Steam engines to pass through towns that win online Union Pacific contest

This steam locomotive stopped in Cape Girardeau in 1953. (Southeast Missourian file)

It's been decades since a steam-powered locomotive passed through Cape Girardeau, but a Union Pacific online contest gives people the power to route the train to their hometowns.

City leaders are encouraging residents to vote for Cape Girardeau in the Union Pacific Great Excursion Adventure -- You Route the Steam contest, in which steam locomotives will pass though towns that receive the most votes.

"The steam locomotive brings back a lot of history in the growth of our area and nation," Mayor Harry Rediger said. "It would be great to take a step back in history and relive the days of the steam locomotive."

People may vote once daily at through Dec. 6, when the first voting round ends. During the second round, from Dec. 7 through Jan. 3, Union Pacific will tabulate the top hometown contenders. Round three, from Jan. 4 through Jan. 17, will be the final voting round in which people can vote on the four proposed routes.

"The website is so well designed and easy to use," said Stephanie Lynch, director of public relations and marketing at the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau. "This first round of voting is really important. We've got to vote hard."

People can continue to vote during all three rounds and earn points to compete for Union Pacific prizes.

The winning route and individual winners will be announced Jan. 18. The timing of the excursion will be based on the location of the winning route.

Lynch also encourages train enthusiasts to share their excitement by posting comments and train photos on the Convention and Visitors Bureau's Facebook page at


Pertinent address:

400 Broadway, Cape Girardeau, MO