A special locomotive will pass through North Platte on Saturday in honor of the state's veterans.
Union Pacific unveiled locomotive No. 1943 last month, featuring a design to honor U.S. military personnel.
"It's going on a multistate tour," UP spokesperson Kristen South said. "We wanted to give as many folks a chance to see it as possible."
North Platte residents can expect to see the train pass through between 6 and 8 p.m. Saturday, South said.
"But that is a very rough estimate," she added.
No. 1943 - or The Spirit - is modeled after a Boeing B-17 airplane that flew in World War II. It was named The Spirit of Union Pacific because UP employees at the time funded the plane's construction by purchasing war bonds.
"It flew five missions before being shot down in Germany," South said.
The rest of the engine covers all the branches of the U.S. military and features the POW symbol on the back.
"To say we are still thinking of them," South said.
The design team actually worked with veterans working for UP to create No. 1943. South said about 17 percent of UP's workforce has military experience, and nearly 50 employees are deployed at any given time.
"The military has always been near and dear to Union Pacific," South said. "We've had soldiers in our ranks since the railroad started. This is a way to honor the men and women who have served our country."
Trains have also been a part of America's wars since the Civil War, South added, and even now UP provides equipment and food for U.S. troops.
"We're proud of that heritage," she said.
South hopes that when people see The Spirit passing through their communities, they will recognize it as a tribute to servicemen and women and know how important they are to the railroad.
After traveling to Cheyenne for a Monday open house, the locomotive will also visit California and Nevada before going into regular service. It will travel the U.S. railways in all 23 states that UP operates in.
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