October 9, 2008
Jefferson Herald, October 2, 2008
The Union Pacific Railroad's "Challenger" No. 3985, the world's largest operating steam locomotive, steamed through Greene county on the Union Pacific's main line Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 23, about 2:30 p.m.
The locomotive was on a five-state, 1,750-mile tour from Cheyenne, WY, to St. Paul, MN, to celebrate railroad heritage. It was on display all day Sept. 24 at Boone.
A crew of 12 rode with the train during the tour; two oversaw concessions, four operated the locomotive, two were firemen and six were mechanical personnel.
The Challenger has a hinged frame to allow it to travel around curves. Some 122 feet long and weighing more than one million pounds, it has drive wheels six feet in diameter and can reach a top speed of 70 miles per hour. It was built in 1943 for fast freight service and was retired in 1979.
Click here to see a photo (PDF file).