Union Pacific’s #3985 Climbs Archer Hill

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Union Pacific’s #3985 Climbs Archer Hill | Train Fanatics Videos
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Full throttle with no assist, Union Pacific’s #3985 charges up the Archer Hill grade pulling 143 cars!

On this rare occasion, Union Pacific’s #3985 4-6-6-4 Challenger steam locomotive is hauling a mainline freight consisting of 143 cars while hi balling up the Archer Hill grade east of Cheyenne, Wyoming. Using all of her 97,350 lbf of tractive effort, she can maintain 35 mph on this 2.8 mile grade!

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Long time a favorite of railfans, the Archer Hill grade sees almost non stop action everyday!

The UP Challenger 4-6-6-4 is second only to the UP Big Boy 4-8-8-4 and was designed for fast freight service. Built in 1943 by the American Locomotive Company in Schenectady, New York, this locomotive is one of only two that are still in existence of the original 105 originally built.

She is currently housed in Union Pacific’s Steam Shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She is line to for her rebuild behind some other classic steam locomotives including UP’s 4014 Big Boy!

UP’s #3985 Locomotive and Tender weighs a combined 1,073,900 LBS!

Originally a coal burner, the UP volunteers converted the locomotive from coal burning to oil in order to avoid the sparks and fire danger that coal produced along side the tracks.

Quick Facts

  • Rail Line: Union Pacific
  • Train Name: UP Steam Locomotive #3985
  • Power type: 4-6-6-4 Steam Locomotive
  • Builder: American Locomotive Company
  • Train type: Freight/Passenger
  • Location: Cheyenne Depot, Wyoming
  • Weight on the drivers: 404,000 lbs.

If you’ve ever seen the Union Pacific #3985 or a train like this in action, let us know in the comments below! Would love to hear about your experience!

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