From the Log Cabin in late October 2016 – Article by Marisa Hicks – Log Cabin Staff Writer


Marisa Hicks Staff photo

The “Living Legend” No. 804 was the last steam locomotive Union Pacific purchased. It was bought in December 1944 and has yet to be retired. At 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, the high-speed passenger engine made a pit stop in Conway before leaving back home to Cheyenne, Wyoming.


Union Pacific’s “Living Legend” rolled through Conway on its way home to Wyoming on Tuesday, making a brief stop at the Main Street crossing.

“People are fascinated with steam locomotives, young and old,” Ed Dickens Jr., engineer and senior manager of heritage operations for Union Pacific, said.

Union Pacific purchased the “Living Legend” No. 844, a high-speed passenger train, in December 1944. It was the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific.

“The engine has run hundreds of thousands of miles as Union Pacific’s ambassador of goodwill,” a Conway Police Department press release states. “It has made appearances at Expo ’74 in Spokane, the 1981 opening of the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans and the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Los Angeles Union Station in 1989.”

Conway resident Sam Ledbetter stopped by Simon Park on Tuesday to catch a glimpse of No. 844.

Ledbetter, who is a train enthusiast, said his interest in trains arose in 1981, noting he was a fan of big steam engines.

“Just the aura of the engine itself is amazing,” he said.

No. 844 last traveled through Conway in 2012, Dickens said.

He said steam locomotives “are an iconic symbol of the greatness of America,” noting the “Living Legend” has yet to be retired since its 1944 purchase.


Marisa Hicks Staff Photo

Union Pacific workers watch as the “LIving Legend” pulls into Conway while keeping onlookers at a safe distance from the old steam locomotive.

“You don’t have to be a train enthusiast to appreciate [it],” he said.

The locomotive made a 15-minute pit stop in Conway at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday before leaving for home in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Dickens said that while trains are remarkable to see, he wanted to caution onlookers to always be safe around railroad tracks.

img_1389Me and the train


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