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Today I chased and photographed the special UP Challenger steam train from Bernie, Missouri to Pine Bluff, Arkansas.  It was full sun, excellent photography weather.

Pacing near Marmaduke, Arkansas (184k)

Leaving Brinkley - lots of steam with sound (979k)

The Challenger, UP 3985, crossing the St Francis River into St Francis, Arkansas from Missouri, 839 a.m. Friday, January 23, 2004. It was about 25 degrees.

646 a.m. in Bernie, MO with the sun starting to rise on January 23.

New day, bright sun in Bernie.

Pacing from car near Marmaduke, Arkansas.

Starting to pass the locomotive. (See a pacing MPEG sound movie HERE)

Just outside of Marmaduke, Arkansas, 1026 a.m.

UP4605, near Weiner, AR, 1136 a.m.

1203 p.m. passing the silo at Weiner, AR.

Line of cars on Hwy 49 going to Hickory Ridge, AR. This is where the Challenger stopped for water.

Crowd at Hickory Ridge, about 1230 p.m. Jan 23.

Pacing NS8680 at speed (no, I won't say the speed, but it was rather fast)

Brinkley, Arkansas, 149 p.m. This is the renovated Rock Island/Cotton Belt station at Brinkley. The Challenger is on the Cotton Belt while the Rock Island tracks used to go left to right behind the station, crossing the Cotton Belt about where the tender is.

The crowd at Brinkley was large, as they were at every town. RIGHT-Steve Lee in the cab.

Ulm, Arkansas, 250 p.m. I grew up in NEW Ulm, Texas, so this small town could be a cousin to mine.  Its' population 203.

Arriving at Michigan Street, Pine Bluff, 424 p.m.

UP freight passing the special in Pine Bluff.

There was also a large crowd in Pine Bluff.