• Union Pacific to retire # 3985 and cut Steam Program

  • Discussion about the Union Pacific operations past and present. Official site can be found here: UPRR.COM.
Discussion about the Union Pacific operations past and present. Official site can be found here: UPRR.COM.

Moderator: GOLDEN-ARM

  by Pat Fahey
Hi All
I just saw this post on RYPN on the first page, http://www.rypn.org on interchange the post is titled
UP to retire 3985, but if you read more the Steam Program has been cut also.
Something must have happened within UP management to cut this program, maybe restoring the Big Boy, they found out just how much of a Money Pit, the locomotive was. they also planning on retiring the Big Boy also, according to the posts. Pat.
  by shadyjay
I saw nothing in those posts about retiring 4014. It'll most likely run as long as the UP has a steam program and until its due for its 15-yr/1472. They just sunk a lot of money to bringing it back into service. I wouldn't think they'd retire it already, without getting more than at least a few more years out of it.
  by MEC407
Moderator Note:

Moved topic from New England forum to Union Pacific forum.
  by MBTA3247
The latest UP Steam Club email mentioned the retirement of the 3985 and “streamlining” the steam program, but the program is otherwise continuing.
  by eolesen
The steam program hasn't been eliminated, but it will see some cuts to their budget. That's only fair when the company is making cuts across the board. What the cuts entail won't be aired on the internet for foamers to argue about. My guess is they'll have a few less machinists i.e. if someone quits or retires, they won't be in a hurry to replace them immediately (if at all).

3985 needs a bottom-up rebuild, and that's a serious financial effort. At a minimum, it's said to need a new firebox if not a new boiler. With two other working locomotives, there's no business case for a rebuild right now.

Retirement of 3985 isn't death or a one-way ticket to a museum. It simply means they're not going to do the work needed to bring it up to speed *right now*. My guess is it's staying in the Cheyenne roundhouse indefinitely, just like the other 4-8-4 that's been stored there as long as I can recall, and like the former CNW F unit and other relics that are on the outdoor leads.

Perhaps the moderator can modify the title... "Cut Steam Program" the steam program is really misleading... maybe "Cut steam program budget" would be less alarmist.