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Those who love steam engines are no doubt familiar with the Challenger, the fastest freight locomotive of the Union Pacific fleet in the 1940s and 1950s.

The Challenger, based on the design for a successful freight engine, was the largest, heaviest and most powerful articulated passenger locomotive ever built. The powerful engine and 67-inch-diameter driving wheels enabled it to both negotiate the steep grades of the passes through the Rocky Mountains and achieve speeds necessary for express passenger service.

Artist Tucker Smith set the painting at the top of Sherman Hill between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming, at an elevation of about 8000 feet. In the background are the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. At the left of the painting, the yellow scheme the Union Pacific used for its passenger cars during the 1950s can be seen.

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