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August 1989 - Page 20

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T he 50th ann iversary of Los Angeles U n ion Passenger Term i nal prom pts Cal ifornia's biggest steam show i n years T .1 his was a moment few would ever forget.
By Elrond G. Lawrence
unmistakable sound of working steam. Suddenly, from a round a distant curve appeared Union Pacific 8444, leading two dies els and a s tring of Armour Yellow passenger cars, in a thunderous march up the Cajon grade. But the show was only beginning, as yet a second plume of black smoke could be seen approaching. As Extra 8444 East approached the crowd of railfans and photographers, a second train appeared in a blaze of Daylight red and orange. And as hundreds of stunned faces watched in disbelief (while hundreds of motor drives achieved warp speed), 8444 and ex-SP GS-4 4449 thundered up Cajon Pass, side-by-side, in a race of steam like none had seen in decades. In a few moments it was over, with only the trailing markers of the trains' business cars and two distant plumes of black smoke bearing testimony to the "great race" which had just occurred. To many of the onlooking crowd, it was simply the most unbelievable thing they

THE DATE WAS MONDAY, M a y 8, 1 9 8 9 . The l o c a t i o n : Southern California's Cajon Pass, a place already famous for its continuous parade of heavy rail traffic. But on this early spring morning, the hundreds of railfans lining the Santa Fe-Union Pacific-Southern Pacific main lines were awaiting only one single event. For what probably was the first time in its 1 04-year history, Cajon Pass was literally jammed with railfans, all anxiously checking camera equipment, setting up video cameras and tape recorders, and simply waiting. And then. . . First came the helicopters-curious insects flying above the sight that was about to reveal itself . . . and in another w ay, reminders that this was indeed May of 1 989, and not the May of some decades-old time. As they slowly passed over the crowds, a sound began to emerge from t h e l o w e r p o r t i o n s o f t h e c a n y o n . . . the
20 . AUGUST 1989

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