Locomotive 1943 is now traveling around the United States honoring the military. Known as The Spirit of Union Pacific Locomotive, the train carries a unique design.
The train made its debut in San Antonio at Sunset Station on Oct. 19. According to KENS 5, about 20 percent of Union Pacific’s workforce is former military.
“This was an opportunity for us to put a giant message on a big locomotive and run it all over our system,” said Union Pacific spokeswoman Brenda Mainwarind. “We hope that the thousands of people who see this as it goes through their town recognize it as a tribute to the men and women who serve.”
Here’s a look at the excitement as the train drove through San Antonio.
This is the company’s 16th commemorative locomotive in their 155-year history.
“A Boeing B-17 was christened the Spirit of the Union Pacific in 1943, recognizing employees who funded it through war bond contributions,” read a statement from the company. “The Spirit of the Union Pacific was assigned to the 571st Bomber Squadron and shot down on its fifth mission during a raid on enemy installations in Munster, Germany.”
Each section of the train honors a different section of the military. The front of the train honors the air force. It has a silver scheme as well as the blue stripe known as the Strategic Air Command’s “nose sash.” Union Pacific says that the lettering used on that sash is the same as what’s on the B-17.
You’ll see the Coast Guard’s “Racing Stripe” followed by Battleship Gray for the Navy. The traditional Union Pacific rendition of the American flag follows. The final design of the train is a camouflage one. The intent is to honor both the Army and the Marines.
On the tail of the train, the company added the POW/MIA symbol and the motto, “You Are Not Forgotten.”
Currently, the train is part of a Salute to Military Tour where it will travel through several cities. While it started out in San Antonio, the train quickly made its way to New Orleans on Oct 20. The train overnighted in Audubon Park before jetting off to its next destination.
You can see the full list of stops, here.