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The Union Pacific 3985 leaving Denver 7/24/2004

by Chris Guenzler

The phone rang at 6:10 AM with Carl and I obeying the reason it rang. We walked out onto the Park West Ave bridge to wait for the departure of the Challenger Union Pacific 3985, the world's largest operating steam Engine, for Cheyenne at 7:00 AM on a dark and damp overcast morning. Right on schedule the Union Pacific Challenger 3985 departed Denver for Cheyenne with about 50 railfans on the bridge taking pictures and video.

I ran across the bridge for the going away pictures.

What a show of steam and sound the Challenger provided us as it left Denver. Carl was truly impressed by the power of the Union Pacific 3985. It just shows sometimes you are in the right place at the right time to watch history take place right before your eyes. On the way back to the La Quinta Inn we stopped by a McDonalds in a gas station for my usual breakfast of Hot Cakes and Sausage and a 12 pack of Coca-Cola for the trip home. We checked out and walked back over the bridge.

Below us was the BNSF Denver engine facility which had a Quebec, North Shore and Labrador SD-40 present.

On the way back to Denver Union Station to Rio Grande Ski Train waited for a future trip. Back at Denver Union Station I saw Tom Tuttle, the excellent Amtrak conductor, taking tickets for passengers who were going via Wyoming on the California Zephyr this morning. Following our tickets being collected, I mailed a few post cards before waiting for the train to board for my return to Wyoming via Amtrak.

Click here for Part 3 of the story.