Spirit of Union Pacific rolls through New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS -- The Spirit of Union Pacific rolled into New Orleans on Saturday.

The Spirit Locomotive honors U.S Armed Forces. It’s locomotive number 1943. The locomotive name is connected to a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress funded by war bond contributions from Union Pacific employees in 1943. That plane was shot down on its 5th mission in Germany during World War II.

This is the 16th commemorative locomotive in Union Pacific’s 155-year history. A beautiful mural on the locomotive highlights the various armed forces.

Governor John Bel Edwards, a West Point grad and veteran, was the honorary locomotive engineer. He rode with the troops and other dignitaries as The Spirit rolled into the New Orleans area.

This is the second stop on the nationwide Salute to Military Tour. It is overnighting in Audubon Park where you can see it at The Fly. It continues its journey late Sunday afternoon.

More than 20 per cent of Union Pacific’s employees have military experience.

The message at the rear of the locomotive is dedicated to prisoners of war and those missing in action, featuring the P.O.W and MIA logo and its motto, “You are not forgotten.”