Posts Tagged ‘Union Pacific steam locomotives’

UP Sets Ferry Move of Steam Locomotives to Illinois

October 27, 2022

Locomotives and other equipment being donated by Union Pacific to an Illinois-based railroad museum is slated to move on Nov. 11-19.

The “Heritage Donation Special” will move two steam locomotives, a Centennial diesel locomotive, and other equipment between Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Silvis, Illinois, to the Heritage of Midwest America facility.

Among the locomotives in the move are Challenger No. 3985, Class TTT 2-10-2 No. 5511, Centennial DDA40X No. 6936, and an E9B passenger shell.

The ferry move will make maintenance and display stops en route including on Nov. 12 in North Platte, Nebraska.

No public access is planned for the overnight stops in the Nebraska cities of Sidney and Grand Island, and the Iowa cities of Council Bluffs, Boone and South Amana.

The ferry move will be pulled by diesel locomotives.

UP Steams up ‘Big Boy’ to Move Locomotive

September 16, 2022

Union Pacific steamed up its 4-6-6-4 “Big Boy” this week but it didn’t pull a train out on the mainline.

Railfan & Railroad magazine reported that the 4014 was used to move 2-10-2 No. 5511 out of a roundhouse in preparation for its move to Silvis, Illinois.

UP has donated the 5511 to Railroading Heritage of Midwest America, which is based in a former Rock Island repair shop in Silvis.

Also slated to move to Silvis is 4-6-6-4 “Challenger” No. 3985. The Midwest America group plans to restore both locomotives.

Last Wednesday, the “Big Boy” moved the 5511 back and forth through the yard to test various systems.

UP Releases ‘Big Boy’ Schedule

July 22, 2022

Union Pacific has released the schedule for its “Big Boy” steam locomotive between Cheyene, Wyoming, and Denver next week.

The 4014 and its train will depart Cheyenne at 10 a.m. on July 28, make a 45-minute stop in Greeley, Colorado, and arrive in Denver at 4:30 p.m.

On July 29, the Big Boy will be on display at Denver Union Station from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

It will lead the Union Pacific Museum Special from Denver at 7:10 a.m., making a stop in Greeley at 9:30 a.m. and arriving in Cheyenne at 11:45 a.m.

No further trips with the 4014 are expected to operate this year.

UP Big Boy to Visit Denver This Month

July 1, 2022

Union Pacific’s Big Boy steam locomotive No. 4014 may not be going on tour this year, but it will operate between Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Denver in late July.

As part of that event, the 4-8-8-4 will lead a public excursion back to Cheyenne where it is based.

The locomotive will travel from Cheyenne to Denver on July 28 and be on display in the mile high city on July 29.

The July 30 2022 Museum Special will benefit the Union Pacific Museum. Tickets will go on sale on July 1 for museum members and then to the public on July 5. They can be purchased at

UP had earlier announced a tour for the 4014 that would have taken it to the Pacific Northwest and California, but it was cancelled, the railroad said, due to persistent traffic congestion on its network.

UP Delays ‘Big Boy’ Tour

April 25, 2022

Union Pacific is citing traffic congestion for postponing a month-long tour through six western states of its 4-8-8-4 “Big Boy” steam locomotive.

The tour had been scheduled to depart Cheyenne, Wyoming, on June 26 and operate through California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

In a statement attributed to Scott Moore, senior vice president-corporate relations and chief administrative officer, UP acknowledged that rail enthusiasts and the communities along the tour route make plans to travel to watch or to host locomotive 4014.

However, Moore said the railroad has “a duty to continue our efforts to reduce supply chain congestion and provide customers the service they deserve; given the impact of a steam tour on our operations that focus must be our priority.”

Once operations have returned to a more normal status, UP said it will provide information about when the “Big Boy” tour will operate. Those plans will be announced at

The “Big Boy” last toured the UP system in 2019. It did not run in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

No. 4014 is one of 25 “Big Boy” locomotives built for UP by American Locomotive Company, the first of which was delivered in 1941.

UP 4014 to Go West of Cheyenne in June

April 12, 2022

If you want to see Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 No. 4014 in action, you’ll need to travel quite some distance.

The railroad said its “Big Boy” steam locomotive will begin a tour on June 26 that will take it to Utah, Nevada, California, Oregon and Idaho for about a month. 

UP said the tour will in part mark the railroad’s 160th anniversary of operation.

The Big Boy will operate over Donner Pass in California and through the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon.

Although more details about the tour are expected to be announced later, the 4014 is expected to visit Sparks, Nevada, on July 6; Roseville, California, on July 8 and 9; Dunsmuir, California, on July 11; Portland, Oregon, on July 15 and 16; and Boise, Idaho, on July 21 and 22.

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

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.

Quite a Surprise Awaited Ed at the End of This 1992 Steam Ride After the NRHS Convention

September 2, 2020

After participating in the 1992 National Railway Historical Society convention in San Jose, California, we rode Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 No. 3985 for two days as it returned to its home base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The Pacific Limited group and some NRHS chapters sponsored a week-long passenger carrying ferry move.

Ursula and I rode the ferry move for the first two days of the ferry move.

Day 1 (July 26, 1992) saw the train travel from Milipitas, California, over Altamont Pass to Sacramento.

There were three photo runbys staged during that trip and the first three images in this series were made during those runbys on Altamont Pass.

Each runby featured two or three passes of the train and locomotive.

Day 2 (July 27, 1992) saw the ferry move run from Sacramento to Portola, California, via the spectacular former Western Pacific line through the Feather River Canyon.

We had seats in a dome car and it felt like we were riding the original California Zephyr.

We again had three photo runbys that day, which also was our first wedding anniversary.

After detraining at Portola we rode a bus to Reno, Nevada, for an overnight stay.

At the hotel the train sponsors had something waiting for train passengers, something I never expected on any excursion.

There was a champagne reception to help us celebrate our anniversary.

This has to rate in the top three of all steam excursions I’ve ridden.

Article by Edward Ribinskas

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.