Facebook Page

Union Pacific's 150th Anniversary Train Visits Portland ~ July 13th, 2012

by Elizabeth Guenzler

The Union Pacific Railroad was created by President Abraham Lincoln on July 1st, 1862 upon his signing the Pacific Railway Act. One hundred and fifty years later, Union Pacific celebrated that anniversary with a special train that travelled to various communities in Washington, Oregon and Idaho in the Pacific Northwest segment of the UP 150 Express Tour. A day trip to Portland was definitely in order.

The Friday of the two-day event was chosen so Bob and I could ride the Sounder commuter train from Edmonds to Seattle and catch Amtrak Cascades 501 to Portland then return to Edmonds that evening. It was a lovely trip down on this summer's day Upon our arrival, we browsed the tables of the various organizations that were on hand including the Oregon Department of Transportation and Talgo, Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society and the Oregon Railway Heritage Foundation.

These two Union Pacific 150 banners were affixed to lamp standards around the city.

My first view of the Union Pacific E units - this being E9A 951, which was built in 1955 and retired in 1980 but returned to service in 1984.

The famous Union Pacific logo on E9A 951.

The model designation and number of the lead locomotive.

Before touring the train displays, I walked down the consist. Union Pacific E9B 963 (ex. Alaska Railroad P-7, exx. AMTK 669, exxx. AMTK steam generator 1919, eexxxx. AMTK 468, exxxxx. UP 970B, nee UP 963B).

Union Pacific E9A 949 (ex. Metra 511, exx. Chicago and North Western 511, nee UP 949). Retired in 1972 and re-acqured in 1990 so a second E unit could operate with UP 951 on special trains.

Union Pacific power car 208 (ex. UP steam generator-dormitory 208, exx. UP steam generator-dormtiroy 304, nee boiler/baggage/dormitory 6006).

Union Pacific crew sleeper 314 "Columbia River" (ex. UP bedrooom car 1611 "Sun Slope 1965, nee UP roomette/sleeper "Western Wonderland" 1949). PPCX 800823.

Union Pacific sleeper 1605 "Powder River" (ex. UP sleeper "Powder River", exx. UP sleeper "Sun Manor" 1965, nee UP "Western Plains"). PPCX 800816.

Union Pacific sleeper 1610 "Portola" (ex. UP sleeper "Portola", exx. UP sleeper 1610 "Sun Skies" 1965, nee UP "Western Valley"). PPCX 800817.

Union Pacific baggage car 5779 "Promontory" (nee UP postal storage car 5779 1962). Re-named "Promontory" in 1993 and converted to museum car designed for Wyoming-Idaho centennial train. PPCX 800812.

The other end of "Promontory". This was the car in which the Building America display was located.

Union Pacific dome-lounge 9005 "Walter Dean" (ex. UP 9005 "Walter Dean" 1990, exx. AUto Train, nee UP 9005 1955).

Union Pacific diner "City of Denver" (ex. UP 36-seat dining car "City of Denver 1989, exx. Golden Wool Company 1972, nee UP lunch counter-lounge 5011 1959). PPCX 800330.

Union Pacific business car 106 "Shoshone", the second oldest car in the company's heritage fleet. Ex. California State Railroad Museum loan 1985, exx. UP "Shoshone" 1978, exxx. UP 106 1952, nee UP 99 1914.

The platform end of "Shoshone".

The rear platform of this historic business car.

The 150 Years drumhead. We then walked up to the pedestrian bridge over the tracks.

A group having their picture taken on the platform of "Shoshone".

The business car as seen from the bridge.

The three E units from above.

Union Pacific E9A 949 (ex. Metra 511, exx. Chicago and North Western 511, nee UP 949)

Looking down on the UP 150 train with the landmark Portland Union Station clock tower.

A nod to the railway history in the name of the condominium and house development beside the station which is where the roundhouse and yards were located. It was then time to join the queue to tour the cars.

The beginnings of the Union Pacific Railroad in the Pacific Railway Act display.

Union Pacific expanding into the west.

Union Pacific 150 Year time line. Photographing the displays was rather difficult but they were immpressive and featured historical artifacts, maps, photographs and display boards with modern technoology, including swiping a map to see old and current photographs of locations, trains et cetera.

After we had seen everything we wanted, two liens of MAX were ridden to get to Powell's Books, the fanastic bookstore, where I found two rare London Theatre Annuals from the 1960's. We walked back to Union Station and caught Amtrak Cascades 516 bcak to Edmonds.

Seeing the Union Pacific E units on this sesquicentennial train was the highlight of the day and I always enjoy riding the Cascades.