Did You Hear It? The Steam Engine Whistle Stirs Emotion at Union Station

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The last steam engine ever built for Union Pacific was parked all weekend at Union Station, but Monday morning it left the station for Paola.

It spent the weekend in Kansas City as part of a special 150th Anniversary tour across the country, celebrating the creation of U-P and the transcontinental railroad.

Engine Number 844 is well known among train enthusiasts. It is UP's last steam-powered iron horse, the final one made before the railroad went to electric and diesel powered engines.

No. 844 is on the last leg of its 13,000 mile journey across 15 different states. Union Pacific is celebrating 150 years of existence.

Back on July 2, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act, which created Union Pacific as efforts began to build the country's first transcontinental railroad.
Seven years later, the golden spike was pounded in Utah, and Americans could now travel from Nebraska to California on one train.

Click here for more on No. 844

One of the cars on the train details the history of the railroad, and an engineer with the train loves seeing the smiles on the faces of kids who see this steam powered engine for the first time.

"It's an emotional thing.  The whistle as you heard, it's very loud moaning, mourning sound of this locomotive that you can hear for miles and the effect that has on our country, it gives us a certain pride that UP operates equipment like this," said engineer Ed Dickens.  "The reaction the public has is so special and unique."

No. 844 will only be in Paola from 8:30 until 9 a.m. at 4th and Peoria, then it heads to Oklahoma.

It plans to pull into Houston at the end of the month to mark the end of this cross country tour.

Watch the video below, as the steam engine gets ready to leave the station:

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