Dave and Becky's R.V. trip August 2005
The Challenger Steam Engine Comes
Through Redding and Dunsmuir, CA
All Photos by Doc Hemp
This engine the Challenger #3985 was built in the year I was born .. 1943 ... It is also a heavy weight weighing in at 1 million pounds and is a 122 foot long behemoth! It is the worlds largest operating steam locomotive! It visited Redding on Labor Day stopping for about a half hour. It was on a 2,800 mile tour from Cheyenne Wyo. (the engines home) to Portland Ore. to celebrate Union Pacific's railroad heritage. It has 6 foot diameter drive wheels and will cruise at 70 mph. It was retired in 1959. Union Pacific employee volunteers restored it in 1981. The Challengers had articulated frames which allowed them to negotiate smaller radius curves than many smaller engines. Going around a sharp curve in the track the wheels and frame pivot to follow the track while the front of the engine stays straight outside the curve and then comes back straight as the track straightens out.
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