Posts Tagged ‘Big Boy steam locomotive’

Union Pacific Releases ‘Big Boy” Tour Sked

August 5, 2021

Union Pacific has released a detailed schedule for the August tour of its “Big Boy” steam locomotive.

The 4014 is slated to depart its home in Cheyenne, Wyoming, today at 8 a.m. with its first stop on the tour set for Sidney, Nebraska.

The tour will continue toward Kansas City before heading south to Texas and then east to New Orleans.

From the Crescent City the “Big Boy will head north to St. Louis through Arkansas, before moving on to Denver for the Labor Day Weekend.

It will then return home to Cheyenne. The 4014 last operated in 2019. A 2020 tour was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information is available at

Steamtown’s Big Boy Goes on Static Display

May 6, 2021

A Union Pacific Big Boy locomotive has returned to static display following a two-year cosmetic restoration at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

The museum is home to 4-8-8-4 No. 4012 and has located it near the park entrance.

The display site highlights the engine’s articulation because it is on a section of curved track.

No. 4012 is one of 25 Big Boys built UP between 1941 and 1944 and used primarily in Wyoming and Utah.

Eight Big Boys has survived and are at museums throughout the Southwest, Midwest, and West. No. 4014 was restored by UP to operating condition in 2019.

The restoration of No. 4012 included replacement of rusted parts, remediation of hazardous materials, and repainting the locomotive to UP specifications.

There is a timer-controlled illumination of the headlight, numberboards, and marker lights.

In conjunction with National Train Day on May 8 Steamtown plans to display Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 No. 759, Grand Trunk Western 4-8-2 No. 6039, and Groveton Paper Works 2-4-2T No. 7.

UP Won’t Run Steam in 2020

April 30, 2020

There will be no Big Boy steam operations this year but Union Pacific has vowed to return the 4-8-8-4 steam locomotive to the rails in 2021.

UP announced on Wednesday that it was cancelling all planned steam activities this year due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing rules.

“We saw last year how much America loves the Big Boy, and what it can do as the giant, rolling ambassador of the Union Pacific,” said UP Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer Scott Moore.

No schedule for operating the Big Boy this year had yet been announced but there had been speculation that it would operate in the Pacific Northwest in late summer.

The Big Boy had made its inaugural trip last year to Utah for the 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike to complete the nation’s first transcontinental railroad.

The National Park Service said this week that the annual commemoration at the Golden Spike National Historical Park, set for May 10, has been cancelled because of the pandemic.

Brandon Flint, incoming superintendent of the park, said in a news release that this year’s commemoration will be held “on a more individual and personal level.”

There are videos, stories, and photos on the park website and Facebook page. However, the park, its visitor center, and its bookstore remain closed.

RRE Banquet Set for April 4 in Berea

February 25, 2020

The Forest City Division of the Railroad Enthusiast has announced that Terry Kolenc will be the presenter at its annual banquet on April 4 in Berea.

The event will be held at Perk Cup Café, 561 Bagley Road. The cocktail hour will begin at 6 p.m. with dinner served at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $32 per person if purchased in advance or $37 if purchased at the door.

The ticket price includes a buffet style dinner, soft drinks and desert. There will be a cash bar plus door prizes.

Kolenc, who presented at the 2019 banquet will be showing images he made while chasing Union Pacific Big Boy steam locomotive 4014 and companion steam locomotive No. 844 last May as they made their way to Ogden, Utah, from their base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The deadline for reservations is March 27.

UP Estimates 1.1M Turned Out to See the Big Boy

December 21, 2019

Union Pacific has estimated that 1.1 million people turned out to see its Big Boy steam locomotive this year during its tours of the railroad’s system.

The Class 1 railroad said it counted 115,000 visitors who went through its “Experience the Union Pacific” exhibit car during layovers on the three tours that began on May 4 and ended on Nov. 26.

The tour of 4-8-8-4 No. 4014 marked the first time in 60 years that a Big Boy steam locomotive has operated under its own power.

UP restored the locomotive to help mark the150th anniversary of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad.

The railroad has not announced any plans to operate No. 4014 in 2020, but Trains magazine has reported that some sources have said it may operate to the Pacific Northwest, California or St. Louis.

Steamtown to Cosmetically Restore its Big Boy

October 3, 2019

A former Union Pacific Big Boy locomotive on static display at Steamtown National Historic Site has been removed for restoration, but don’t too excited.

The 4-8-8-4 will undergo a cosmetic restoration and will not be pulling trains in the East.

No. 4012 is one of eight Big Boys that have been preserved and the only one on display in the eastern United States.

Steamtown said park visitors will not have access to No. 4012 during its restoration process.

However, the National Park Service said it will provide occasional updates on the progress of the restoration on the park’s website and through social media outlets.

The restoration is expected to take several months and no completion date has been announced.

Big Boy to Continue Operating into November

September 28, 2019

Union Pacific has announced that its Big Boy 4-8-8-4 No. 4014 will operate in Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming in November.

The steam locomotive is expected to arrive home in Cheyenne, Wyoming on Nov. 27 after it completes a Western and Midwestern swing that began on Friday.

This week’s announcement extends the tour of No. 4014 beyond late October.

More Big Boy Ventures Hinted at by Group

August 27, 2019

Union Pacific’s Big Boy locomotive might be slated for more travel time this fall.

The Camerail Club of Omaha, which has ties to the Union Pacific steam program, has reported that the 4-8-8-4 could be on the road from late September to mid-November.

However, the organization, which is based in Omaha, Nebraska, did not say where No. 4014 might be traveling.

UP announced some time ago that the Big Boy would pull public excursions in California on Oct. 12 and 13 and another report has suggested that it will appear in Limon, Colorado, in November.

UP has said that it will announce in early September the schedule for the Big Boy for the remainder of the year.

N&W 611 Delayed En Route to Strasburg, Hint Dropped About Another UP Big Boy Appearance in November

August 20, 2019

As it turned out Norfolk & Western 2-8-4 No. 611 did not make it to Strasburg, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday.

The Class J locomotive was tied down for the night in Shenandoah, Virginia, on Monday.

Instead, the crew will seek to make Enloa Yard near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, today, and complete its trip to the Strasburg Rail Road on Wednesday.

Trains magazine reported that a freight train that suffered a broken knuckle delayed the 611’s ferry move on Monday.

Although the 611 won’t be pulling excursions on the Strasburg until late September, it is arriving well ahead of time so that workers can conduct an annual inspection and prepare the steam engine for a full slate of events that will extend into October.

The 611 is expected to return in November to its home at the Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke.

In other steam news, Trains reported on Tuesday that there are hints that the Union Pacific Big Boy steam locomotive will make another appearance later this year aside from the already announced excursions on Oct. 12 and 13 in California.

The magazine’s editor in chief, Jim Wrinn, wrote on the Trains website that No. 4014 may visit Limon, Colorado, in November.

Wrinn said the Limon Heritage Museum & Railroad Park issued a “save the date” notice on its Facebook page.

Limon is located on the former Kansas Pacific route from Kansas City to Denver.

UP has said it will release in early September a complete fall schedule for the Big Boy.

In yet another bit of UP steam news on Tuesday, Union Pacific will allow the public to tour the shops in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where 4-8-8-4 No. 4014 was restored to operating condition.

The Cheyenne Depot Museum has said the tours will be offered on Aug. 30, Sept. 6 and Sept. 12.

A trolley will transport visitors to and from the shop. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased by calling 307-778-3133.

Big Boy Excursion Tickets Go on Sale Aug. 24

August 11, 2019

Tickets for the next public excursions to be pulled by Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 No. 4014 will go on sale Aug. 24.

The Big Boy will be pulling excursions over Cajon Pass in California on Oct. 12 and 13.

The excursions are being sponsored by the Rail Giants Museum.

Passengers on the Oct. 12 will be taken by bus to the yard from Metrolink’s Rancho Cucamonga Station to UP’s West Colton Yard.

Buses will also return passengers from the yard to the Metrolink station at the conclusion of the excursion.

On Oct. 13, the excursion will begin at the at the Metrolink station, go to the Barstow area, and return to West Colton by train with a bus transfer to Metrolink.

No public viewing of the Big Boy will permitted at the West Colton yard.

Prices for tickets are: coach ($700), dome coach ($1,100); dome diner lower seats ($900), dome diner upper seating ($1,300), first class diner ($1,100), first class lounge ($1,100), and first class dome ($1,500).

Office car Cheyenne can be rented for a party of eight for $15,000.

Ticket sales will be limited to four per purchase.

The 15 car train will have 12 passenger cars, three support cars, two water cars, and a diesel helper. Capacity of the train will be 600 passengers.

Passengers cannot be younger than age 10. There would be no photo runbys or opportunities to disembark from the train during the trip.