OGDEN — Union Pacific and Utah’s Spike 150 commission are offering railroad enthusiasts an opportunity to take a step back in time.
But it isn’t cheap.
As part of celebrations tied to the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the two entities are offering up a ride on UP’s “Heritage Fleet” cars, as they are pulled by the world’s largest steam locomotive, Big Boy No. 4014, and its companion, Living Legend No. 844.
Spike 150 Chair Doug Foxley, said the three-hour ride from Ogden to Evanston, Wyoming is meant to give passengers “a glimpse into rail travel of the past.”
For decades after the railroad was complete, Ogden’s Union Station served as the country’s biggest rail center between the Midwest and the West Coast. Travelers from all over the world passed through the city. So did soldiers during World War II.
Rail passenger service declined in the years following World War II and so did activity at the Ogden station.
As part of the throw-back tour, UP’s historic trains will leave at 8 a.m. May 12, from the Union Station, 2501 Wall Ave. The ride will take participants through Weber and Echo canyons, making stops in Echo and Morgan.
Riders can travel in the panoramic dome car or main cabin, both of which will offer full views of the passing countryside. Ticket-holders will also have access to a behind-the-scenes tour of two steam engines and passenger fleet on May 11. That tour includes a presentation about the railroad’s history, steam-powered trains and the rebuilding of the Big Boy. Attendees will also receive a commemorative photo.
According to a press release form the Spike 150 commission, the Big Boy No. 4014 was built for UP in the 1940s. At about 133 feet long and 1.2 million pounds, the machine is the world’s largest steam engine. Living Legend No. 844 was the final steam locomotive built for UP and the only one never retired by a railroad.
As part of the sesquicentennial, the two engines will be on display at the Union Station from May 9-12.
According to the Spike 150 release, the dome car seats for the traveling tour are $5,000 per person, while seats in other carriages are $3,000 per person. The release attributes the prices to the “rarity of this opportunity and the limited number of seats.”
Proceeds benefit the Union Pacific Museum and the Spike150 Foundation. For more information about ticket pricing and to purchase tickets visit spike150.org.