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Shields Over Sherman Hill

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The Union Pacific took on the Continental Divide head on! The ruling grade over Sherman Hill, between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming, made the UP the leader in locomotive “super power”.

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The Union Pacific took on the Continental Divide head on! The ruling grade over Sherman Hill, between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming, made the UP the leader in locomotive “super power”. We start with an early glimpse of the UP at Cheyenne- in 1903! Thomas Edison filmed the bustle of activity at the depot at train time. Then there is a parade of early challengers and northerns over Sherman. The UP has preserved much of its heritage. Northern-type 844 was a great public relations tool for the UP and led many an excursion in the sixties (and still does). We follow a typical trip out of Cheyenne up and over Sherman. There are also a series of color runbys that feature the UP’s heavy freights in the ’50’s, featuring Mikados, Challengers and Big Boys fighting the grades and winds over Sherman.

The UP entered the diesel era with the same attitude toward motive power-“bigger is better”! “Three Track” was added over Sherman Hill in the ’50’s which greatly enhanced capacity. But the DD35’s, ALCO C855’s, U50’s, Turbines and the 6900-class “Centennial” DD40’s kept the “super power” concept. You will experience them all! This video takes you back to the early days of steam and the great streamliners. Lots of action!

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