FEBRUARY 6, 2004

For other days, see: http://www.trainweather.com/3985.html

The Challenger left North Little Rock at about 845 a.m., heading west to spend the night in Van Buren. Included are scenes at Burns Park in North Little Rock, the tunnel just west of Conway, Russellville, and the bridge at Ozark, which has a view of the Arkansas River to the south and town of Ozark to the north.

Cars were lined up outside Burns Park in North Little Rock already at 730 Friday morning, Feb 6.

One north/west bound and one south/east bound freights passed before the Challenger. At left is UP6576 at 754 a.m., an empty coal train and at right is UP4958, a mixed freight, at 827 a.m.

Another rare locomotive was on the mixed frieght - SSW9692, unpatched.

At 853 a.m., the 3985 finally makes an appearence, about to cross Military Drive that runs through Burns Park.

The Challenger was moving at a good clip.

Admiring the smoke and steam as the special exits to the west.

The only tunnel on this former Missouri Pacific line is located just north/west of Conway, Arkansas and a lot of people were waiting with baited cameras to view the locomotive as it exits the tunnel. This tunnel was built in 1904 to eliminate steep grades in the area. I don't know for sure, but isn't this tunnel the only one the Challenger will go through on this tour?

The Challenbger exits the tunnel at 953 a.m.

Cropped and zoomed in.

Almost all the way out of the tunnel.

It was about 40 degrees with humidity in the 90 percent range, and even after a minute passed after the train exited the tunnel, steam was coming out.  Is this called 'leaving you in the steam?'

At Russellville, Arkansas, where the train had its service stop. They are renovating this depot. Note the left-over ice on the ground from the sleet that fell two days ago.

3985 arrived in Russellville at 1100 a.m. to throngs of people.

Part of the crowd at Russellville.

View of an eastbound coal train at Ozark, Arkansas at 1222 p.m. with snow on the coal. The Arkansas River is to the right and the city of Ozark is to the left. The right photo, looking west, shows a barge on the river and the UP tracks on the right.

At 212 p.m., the steam special can be seen approaching Ozark from the east.

215 p.m. passing under the Highway 23 bridge.

Looking down the Challenger's throat, but mainly just got steamed, not smoked. The other two sceness are looking west.

This will be my last installment on UP 3985's trip this go-around.  It was fun, and thanks to the UP Steam Crew and everyone who had anything to do with the trip. Trips like this bring people together and is about the only time that the general public makes the railroad the main attraction in their lives, if only for a short time.  It's also a way of meeting new friends in small towns who for a brief moment have one thing in common.

My email: trains@trainweather.com