Laramie Historic Train Move Begins
Cold temperatures certainly didn’t deter railroad lovers both young and old from participating in a once in a life time event this morning February 7th. Ralph Bullock was present in the crowd age 93. Ralph started his life long career with the Union Pacific back in 1941. And chatting with Ralph and his daughter was Linda Paintin who could still remember when her dad was the Engineer for the UP 535. Linda remembered riding the 535 in the roundhouse. The very same engine that in a few hours Wasatch Railroad Contractors and Black Hills Trucking would be moving to Heritage Park . Benny Martinez could remember when at age 18 he too started his career with the Union Pacific only a short while later he would in 1958 help move UP 535 to LaBonte Park on a 39 ft rail with two ties for the engine to roll over into place. Today’s move would require three trucks and two cranes, arriving at the engine at 8am.
Between 10 AM and noon, the cranes moved into position, one on each side of the engine, and lifted it. While a crowd watched in awe as a trailer backed under the engine and the engine was lowered. The truck, trailer, and engine then moved forward onto 6th street and Park while the tender was placed on a second trailer.
At noon the two trucks headed south on 6th street for Railroad Heritage Park, escorted by the Laramie Police Department. The move took approximately 45 minutes. However it has actually been two years in the making. Larry Ostrech of the Laramie Train Depot Board saw a need to preserve the incredible pieces of railroad history in our community that were in peril. Then entered Fred Ochers from the Albany County Tourism Board and Paul Harrison from the Laramie Parks and Recreation Board.