Thursday, February 21, 2008
Missed the special, didn't miss the show. . .
As they were: UP 6922, summer 1984. . .
My thanks to Whiskey, TX for calling me Wednesday morning with news of an impending Union Pacific officer's special led by the last active DDA40X Centennial locomotive. Unfortunately, I didn't pick up the phone, as I was crashed out feeling miserable as the flu that laid out E., M. and I. turned its sights on me. I appreciate the effort, Wes, even if I wasn't able to pick up the phone!
Among the railfans in Texas, seeing a Union Pacific Centennial is a pretty big deal. They never worked down here in regular service, so the 6936's trip through the Lone Star State was a once every few years sight.
I didn't feel too badly in missing the special. I'm lucky (?) to be old enough to remember them in regular service in the 1970s and 80s. I had the extreme good fortune of being in the right place at the right time when a handful were reactivated from storage in 1984 for a final year of operation. At the time, I was a photography intern in Boise, Idaho, close to the Centennial action on UP's lines across Idaho and Oregon. I spent most of my weekends pursuing the "Big Jacks" over the Blue Mountains and on Medbury Hill.
So, in lieu of the preserved 6936 on a shiny passenger car special in Texas, here's the 6922, large and in charge, roaring up the steep grade out of the Snake River gorge near Ticeska, Idaho in the summer of 1984 on a train of autoracks.