEP for the train. The steam crew Boiler Dorm car is also equipped with a Cat HEP generator set, in order to provide HEP for the steam crew support cars, when not handling any executive cars.

Also, ever since the 4014 has been restored to operation, top management of UP REQUIRES that a diesel unit, or two, be along for any and all "assistance", and NOT just dynamic brake assistance, as was done prior to 2011.

I don't remember what they did on the westbound trip, but we followed the entire eastbound leg from Cheyenne to Memphis in 2016 and that was done without a diesel.  It was the normal short train of about 6 cars, but 844 operated the entire way unassisted.

@breezinup posted:

The inclusion of a diesel has been explained before, and someone with knowledge (or better recall) can jump in. My recollection was that a major reason is to provide additional braking capability.

Other than braking, the main thing I was told was that 4014 with 2 canteens is good for about 200 miles a day unassisted.  If you look at the schedules, they are often in the 150-200 mile range.  What it means is that you have very little leeway if things go pear shaped up ahead on the railroad.  The diesel can stretch the water and gives you the flexibility so that the steam train doesn't become a problem because something happened in front of it.

844, even with one canteen, has a longer range, so it doesn't cause nearly the problem.

I really don't understand all the complaining about the Big Boy.  You'd really think folks would be pleased to see such an icon preserved and actually running.  One thing I'm sure of, it's time to check out of this thread, the griping and carping about it is really getting old!

Agreed. Somethings said are true and then others are just plain petty. Personally, I have seen her twice under HER own power and that's enough for me. If it wasn't for the junk I imagine this would have been a great thread, but I guess we can't have anything nice. Cheers, and happy railroading!

@kgdjpubs posted:

I don't remember what they did on the westbound trip, but we followed the entire eastbound leg from Cheyenne to Memphis in 2016 and that was done without a diesel.

Correct, but that was prior to 4014 being returned to operation.

It was the normal short train of about 6 cars, but 844 operated the entire way unassisted.

Correct again, as 844 is more than capable of handling such trains, or even longer trains, unassisted if there are no long mountain grades which would require dynamic braking. Plus, 844 is capable of MUCH high track speeds (84 MPH per timetable special instructions), while 4014 is a 55 to 60 MPH "Mountain Mauler" with much smaller diameter drivers.

.

Hot Water, how many years now has your personal vendetta against Ed Dickens been going on? Frantically attempting to discredit everything the man, and the steam locomotive restoration shop he runs, does ... often with innuendos and mistruths. Let it go.

Bob Krieger, Union Pacific Historical Society officer and former UP Steam Shop member, posted that they were at least talking about a trip to New Orleans at the end of the summer.

@Mike D posted:

Where is this info posted? I will try my best to get down there if this is true.

Bob posted it on another railroading message board, and that's the extent of his post. The UP steam shop has a section on UP's website, and also has a Facebook page, which will have the latest word right from Ed Dickens and UP.

I'm sure you know that Bob was one of the guys that brought UP 3985 back to life right from the beginning, and ran her. He is a wealth of unbiased information, and always willing to share it. A super nice guy. Model railroader, too ... Sherman Hill Model Railroad Club.

I wish the environment was different, and Class I railroads would just let these steam engines run around the country some, with proper precautions. It's a shame for them to sit idle. I was just watching videos of very cool NKP 765 rounding Horseshoe Curve. I'd like to see more of that stuff. (Maybe lose the diesels ... just for the ascent around the curve )

Last edited by EBT Jim
@EBT Jim posted:

.

Hot Water, how many years now has your personal vendetta against Ed Dickens been going on?

Ever since he began telling lies about the previous crew, me included, and flattened the drivers on 844 (then tried to blame the EMD designed diesel MU Control Box, which I was involved in for the American Freedom Train) and then allowing the boiler on 844 to be plugged with minerals & mud causing 844 to be out of service for 3 years.

Frantically attempting to discredit everything the man, and the steam locomotive restoration shop he runs, does ... often with innuendos and mistruths.

I have NEVER stated, nor posted, ANY "mistruths" concerning the current operation in Cheyenne, since January 1, 2011.

Let it go.

Very easy for you to say, since you have never worked with him, nor for him. What with over a 200% employee turn-over in the first 5 years, might be an indication.



Last edited by Hot Water
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