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Big Steam Train to Roll Through Bay Area Cities

Rail aficionados will tell you there's something special about a steam locomotive big wheels, rods pushing back and forth, belching smoke. Compared with a modern diesel locomotive, steamers are so old-fashioned and dirty "... and alive.


Big, modern Union Pacific stables two large steam engines as rolling goodwill ambassadors and public relations centerpieces. One of them, No. 844, will roll in and out of the Bay Area next week, scheduled to lay over in Oakland on April 21 for public viewing.


There may be a possibility the train will stop in Richmond - or at least slow down - around 10:00 AM


The train is part of the Union Pacific's "Western Heritage Tour" and will be traveling from Wyoming to California from April 11 through May 12. No. 844, one of two historic engines Union Pacific maintains, will make eight special stops for public viewing.

On Monday, the engine and train is scheduled to depart from Roseville on the Capitol Corridor route at approximately 8 a.m. The locomotive will pass through Fairfield, Martinez, Crockett, Hercules, Pinole, Richmond and Emeryville before arriving in Oakland at approximately 11 a.m. On Tuesday, April 21, the train will be on public display from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Union Pacific freight yard at 1408 Inner Harbor Road in West Oakland. 

An article in the Contra Costa Times does however note that for a variety of reasons, the historic train's departures and arrivals can vary greatly, but residents can follow the progress of the tourvia GPS

More details on the history of No. 844 and the Western Historic Tour are available at Union Pacific's website.