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 Post subject: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 8:16 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 5:57 pm
Posts: 58
UPRR #3985 “Challenger” is no longer listed under “Steam Locomotives” on the upsteam.com website. Does this mean now that the Big Boy #4014 is up and running, #3985 has been put out to pasture permanently, never to operate again? If so, will it be, or has it been, put on display somewhere?


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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:15 pm 

Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2017 11:33 am
Posts: 25
To be honest, nobody outside UP knows for certain. Publicly the last official word Ed Dickens stated was UP 3985 would be restored after 4014. Of course countless of behind the scenes decisions could have happened since then, in terms of budget, planning, and operational scope that could mean 3985 is mothballed forever, on a temporary hiatus until 844 or 4014 is down for their own rebuilds, or 3985 is going to be greenlit for restoration immediately once the 4014 parade this year dies down. Again, unless you are in the UP Steam Program or part of the accounting team in charge of dictating their budget, there is really no way to know for certain.

Trust me, there are theories out there. Lots of idle speculation from railfans on other forums and social media, some pointing to 3985's doom and other to its coming shot at the limelight. Frankly, I wouldn't trust any of it until the official word comes from UP itself. Until then its all talk and little facts to back it up.


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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:55 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
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Location: Maine
I find it difficult to believe U.P. would maintain two of their famous trio of giants and forget the 3985. I'm guessing the end objective would be to have all three up in steam at one gathering.

This is straight speculation on my part.

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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:17 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:32 pm
Posts: 12
I’ve got to agree, I don’t think UP would want to just get rid of #3985, but no one will ever know for sure unless UP makes an announcement or you’re part of what they’re doing. I remember seeing rumors that #4014’s restoration was cancelled or postponed, but she’s up and running now.


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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Thu Jul 25, 2019 11:18 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1691
Location: Strasburg, PA
xboxtravis7992 wrote:
To be honest, nobody outside UP knows for certain. Publicly the last official word Ed Dickens stated was UP 3985 would be restored after 4014. Of course countless of behind the scenes decisions could have happened since then, in terms of budget, planning, and operational scope that could mean 3985 is mothballed forever, on a temporary hiatus until 844 or 4014 is down for their own rebuilds, or 3985 is going to be greenlit for restoration immediately once the 4014 parade this year dies down. Again, unless you are in the UP Steam Program or part of the accounting team in charge of dictating their budget, there is really no way to know for certain.

Trust me, there are theories out there. Lots of idle speculation from railfans on other forums and social media, some pointing to 3985's doom and other to its coming shot at the limelight. Frankly, I wouldn't trust any of it until the official word comes from UP itself. Until then its all talk and little facts to back it up.
That's all true. I have been told on good authority that #3985 is next on the agenda, and that parts for it were being made at the same time that those same standardized parts were being made for the other two. However, an accountant's pen can spell doom for a steam locomotive as surely as a scrapping torch, so time will tell.

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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:22 am 

Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 4:12 am
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Location: cheyenne
Ed has said numerous times on the first outing of Big Boy and to me and others via text and word of mouth that 3985 will NOT be restored, it has donated many parts to 4014 inc the tender of course and is basically mothballed in the roundhouse.


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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:08 pm 

Joined: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:40 am
Posts: 430
I was afraid of that. Seems Ed had some not so favorable opinions of the Challenger from the start.

The question then I have is, Will 4014's tender eventually be converted to Oil? They do have the tender from 838 which is an oil tender. But's been on the ground without wheels for many years now. So I guess if 3985 came back online, there would be an option for a tender with a bit of work.

Phooey, I was hoping for a 3985/4014 double header!

Robert


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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 12:25 pm 

Joined: Sat May 19, 2018 10:03 am
Posts: 102
car57 wrote:
Ed has said numerous times on the first outing of Big Boy and to me and others via text and word of mouth that 3985 will NOT be restored, it has donated many parts to 4014 inc the tender of course and is basically mothballed in the roundhouse.

Are you authorized to post some of this text? Also, why would he have ordered THREE sets of parts for running gear if he weren’t to restore it? I’m sure if UP wants the locomotive restored, it will be done with or without Ed Dickens at the helm. I find it strange that UP would dump on of their major PR tools because someone said he wouldn’t restore it. It UP wants it done, it will get done weather or not Ed likes it...

I had totally forgotten about UP 838’s tender. I’m sure it could be restored with a little time and money. Couldn’t they also just pull the oil bunker and gear and install it into 4014’s tender? If it’s to far gone, couldn’t they use it as a guide to replicate?


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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:09 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 484
Honestly I’m hoping the whole program survives past this year. I do hope the Challenger will operate again one day, but at this point I don’t think anyone knows anything for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 1:12 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:14 pm
Posts: 105
I've heard rumors of 838s tender being swapped for 844s tender. 844s tender had been in service since the engine was built.....and has had constant use since 1944. 838s had not been used since the 50s, and internally would be in Better shape.

I've heard both that UP intended of restoring 3985......acquired parts for it, but some in managment above the heritage program don't see a need to spend more money on another engine. Again this is all rumors, but from what I've gathered, Ed wanted the challenger, UP management said no. Similarly, the reason there is no more E units or a centennial, is because UP Management thinks a normal diesel serves the same purpose for less money. So no need for special diesels. Kinda sad....but it's a corporation, their goal is to make money. Not make Railfans happy


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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 2:22 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 14, 2004 7:52 am
Posts: 1691
Location: Strasburg, PA
Tails wrote:
....but it's a corporation, their goal is to make money. Not make Railfans happy
There are a lot of people on these boards who would majorly disagree with you on that point. They sometimes seem to act is if the sole purpose of a RR is to give them entertainment...

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"It was not easy to convince Allnutt. All his shop training had given him a profound prejudice against inexact work, experimental work, hit-or-miss work."
C. S. Forester

Strasburg Rail Road Mechanical Department


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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 4:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:04 am
Posts: 284
Location: Lawrence, Mass.
It sounds like something has changed in recent months where we've gone from "3985 is next in line" to "there are no plans to restore 3985", but with the railroad cutting costs, that hardly seems surprising. Of course, "no plans" is not the same as "it will never happen", and let's not forget there was a time not so very long ago when the conventional wisdom (not to mention word straight from the source) was that a working Big Boy was never going to happen either. If the steam program survives, my guess would be that they might look at bringing 3985 back when 844 goes down for her next overhaul, but anything could happen between now and then.

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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:42 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2016 1:15 pm
Posts: 484
Even as a steam loving railfan I’m not sure I can think of a good business reason to restore the Challenger currently. On the other hand once you have the infrastructure for 2 engines, adding a third isn’t a major price to pay, especially if most of the parts have already been made as some have reported.


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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 6:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:14 pm
Posts: 105
It depends on what sort of operation you want. More special trains means more engines needed. But these train don't make money for up....beyond the pr and free advertising. Excursions don't put money in up's pocket. With the PSR craze from the ghost of Hunter Harrison still going around.....be happy we have any streamers running around. It could easily be cancelled tomorrow. Be happy with what we do have.

I know many will blame Ed for the lack of a running challenger....but even he has bosses who tell him how much money he gets and what he can spend it on. I'm just happy he had a budget at all.


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 Post subject: Re: UPRR 3985?
PostPosted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 7:57 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 3:37 pm
Posts: 1133
Location: Pacific, MO
Kelly Anderson wrote:
Tails wrote:
....but it's a corporation, their goal is to make money. Not make Railfans happy
There are a lot of people on these boards who would majorly disagree with you on that point. They sometimes seem to act is if the sole purpose of a RR is to give them entertainment...


Ain't that the truth. After all, railroads have bottomless pockets and appreciate all of the free advice.


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