MÄRKLIN & RAILROADS
www.trains-and-trains.dk : A personal view by Christian Vinaa
USA : The Union Pacific
The Union Pacific [ UP ] is perhaps the most iconic and, at least to Europeans, most well-known, and most filmed railroad in the USA.
The UP is actually also one of the oldest railroads and arguably the oldest "name" still excisting, because the name "Union Pacific" is mentioned in the law from 1862
The UP "coat of arms" is and has for many Europeans and European model railroaders for many decades been an iconic signature on railroad cars and locomotives.
The logo has been seen in Hollywood movies, and tourism posters and any TV-show, where a train appeared.
Although the UP lines are roughly between Chicago and Los Angeles, I have seen it in 2014 as far east as Fostoria and the Horseshoe curve; especially on auto-transport cars.
UP has a whole section on their website devoted to the UP logo, which in fact dates back to around 1888.
Märklin and the Union PacificMärklin issued the famous F7 in Union Pacific livery for the first time in 1969 :
and has made several other Union Pacific models since then :
( Märklin 37629 )
of course culminating with the Big Boy :
where the front shield with the UP logo is clearly visible.
Union Pacific and the 4014The UP also, or so it would seem, has the best public relations office of all the 7 "class 1" freight railroads in the USA. Of course the restoring to operative status of the Big Boy 4014 is a major scoop for the UP, giving the UP a considerable PR value.
But no PR department is better than the backing they get from the CEO's and it seems that the UP has had a lot of great CEO's not least James R. (Jim) Young, whoi sadly died in February 2014.
The UP actually has quite a lot of historical equipment. Of course the UP is, rightly so, proud of this : "...No other railroad in this country has retained its historical equipment and honored its past like the Union Pacific. The preservation of its fleet speaks to the high value UP places on its heritage and its role in America's history. ..."
The 4014 will be the 3'rd operative steam locomotive with the modern UP; the 844 and the 3985. Interesting enough the 3985 had a major overhaul at the Cheyenne shops in 2008 - 2010, so they should be used to handling a big steam locomotive. On the UP website you can watch some videos of the 3985 testdrives after the overhaul.
The 844 was, and is, the original UP good-will ambassador locomotive starting in the 1970ties.
UP of course also has several heritage diesel locomotives.
Last, but not least; the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Iowa must not be forgotten. Union Pacific pays the museum's general operating (building-related) expenses, while other expenses are financed through donations, by the organization Friends of the Union Pacific Railroad Museum" and others.
Admission is FREE, but please do try to become a patron.
Union Pacific leads the wayRailfans all over the world hope that the UP will be impressed with the PR results, and that other railroads will do the same and restore THEIR heritage cars and locomotives.
Private funded museums all over the USA make huge efforts to keep their old steam and diesel engines running, but admittingly a big company like the UP have means and ressources that these private museums and organizations can only dream of.
Other "Class 1" railroads ?Other "class 1" railroads have tried to do the same as the UP, but at least to me, the efforts pale in comparison.
Norfolk Southern did make ( kinda ) an effort by repainting some of their NEW locomotives in the colors of the railroad companies that once were independent companies, but are now part of the Norfolk Southern, but this repainting, compared to the UP plans for the 4014, seems pale, almost plain silly if not cheap.
Norfolk Southern advertises some steam excursions, but in fact they are using the Southern Railway No. 630 of Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum and the NKP 765 of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society, so Norfolk Southern doesnt maintain any steam locomotives themselves.
CSX has nada - zip - zilch regarding neither steam nor heritage program.
I havent checked the other "class 1" railroads thouroughly; more to come; but at a first glance there isnt much to find; alas.
Copyright © Christian Vinaa
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