Big Boy No. 4014

Historic Steam Locomotive Chugs Through Kimball & Panhandle

 

Daria Anderson-Faden/The Observer

The 1941 historic steam locomotive Big Boy No. 4014 is making its way across the United States to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Transcontiental Railroad. Above, Big Boy breezes through the Kimball area on Monday, July 8, as it approaches the Highway 71 overpass. It was a brief appearance as the train seemed to be moving along at about 30 mph or more, some said.

A 150th Anniversary Celebration for the Transcontinental Railroad took a historical trip down the tracks earlier this week when Union Pacific's historic steam locomotive Big Boy 4014 made a quick trip through town.

With many in the community anxiously awaiting its arrival, some may have missed its actual visit through town due to some minor mechanical work that took place in Cheyenne on Monday morning before Big Boy was set to hit the tracks, according to the Union Pacific website.

If you didn't get the chance to see the 1941 locomotive roll through town, it will be headed back through town on Aug. 8 as it heads home to Cheyenne, Wyo.

According to the UP website, Union Pacific's historic steam locomotives – Big Boy No. 4014 and the Living Legend No. 844 – are touring the Union Pacific system throughout 2019 to commemorate the transcontinental railroad's 150th anniversary.

The Big Boy's return to the rails is the product of more than two years of meticulous restoration work by the Union Pacific Steam Team.

No. 4014 is the world's only operating Big Boy locomotive.

Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific Railroad, the first of which was delivered in 1941. The locomotives were 132 feet long and weighed 1.2 million pounds.

Because of their great length, the frames of the Big Boys were "hinged," or articulated, to allow them to negotiate curves. They had a 4-8-8-4 wheel arrangement, which meant they had four wheels on the leading set of "pilot" wheels which guided the engine, eight drivers, another set of eight drivers, and four wheels following which supported the rear of the locomotive.

The massive engines normally operated between Ogden, Utah, and Cheyenne, Wyoming.

The website also stated there are seven Big Boys on public display in various cities around the country. They can be found in St. Louis, Missouri; Dallas, Texas; Omaha; Denver; Scranton, Penn; Green Bay, Wisc.; and Cheyenne.

Big Boy No. 4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December 1941. The locomotive was retired in December 1961, having traveled 1,031,205 miles in its 20 years in service.  

Union Pacific reacquired No. 4014 from the RailGiants Museum in Pomona, Calif., in 2013, and relocated it back to Cheyenne to begin a multi-year restoration process.

 

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