Challenger ’82 tells the fascinating story of those first two seasons of the most famous Challenger of all… Union Pacific’s 3985! It begins in 1975 as this beautiful 4-6-6-4 is removed from the Cheyenne roundhouse for display at the depot. Then you’ll see 3985 returned to the shops in 1979 for restoration. On March 18, 1981 you are there as 3985 is tested under its own steam in the Cheyenne yards. The first road test comes a week later on a freight run to LaSalle, Colorado. On April 23, 1981, one of the most significant railroad events of the decade occurs when Challenger 3985 is doubleheaded with Union Pacific 8444 on a special train to the Grand Opening of the California Railroad Museum.
Challenger 3985’s second season in 1982 is documented in some of the most spectacular steam footage ever photographed. You are trackside between Cheyenne and Pocatello, Idaho. Then, we follow the excursions between Salt Lake City and Provo, Utah. As the train heads back to Cheyenne we pace 3985 through scenic Weber Canyon.