Trainspotters and railfans rejoice: The Big Boy No. 4014 steam locomotive, which hauled freight between Wyoming and Utah in the 1940s and 1950s, is back on the track and headed for multiple stops in Colorado.
No. 4014 was overhauled by the Union Pacific restoration shop in Cheyenne over a five-year span, chugging back to life in 2019. The locomotive, which weighs over 1.2 million pounds, departed again from Cheyenne on Aug. 5 for a summer tour through Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming, according to UP.
Stops in Colorado start in Kit Carson at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 5 and the engine departs at 10:30 a.m. for a succession of short stops in Hugo, 12:15 p.m.; Deer Trail, 2:45 p.m.; and Strasburg, 4 p.m.; before pulling into Denver, at 39th and Wynkoop streets, at 7 p.m., according to the Union Pacific Steam Schedule.
On Labor Day, Sept. 6, the Big Boy will be on display, at 39th and Wynkoop, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The day-long display includes the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car, “a multimedia walk-through exhibition that provides a glimpse at the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading,” according to UP. Big Boy souvenirs will be available for purchase in a merchandise tent. Admission to display day is free and no ticket is required. However, parking at surrounding facilities will involve a fee.
Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific Railroad Co., with the first delivered in 1941, according to UP. Big Boy No. 4014 was delivered in December 1941. Twenty years later, the locomotive was retired having traveled 1,031,205 miles during its service.
The coal-fired Big Boy 4014 is the world’s largest operating steam locomotive. Its water capacity is 25,000 gallons, and it can carry and burn 56,000 pounds of coal. The engine and its tender, which stores fuel and water, is over 132 feet long, longer than three school buses.
Following the Denver stop on Labor Day weekend, the Big Boy and its crew will return to Cheyenne. On Tuesday, Sept. 7, the Big Boy steams out of Denver at 8 a.m., according to schedule. The locomotive will make a short stop in LaSalle, 10:40 a.m. and Greeley, 11:25 a.m. before pulling into Cheyenne at 1:45 p.m.
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