It’s now known as one of the most dramatically exciting side-by-side steam locomotives scenes ever staged: UP 8444 and SP 4449 running on the parallel tracks leading up Cajon Pass. The two mighty locomotives were leaving the 50th Anniversary Celebration at Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal in 1989 and Pentrex camera crews were trackside and onboard to capture incredible footage of this once-in-a-lifetime event!
We begin with UP 8444’s journey from Cheyenne, Wyoming in April 1989 and follow the powerful 4-8-4 across Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada, to California. With its matched set of 14 Armour yellow passenger cars, the train also included UP’s vintage E-9 diesel number 951 and its new SD60M number 6085 which would also be on display during the festivities. Steaming across the Western landscapes and through scenic canyons, the 8444 looks fantastic.
Then, as both the SP 4999 and UP 8444 parade side-by-side into the LAUPT station, our camera catches the Grand Entry from the middle of the two tracks; it’s a classic shot! We spend some time seeing the displays at the celebration, especially the photographers’ special 3-across line up of Southern Pacific’s and Union Pacific’s E-9s and Santa Fe’s F-7 vintage diesels.
The highlight of the show is side-by-side departure of SP 4449 and UP 8444 from San Bernardino over Cajon Pass, with UP running on the lower Santa Fe tracks and SP 4449 is on the upper SP line. You’ll see amazing coverage all the way to Sullivan’s Curve and beyond! Our DVD release of Steam to Los Angeles is one railroading adventure every railfan will want to own!