UP #3985 Challenges Steep Grade

UP #3985 Challenges  Steep Grade | Train Fanatics Videos

There’s a reason they call them “Challengers”!

Union Pacific #3985 uses every muscle climbing this grade outside of East Harriman in Wyoming. Pouring out black smoke the whole way, we really believe the furious sound of the this engine tells it all!

This is one of our favorite clips of this magnificent locomotive showing how powerful the Challenger series 4-6-6-4 locomotives really were.

Built specifically to take on long grades like her cousins the “Big Boys” 4-8-8-4’s, the #3985 Challenger was designed to pull freight fast up long grades without helper engines.

Since the #3985 was so long, she was built as an articulated locomotive that allows the 4 wheel front truck to go with the bend in tracks which would have otherwise be troublesome to such a long boiler.

Some quick facts about the UP #3985 Challenger

  • Builder – American Locomotive Works – 1943
  • Wheel configuration – 4-6-6-4
  • Locomotive and tender weight – 1,073,900 lbs
  • Tractive effort – 97,350 lbf
  • Nicknamed – Challenger

Let us know if you have ever had a chance to see UP #3985 in action! We would love to hear about your experience!

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