Two of Union Pacific’s five community service locomotives were parked Sunday near downtown North Platte along Front St.

The George Bush 41 locomotive, which recently pulled the funeral train for its namesake, was hooked to the Spirit of Union Pacific, which honors the United States’ armed forces.

The units are expected to leave North Platte sometime Tuesday, a UP spokeswoman said Monday.

Locomotives on special trips often park overnight on the siding next to Front Street before or after they are serviced in North Platte’s Bailey Yard.

Union Pacific did not publicly announce the stopover in advance.

The two locomotives have been traveling around Union Pacific’s 23-state service area. They were seen at a service yard in Fresno, California on Jan. 19, headed north, according to Fox 26 television news in Fresno. A UP spokeswoman told Fox 26 the Bush No. 41 locomotive was traveling to “various Union Pacific facilities around our network to give employees an opportunity to see it firsthand.”

The company is also laying off workers as it streamlines business for more automation.

Union Pacific has created only 16 commemorative locomotives in its history. Five of them, like these two, are classified as “community service locomotives.”

 

George Bush 41

Union Pacific paid tribute to President George Herbert Walker Bush with a custom-painted locomotive.

Incorporating colors and elements of the Air Force One used during Mr. Bush’s presidency, the Union Pacific locomotive bears the number 4141, in honor of the 41st president.

Elements from Air Force One’s wings and tail, including an American flag, are placed on No. 4141’s rear panel, with the sweeping lines of forward motion representing progress.

 

The Spirit

On Dec. 6, 2018, Union Pacific participated in Bush’s funeral train, led by No. 4141, from Spring to College Station, Texas.

Union Pacific’s Locomotive No. 1943, The Spirit, was created in collaboration with Union Pacific veterans. The locomotive illustrates the railroad’s connection to the thousands of veterans who helped build America through the centuries, the company says.

The Spirit’s front is symbolic of Air Force Silver, and the blue stripe is a reflection of the former Strategic Air Command’s “nose sash.”

The lettering inside the sash is the original hand-drawn font used on the B-17 dedicated to Union Pacific during World War II.

The sash is followed by the Coast Guard’s “Racing Stripe” and the Navy’s Battleship Gray, which frames Union Pacific’s traditional American flag.

The military camouflage is a nod to the Army and Marines.

As the train passes by, the final message on the tail is dedicated to U.S. prisoners of war and those missing in action, featuring the POW/MIA symbol and its motto, You Are Not Forgotten.

 

Click HERE for more information about Union Pacific’s commemorative fleet.