On May 18 and 19, 2007, the Union Pacific 844 and Southern Pacific 4449 steam locomotives made history by double-heading for the first time ever between Tacoma and Everett. This historic event, which was jointly run by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, was a benefit excursion on behalf of the Barriger Library of the University of Missouri at St. Louis and the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation. Pentrex was on hand to capture the private excursion as well as the round-trip public excursion, the “Puget Sound Steam Special”. We also followed the engines on their double-headed return trip from Tacoma to Portland. In addition, we chased the UP 844 on its way back home, capturing great footage of it through the Columbia River Gorge, flashing past beautiful Multnomah Falls, and steaming over the Blue Mountains of Eastern Oregon.
These powerful Northern-type locomotives switched point position at Everett on both days of the Tacoma-Everett runs. You’ll have ample opportunity to see each of them looking great and leading the train of matched Armour yellow UP cars. Cool, overcast weather only served to make their billowing clouds of steam and smoke even more dramatic! The spectacular scenery along the Puget Sound created a perfect backdrop for great steam action. You’ll see the locomotives thundering across Salmon Bay Bridge, rolling through Sunnyside Beach and Harbor View Parks, and racing along the flowing curves of the Sound.
The line between Tacoma and Everett is a busy double track mainline owned by BNSF with UP trackage rights. This allowed us to see interesting motive power, such as SD40-2s, heading a variety of freight trains there, as well as on the trip from Tacoma to Portland and through the Columbia River Gorge. As a special treat, we are including almost one hour of bonus footage featuring exciting mainline action. Bonus Footage includes 50 minutes of great freight action.