PACIFIC HERITAGE UNIT
After much speculation
and rumor (Union Pacific officials kept things under a tight lid), the
unit was formally unveiled on July 30, 2005 at Omaha Nebraska, along with
UP 1983 (for the Western Pacific). More heritage units were announced
to follow the first pair.
Undeniably it is one
of the best tastefully rendered paintjobs
the UP paintshops have designed. We all know that if we lived in a in
a merger-less universe MP would still be pushing the envelope, loading
up it's 21st century rail arsenal with a bevvie of SD70ACe's and in an
updated paint job.
Ahhh... the Mighty
MoPac still lives on through it's colorful legacy.
a New Eagle is ...Hatched
UP 1982 was originally born as UP 8379,
serial number 20046610-71, frame number 20046610-71 in SD70AC order #----.
She was delivered in primer gray to Union Pacific on May 2005. From the
UP she was sent to Wisconsin & Southern's Horicon Shops in Wisconsin,
arriving ---, and renumbered as 1982 upon painting. Undercover literally
of large tarps and silence to the media she was sent back to UP rails
and on to Council Bluffs. It
contrast to the lively fanfare of its upcoming unveiling, the unit was
moved about hidden, sometimes offering a tantalizing glimpse of a flicker
of blue paint underneath
If You Build it, They will Come
months of speculation and rumour, first speculation, then the promise
of anticipation ran high. The
Missouri Pacific Heritage Unit was formally unveiled in a special ceremony
on July 30, 2005 at Omaha Nebraska, along with the Western Pacific Heritage
unit. The public was invited, and they came... in droves.
much publicity-oriented touring, specials and eventually being released
into freight service, UP 1982 has travelled system-wide since 2005. Illinois
and the old C&EI region seems to be a frequent stomping ground in
New Missouri Pacific Engine in 20 Years
Both the Missouri Pacific and Western Pacific legally began the process
of merger into UPRR in 1982-1983 (thus the designation of each of the
Heritage units road numbers). At this time MP continued to exist and to
use its name, as part of the UPRR system. It was fifteen years later,
in 1997 that the railroad ceased to exist as a legal entity on paper,
the name Missouri Pacific was dropped.
Now remember, this
is what is legally recognized on paper. When UP bought the MP, the Missouri
Pacific was in fact the larger system of the two. Maybe you could imagine
this like a goldfish swallowing a rainbow trout, it may look like a goldfish
(bloated!) but there's still a lot of trout there. Though MP eventually
assumed the buyer's name, still this was in reality a true merger. The
UPRR logically was changed by this just as much as the MP. The Mopac's
men and machines were carried over, and business continued on as usual.
Many of the minds from the MoPac system now are running the current UPRR.
In this perspective, aside from paint and the UP name, the MP still is
alive under the yellow surface.
That's what makes
the UP 1992 "mean" something. It's not a locomotive somebody painted up
as a make-believe display. This was dreamed up by some of the very people
who were part of that system. So in a sense, the UP 1982 Missouri Pacific
Heritage Unit is the first new "MoPac" locomotive in two decades (literally,
since the last new engines delivered to MoPac were the final C 36-7 order
in November 1985). After all the "what if" locomotive schemes people have
dreamed of for the Mop, we now have the real deal.
As for #1992's scheme, I'd say I was maybe 85% satisfied with it. (minus-10
pts for the silver undercarriage and -5 pts for a less than accurate nose
eagle) I would have loved to have been in on the goings on from her conception
She's very true to
the image that the Mopac originally portrayed (if you can overlook those
garish silver trucks - I don't think the UP boys wanted us to forget too
much she's still on the UP roster!). I see the design as a modernized
up-to-date Jenks scheme... maybe you could call it a "Jenks 3" (the original
schemes of turbo eagles and the large hood numbers being "Jenks 1" and
"Jenks 2" respectively) that harkens back to the "Route of the Eagles"
with its spread eagle nose emblem. From the rear she looks precisely like
her predesesors and from the front the lighter "Power Blue" compliments
the Jenks blue very tastefully.
Speaking of that nose
emblem. The Missouri Pacific used a number of slight variants of it's
spread eagle emblem on motive power, observation cars and the Eaglette
motorailer - in stainless steel, in relief, and painted-on. Still I've
never came across one that looked exactly like the UP 1982's. Maybe Omaha
lost the keys to the UP's hidden storage vault where all the original
plans are probably located (where's Indiana Jones when you really need
him!) and redrew it. The MoPac's original Loewy-designed emblem was art
deco - angular, drawing upon Aztec and American Indian thunderbird inspiration.
The 1982's wing feathers look slightly rounder maybe (to me anyway). Maybe
this is an optical illusion since the original stainless steel eagles
wrapped around the sloping curved surface of an E-unit instead of a flat,
modern safety cab. Also, a "buzzsaw tail" that fits below the buzzsaw
emblem has been added. We'll probably never know why the slight change
to an established symbol.
The UP 1982's new
turbo eagle is actually copied faithfully from the stylized eagle buzzsaw
emblem rather than the original large turbo eagle's adorning the long
hoods in the 60's-70's. Its actaully something I had wondered would have
looked like if the MoPac had been inclined to keep painting turbo eagles
into the 80's, so it was a bonus for me to see this thought become a reality.
Out of all the heritage
locomotives I'd say UP 1982, not only is the purest to her namesake's
motive power, but also the most appealing in appearence. Check out the
RRPicturesArchives.net - she's the most photographed unit out of 83,580
locomotives and counting.