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Union Pacific 3985 through the years!

by Chris Guenzler This story will tell of my encounters with Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 3985 in my life.

The first time I saw the Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 3985 under steam was at Railfair 1981 when on a Sunday morning it had left the grounds to be refueled and watered. I had seen this locomotive in a dead line at Cheyenne, Wyoming with the UP Gas Turbines in 1971. 5/10/1981

In 1982, the City of Pocatello, Idaho was turning 100 years old and the Union Pacific wanted to be involved in the celebration so it was decided to send the Challenger there.

My brother Bruce and I arrived at Montpelier and found the Union Pacific 3985 being serviced. 6/17/1982

After a quick picture, we drove west to Mason where we set up for our first action shot. The train came around the bend and click. I learned an important lesson here, "Never turn and look at it going away". Coal cinders had gotten in my eyes and I had to cry to get them out. 6/17/1982

We drove west racing the Union Pacific 3985 easily to our next location of Alexander where the Grace Branch took off for this picture of Union Pacific 3985 taking the curve at speed. 6/17/1982

We set up at the west end of Topaz for this shot. 6/17/1982

Two mornings later, we went down to the west end of the yard and caught Union Pacific 3985 heading to the station for display, the start of Union Pacific's Family Days and the Pocatello Centennial Celebration. 6/19/1982

Here is a picture of Union Pacific 3985 on display at the Pocatello Station with the Family Days Special diesel powered train waiting for its first passenger trip of the celebration. 6/19/1982

At the East Inkom Hold Union Pacific 3985 with its short special train heading to McCammon to wye and would pick up the Governor of Idaho at Inkom before returning to Pocatello. 6/20/1982

The Union Pacific 3985 and train has almost reached McCammon. 6/20/1982

Backing around the McCammon Wye. 6/20/1982

Union Pacific 3985 passing westward through the East Inkom Hold. 6/20/1982

The Union Pacific 3985 stopped at Inkom picking up the Govenor of Idaho. 6/20/1982

Later back in Pocatello, the Union Pacific 3985 was wyed again. 6/20/1982

Up early Bruce and I went to the east end of the Pocatello Yard for the first shot of the day as the Union Pacific 3985 was heading to Salt Lake City for its first public excursion the next weekend. 6/21/1982

We headed south down Interstate 15 to Arimo where we found a road up onto the bluff for this shot. 6/21/1082

Hot Springs, Utah where we next found the Union Pacific 3985. 6/21/1982

The chase was on and we got ahead of the Union Pacific 3985 again for this shot at Perry. 6/21/1982

We headed south again getting back in front and running to Brigham City catching the Union Pacific 3985 there as well. 6/21/1982

Due to slow trackage in Ogden, we got ahead of him getting the Union Pacific 3985 passing the Ogden Depot with the Desert Wind waiting for its nightly departure. 6/21/1982

Back in the car we got ahead quickly catching Union Pacific 3985 coming around the wye at Ogden. 6/21/1982

We got to Interstate 15 again and headed south to Farmington getting the Union Pacific 3985 running under the test centenary there for our last shot of the day. 6/21/1982

Union Pacific 3985 First Public Excursion Salt Lake City to Ogden 6/28/1982

We drove to Salt Lake City and caught Union Pacific 3985 coming out of the UP's North Yard heading towards the Union Pacific Station our excursion to Provo would leave from.

Later aboard the train with Union Pacific 3985 setting track side fires as it went along on its way to Provo we stopped at Point of the Mountain to do a photo runby. I got off and went to the sunny side for this shot before the train backed.

We were all herded to the shady side for the Photo Runby.

We then ran to Provo, wyed the train and on the way back stopped on the south flank of Point of the Mountain for another Photo Runby.

The final shot of the trip was Union Pacific 3985 was at Grant Tower where it went to wye.

The Union Pacific after these trips later converted the Union Pacific 3985 from being a coal burner to an oil burner and with that, the engine could ran almost anywhere on the system and would not be setting track side fires anymore.

In 1991 the Union Pacific 8444 and Union Pacific 3985 where invited to Railfair 1991. I was lucky enough to get a ticket for the ride from Portola to Sacramento down the Feather River Canyon.

Here at MP 299.8 where we did our first photo runby of the day. I climbed up onto a rock and was rewarded with a fantastic shot of the train as it steamed past the photographers. 4/27/1991

Later that same day just short of Kramm siding another Photo Runby was performed this time with the Union Pacific 3985 being clearly seen. The Union Pacific 3985 was part of the pageant at Railfair 1991 in Sacramento on May 11th, 1991.

Union Pacific 3985 UPHRS Sherman Hill Trip 6/25/1992

My first steam trip over Sherman Hill happened at the UPHRS Convention in Cheyenne, Wyoming and our trip left for Laramie in the early afternoon with a night time ride east over Sherman Hill. Here is the Union Pacific 3985 at the Cheyenne Station.

The Photo Runbys on the westbound trip across Sherman Hill.

Pacific Limited Salt Lake City to San Jose

The first Photo Runby of the trip at Marblehead, Utah. 7/14/1992

Second Photo Runby was Clive, Utah. 7/14/1992

Third Photo Runby at Olga, Nevada. 7/14/1992

The last Photo Runby of the first day was west of Shafter, Nevada. This Photo Runby also became known as the "Badger Runby". {See my story on the trip page for details.} On this day we went from Salt Lake City to Elko. 7/14/1992

The next day in beautiful Palisade Canyon we did another Photo Runby. 7/15/1992

Later at Barth before we did another Photo Runby. This day we went from Elko to Winnemucca. 7/15/1992

At Jungo the Union Pacific 3985 performed the first Photo Runby of this day. 7/16/1992

At Cholana a red signal not clearing allowed the second Photo Runby of the day. 7/16/1992

On a hill overlooking the Smoke Creek Desert we did the third Photo Runby of the day. 7/16/1992

Just south of Red Rocks, California we did the final Photo Runby of this day. This day we had gone from Winnemucca to Portola. 7/16/1992

Our first Photo Runby was west of Quincy Junction along the Middle Fork of the Feather River. 7/18/1992

The second Photo Runby was in the Feather River Canyon at Merlin along the North Fork of the Feather River. 7/18/1992

The last Photo Runby of this day was below Table Mountain. On this day we run from Oroville to Sacramento. 7/18/1992

The last day of our trip the first Photo Runby was at Midway on the east slope of Altamont Pass. 7/19/1992

The next Photo Runby was just a short distance west of Midway. 7/19/1992

A little further up the track was the last Photo Runby of the trip. On the last day of this trip we ran from Sacramento to Milpitas being pulled behind Union Pacific 3985 and a diesel on into San Jose. 7/19/1992

The NRHS San Jose 1992 Convention

The first NRHS 1992 Convention the Union Pacific 3985 was run over Altamont Pass and I caught it climbing the west slope of the pass. 7/22/1992

The second NRHS 1992 Convention Trip was Circle the Bay with Union Pacific 3985 up the east bay to Oakland and Southern Pacific 2472 down the west side of the bay. Here is the Union Pacific 3985 on 3rd street in Oakland. 7/23/1992

The UPHRS Ontario Convention 1994 Trips

The Union Pacific 3985 is westbound at Cima heading to Ontario, California where it would be based for the convention trips. 5/15/1994

The Union Pacific 3985 then descended Cima Hill passing through Elora. 5/15/1994

Passing through Hayden on the descent to Kelso. 5/15/1994

Heading through Afton Canyon. 5/15/1994

Drifting down Blu Cut in Cajon Pass. 5/15/1994

The train has left the yard at Ontario and is headed for the East Ontario Metrolink Station to load the passengers for the trip to Barstow. 5/21/1994

The Union Pacific 3985 is seen now with its passengers at Pedley. 5/21/1994

The Union Pacific 3985 is about to cross the SP at Colton Crossing. 5/21/1994

The train climbed the grade into Sullivan Curve in Cajon Pass. 5/21/1994

The Union Pacific 3985 heading from the layover yard in Ontario to the East Ontario Metrolink Station to load its passengers for the second trip to Barstow. 5/22/1994

The Union Pacific 3985 crossing the Santa Ana River Bridge at Riverside. 5/22/1994

The Union Pacific 3985 passing in front of the San Bernardino Station. 5/22/1994

Off the hill at MP 58X the Union Pacific 3985 climbed Cajon Pass for the second straight day. 5/22/1994

The Union Pacific 3985 crossed the Santa Ana River Bridge at Riverside on a very cloudy morning. 5/23/1994

The Union Pacific 3985 passed through Colton on May 23, 1994.

NRHS 2001 Convention in St Louis

The Union Pacific 3985 ran from St Louis to Gorham on June 19, 2001. Here is the Photo Runby just north of Chester.

On the return trip in the ghost town of Valmeyer we did the second runby with Union Pacific 3985. 6/19/2001

My next encounter with Union Pacific 3985 was the Trip down the Spine Line from St Paul to Kansas City. Here is one of the Photo Runbys on the first day south of Ellendale, MN. 6/22/2002

The next encounter was going to be the Union Pacific 3985 to Yoder Trip. We all got to Cheyenne where we learned the Union Pacific had parked empty coal trains on our route. The Union Pacific instead let the Union Pacific 3985 run a trip over Sherman Hill to Laramie. Here is the second Photo Runby at Dale. 7/13/2003

The 3rd Photo Runby was at Colores on the west slope of Sherman Hill. 7/13/2003

The last and best Photo Runby was held just west of Burford. 7/13/2003

My next encounter with Union Pacific 3985 was by chance. I came in Denver with Carl Morrison to do the Wyoming Detour and when we got off the CZ the Union Pacific 3985 was steaming in the station. I knew at 7:30 AM the next morning the engine was leaving for Cheyenne. Carl and I got there and watched the big show of Union Pacific 3985 departing Denver Union Station. 7/24/2004.

Jump ahead to 2009 and here is the Union Pacific 3985 in the Cheyenne Steam Shop during a tour while I was at the 2009 Union Pacific Historical Society Convention at Cheyenne. 7/9/2009

The Union Pacific 3985 ran through Lamine, MO on 10/4/2010.

The Union Pacific 3985 ran through Booneville, MO on October 4, 2010.

This ends my coverage of the Union Pacific 3985 until my next encounter with this great engine.