Historic locomotive stops in Belvidere

Historic steam locomotive stops at Belvidere.

A large crowd gathered on a brisk Friday afternoon at Belvidere’s new train viewing station to participate in a second visit from the Union Pacific’s historical steam engine No. 844. The engine, built in 1944, is the last steam locomotive made for the U.P. It was considered a high-speed passenger engine until it was placed in freight service due to the introduction of diesel engines.

The 844 provided freight service in Nebraska from 1957 to 1959, and was saved from being scrapped in 1960, and held for special service. Today the engine runs thousands of miles as Union Pacific’s ambassador of goodwill and this year is pulling a special train called the 150 Express in celebration of the U.P.’s 150th anniversary. During Friday’s visit, the train stopped in

Belvidere for about 30 minutes while the conductor and engineer, dressed in period clothing, visited with onlookers. No. 844 is traveling 13,000 miles through 15 states as part of Union Pacific’s anniversary celebration.

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