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SD70 ACe #1982
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UP 1982 - Union Pacific's Missouri Pacific Heritage unit is in ancesteral territory at Dexter, Missouri on May 6, 2007. - Joe Ferguson Photo/T. Greuter Collection

UP #1982

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.

Inception – 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

Unveiling – If You Build it, They will Come
After 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.

Operation – Rolling, Rolling, Rolling
After 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 her travels.

First 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.

A Personal Perspective
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 to paint-on-steel.

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 numbers at - she's the most photographed unit out of 83,580 locomotives and counting.

Missouri Pacific

UP 1982

UP 8379

SD70 ACe



Omaha NE
Western Pacific UP 1983 UP 8383 SD70 ACe EMD 7/30/2005 Omaha NE
Missouri-Kansas-Texas UP 1988 UP 8388 SD70 ACe EMD 8/17/2005  
Denver & Rio Grande Western UP 1989 UP 8521 SD70 ACe EMD 6/17/2006  
Chicago & Northwestern UP 1995 UP 8522 SD70 ACe EMD 7/15/2006  
Southern Pacific UP 1996 UP 8523 SD70 ACe EMD 8/19/2006  

Sources / Links:

UP: Missouri Pacific Railroad - UPRR's official page features #1982

Colorado - Many great shots from unveiling and information.

UP 1982 MP Heritage Unit - Photos dating back to pre-heritage paint scheme.

Don Strack's UP Roster - Background

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 l Last Update to this page: 6 June, 2008
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