Next weekend, the Union Pacific Big Boy #4014 will be traveling through the local area, making a stop in Chester before heading on to St. Louis.
According to the Union Pacific website, only 25 of the Big Boy steam engines were built exclusively for them, with the first 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.”
Currently, there are seven Big Boy steam engines on display around the country.
The Big Boy #4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December of 1941 and was retired in December 1961, “having traveled 1,031,205 miles in its 20 years in service.”
For more on the Union Pacific Big Boy’s local stops, please see this week’s print edition.