Columbus to Welcome Coaching Legend, Astronaut and Governor for Whistle Stop Tour

COLUMBUS, Neb. – A 2,000 horsepower streamliner locomotive that is coming to Columbus on Friday will be bringing some company.

Former Husker football coach Tom Osbourne, Nebraska native and former NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson and Governor Pete Ricketts will be in Columbus on Friday for the Nebraska 150 Whistle Stop Tour.

The ‘Nebraska 150 Express’ a 1950’s high speed diesel Union Pacific train will arrive in Columbus from Omaha, sometime around 11:50 a.m. and will stay one hour.

Festivities are planned from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the north side of 12th street and 26th Ave., where the train will stop. Columbus based music group VoiceHouse will perform at the event, which will also include food trucks, giveaways, historical displays and kids activities such as face painting.

Osbourne was longtime coach of the Nebraska Cornhusker team that won three national titles under his watch. He also served as UNL Athletic Director, as well as a six-year stint in congress.

Anderson is an Ashland native, who worked for NASA for 30 years as an engineer and astronaut. He spend a considerable amount of time in space, before retiring in 2013.

Gov. Ricketts was already slated to show at the event and says he is glad to bring along two well-known Nebraskans for the state’s 150th anniversary.

“We are honored to have two Nebraska legends join us in celebrating Nebraska’s 150th birthday aboard the Nebraska150 Express,” says Ricketts.

Union Pacific CEO Lance Fritz also plans to be in attendance in Columbus.

Anderson will be at other planned stops in central and western Nebraska, but the Columbus trip will be the only one Osbourne will make.

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