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History: The Union Pacific FEF (Four Eight Four), along with the GS-4 is easily one of the most recognizable US steam prototypes still in operation today. The FEF-3 series of steam locomotives was built by Alco and delivered in 1944 and were the last, and some of the largest, steam locomotives delivered for use by the Union Pacific. Operated solely by the Union Pacific, the FEF's (sometimes referred to as "Northerns", due to the NP's being the first to build steam locomotives with the 4-8-4 wheel arrangement) were intended primarily to be passenger locomotives but the UP's large fleet of available diesels meant that the FEF's were put to work in secondary passenger and fast freight service.
One of the duties of FEF's was to perform helper service with passenger trains that had diesels as their primary motive power. There is photographic documentation of FEF-2 823 on the head end of an AB lash-up of yellow E-7's pulling an extra passenger section. The double-heading was for the steep Wasatch grade. Another photo demonstrates a double-stacked FEF-2 in two tone gray as the only power on an extra section of The Gold Coast. Both photos were taken in 1952. Another photo exists of an FEF shoving on the back of a freight, pulling a yellow CA-4 caboose in freight helper service too.
Today, FEF-3 #844 (at some times during history also known as #8444 to avoid numbering conflicts with a diesel loco) survives to pull excursion trains as a publicity locomotive for the Union Pacific, and is one the UP's oldest operating locomotives.
Accompanying the "living legend" FEF-3 is always at least one of a pair of Union Pacific Water Tenders, carrying spare water for the steam engine (Water filling stations being a rarity in the diesel era). These unique re-built cars have seen service as both Steam and Gas Turbine Electric fuel tenders before finally settling into their current forms as part of UP's steam heritage fleet where they operate as separate (but always-present) cars.
The American Locomotive Automobile Company subsidiary designed and manufactured automobiles under the Alco brand from 1905-1913 and produced nuclear energy from 1954-1962. The company changed its name to Alco Products, Incorporated in 1955. In 1964 the Worthington Corporation acquired the company. The company ceased trading in 1969.
Item Links: We found: 1 different collections associated with Rail - Locomotive - Steam - 4-8-4 FEF-3
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Item created by: gdm on 2018-01-31 09:58:31
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