Friday, October 20, 2017

New Union Pacific 1943 honors military

Written by 
  • Print
  • Email
Union Pacific 1943 "The Spirit." Union Pacific 1943 "The Spirit." Union Pacific

Union Pacific has unveiled No. 1943 “The Spirit of the Union Pacific” locomotive at San Antonio's Sunset Station, the 16th commemorative locomotive in the railroad’s 155-year history The arrival of the EMD SD70AH kicks off UP’s Salute to the Military Tour, a series of community displays across its network.

Created in collaboration with UP veterans, the Tier 4 locomotive shares a connection to a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress funded by war bond contributions from the railroad’s employees in 1943. Christened The Spirit of the Union Pacific and assigned to the 571st Bomber Squadron, the Spirit was shot down on its fifth mission during a raid on enemy installations in Munster, Germany.

"Union Pacific is proud to honor veterans and the men and women bravely serving our country with a special locomotive representing every armed forces branch reflected in its symbolic design," said Scott Moore, senior vice president – Corporate Relations. "Beginning today, UP No. 1943 The Spirit's mission is to salute them as it leads trains carrying America's goods across our network every day." The Spirit's silver nose and cab symbolize Air Force Silver, and the blue stripe recalls the former Strategic Air Command's "nose sash." The lettering inside the sash is the original hand-drawn font used on the B-17. It 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.

The message at the rear of the loco 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."

The Omaha-based company said that more than 20% of its employees have military experience, with some actively serving in the National Guard or Reserves. The company was recognized in the Best Companies for Veterans top 10 list, compiled by and, for the second year in a row in 2016.

In 1991 Union Pacific honored its Gulf War veterans with UP 3593, a camouflage SD40-2 nicknamed "Desert Victory".

Get the latest rail news

Rail news and analysis from Railway Age, IRJ and RT&S by email