Posts Tagged ‘Union Pacific Big Boy steam locomotives’

UP Big Boy to Hit the Road in August

June 16, 2021

Union Pacific announced this week that its “Big Boy” steam locomotive will return to the rails in early August.

No. 4014 will make a 10-state tour that will include Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming.

Although the railroad has yet to release an itinerary it said display stops will include: Aug. 14 (Fort Worth, Texas); Aug. 17 (Houston); Aug. 21 (New Orleans); Aug. 29 (St. Louis); and Sept. 6 (Denver).

UP said its “Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car,” a multi-media walk-through exhibition “providing a glimpse at the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading,” will accompany the Big Boy on its 2021 tour.

The tour will begin and end at the railroad’s steam shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

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.