All prototype Images above and below courtesy Kenneth Fitzgerald (www.fl9.com)
The Union Pacific Excursion Water Tenders are used to extend the range of Union Pacific Heritage Steam Locomotives 844 and 3985. The two water tenders were rebuilt to their current configuration beginning in 2005 with both being completed by 2008. UP #809 JIM ADAMS and UP #814 JOE JORDAN now find themselves serving directly behind two of the most popular steam locomotives in the world.
Each of these tenders began their lives as oil tenders behind ‘800-‘ class Union Pacific FEF-1 steam locomotives and later were converted to serve behind the massive 8,500 hp Gas Turbine Electric Locomotives built by GE. While in service with the 8, 500 hp GTEL they carried 24,384 gallons of Bunker C Oil to the thirsty turbine. Today the tenders haul approximately 28,000 gallons of water since all of the heater elements and other materials have been removed to maximize water capacity.
The water tenders are filled by fire hydrants, or fire trucks as pictured, during station service stops while the Heritage locomotives are in service. Ken Fitzgerald captured these images of the Water Tenders in action behind UP 844 and sometimes accompanied by the UP E9ABA locomotive along with a long string of beautifully restored UP Heritage Fleet passenger cars. Water can be added at ground level and is then fed to the steam locomotive via a series of pipes.
If you are a fan of the Union Pacific Heritage Fleet and own models of the UP 844 or UP3985 as they survive today in ‘Excursion Service’ then HO scale modelers will certainly want to add these two colorful models being offered by ScaleTrains in HO scale plastic models in February of 2016. The two-piece water tender set is available for pre-order today with our Overland Hobbies by following the provided link. I have inserted a photo of the pre-production sample models from ScaleTrains below along with more images from Kenneth Fitzgerald showing the water tenders being re-filled by a local fire department during a service stop.
Missy, Jake and I look forward to hearing from you and taking care of any of your model railroading needs.
Brian Marsh, Overland Hobbies
references: UtahRails.net and Turbines Westward by Thos. R. Lee