Patriotic Locomotive Stops at California Railroad Museum

SACRAMENTO -- A brand new 435,000 pound locomotive unveiled this October, a celebration of US veterans, made a quick stop at the California State Railroad Museum on Wednesday.

"It's a big hulking piece of metal. It's brand new and so what does it have to do with a history museum? Well, railroading is not just part of our past. It's part of past, present and future. So we are delighted to have this new machine," Museum Director Ty Smith said.

The Union Pacific locomotive, dubbed The Spirit, is on a tour through the United States.

Air Force veteran Shannon Freitas brought her young son and nephew to see The Spirit. After five tours as an explosive dog handler, she says she is honored to see the support.

"Support is amazing for the military," she said. "It's definitely what keeps us going."

Freitas says the kids love the locomotive, but hopes they learn about what it means to serve the country.

"Just to get understanding of what the military does and hopefully, when they grow up, they can either join the military or just continue to support themselves," she told FOX40.

Union Pacific spokesperson Justin Jacobs says The Spirit is not just great to look at, it's a fully functioning train.

"After we are done with this tour, you are still going to be able to see this thing out across our network," Jacobs said. "So the interactions with the communities that we serve all across our 23 state territory, it's very special."