Union Pacific unveiled a commemorative locomotive this year honoring the U.S. armed forces, and it is scheduled to pass through Maricopa on Saturday.
The Spirit of the Union Pacific has made stops in Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming and is now on its way to California. The design of the locomotive pays tribute to each service branch. See diagram below.
UP spokesman Jeff DeGraff said the locomotive has some scheduled stops in California next week.
“At this time, we do not have any stops scheduled in Arizona, so it will just be passing through,” he said.
The Spirit of the Union Pacific is set to leave Tucson around 10 a.m. and arrive in Yuma at 4 p.m. Its estimated time for passing through Maricopa is midday, but DeGraff emphasized its schedule is dependent on other train traffic on the rails, so anyone wishing to take photos as it passes by may need to be patient.
The locomotive honors the company’s history. The first Spirit of the Union Pacific was a 1943 Boeing B-17, which flew with the 571st Bomber Squadron before it was shot down over Munster, Germany. Its name recognized UP employees, who funded it through war bonds.
DeGraff said UP is scheduling more stops for the locomotive in 2018, and those may include Arizona.