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On the road to the Super Bowl: UP's historical steam locomotive

Coming soon to Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston: Union Pacific Railroad's "Challenger," considered the world's largest operating steam locomotive, according to a prepared statement.

UP plans to take the 60-year-old locomotive on a nine-state, 3,500-mile tour to celebrate the Class I's heritage. The unit will stop in Kansas City and St. Louis, Mo., and Pine Bluff and North Little Rock, Ark., as it makes its way to Houston By Feb. 1.

The articulated, 122-foot-long locomotive features a hinged frame to negotiate curves, weighs more than 1 million pounds and can reach a top speed of 70 mph. It was built in 1943, retired in 1959 and restored by volunteers in 1981.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/30/2003