“How could I know that I would miss her so?” - Phil Brey
— Lyrics - Nine Thousand
A Folk Anthem Celebrating A Storied Steam Locomotive And Eulogizing Its Passing Into Time
As a boy in Raymond, Nebraska, Philip Brey was captivated by the Union Pacific freight trains that rumbled through town a stone’s throw from his house. Since early childhood, he was a passionate lover of trains with a special fondness for UP. On special occasions, he would see one of UP’s renowned “9000” series steam locomotives thunder through town. The sight of a massive “9000”, as it was affectionately referred to, with its definitive 4-12-2 wheel arrangement, was a grand event for him and the other townspeople, leaving indelible memories that have only grown stronger in the ensuing years.
Brey has composed numerous great songs but one particular composition stands out for its haunting imagery and melodic craftsmanship. Inspired by the memories of UP's 9000, he composed this song as a memorial to the colorful era of steam railroading and also as a eulogy of sorts; lamenting the passing of this great era of steam railroading into the abyss of time. Upon listening to the song, we believe you’ll find that it artfully portrays the past grandeur of this unique locomotive and its special role in UP’s history.