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                   Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - 1:21PM CDT

Union Pacific #844 from Washington, MO to St. Louis, March 27-28

By DAN ROBINSON
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HD VIDEO: UP #844 - Washington, MO to St. Louis (1080p)

Last week, I had scheduled this Tuesday off of work due to a potential storm expedition in Missouri and Illinois, after a setup for possible supercells was advertised by models several days in advance. About all this event really had going for it was the low-level wind profile, a little instability and decent lapse rates, and that's about it. But, it was close enough that I was planning to chase it nonetheless. As the event drew closer, the setup became even less favorable, with most upper support remaining to the north, the instability axis staying very narrow and most of all, daytime initiation of storms was increasingly in question due to weak convergence along the cold front. Tuesday morning, when all models showed a complete lack of storms firing before sunset (and those that might fire after dark would remain weak and short lived) I decided to call it a bust, before even leaving home.

The chase setup completely tanking was a good thing: Union Pacific's steam locomotive #844 was making another rare (once every year or so) visit to the St. Louis area Tuesday afternoon, pulling a special train called "The Shiloh Limited" to Marion, Arkansas. The last car of the train was carrying Civil War-era cannons. For me, watching mainline steam in action is equal to a decent storm chase. So even though the storm event busted, I still had a good day. I shot mostly video, but took a few stills at the St. Louis location (below). The train overnighted in downtown St. Louis, and on Wednesday morning, I got up early to catch it departing and heading south along the river in Illinois.

UP 844 at sunset in St. Louis 1
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UP 844 at sunset in St. Louis 2
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UP 844 at sunset in St. Louis 3
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UP 844 at sunset in St. Louis 4
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How wonderful these pictures are.
- Posted by Mom

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