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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
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    Default Big Boy 4014 is on the move


    Can't go backwards now...
    (Photo courtesy of Bruce Jones)

    A railroad locomotive is not the usual fare for this site, but this is a memorable event...

    "...During World War II Union Pacific operated some of the most modern and powerful steam locomotives ever built. Among them were the famous "Big Boys," the largest steam locomotives in the world, which were unique to Union Pacific.."

    One particular "Big Boy" steam locomotive has been living at the RailGiants railroad museum in Pomona, California for several decades. Tonight, or to be more accurate, in the wee hours of tomorrow... Big Boy 4014 will begin a journey to the Union Pacific shops in Cheyenne to be completely rebuilt with the goal of returning a working "modern" steam locomotive to the rails.

    Background on steam engines.


    Large tractor pulls Big Boy 4014 towards the distant Metrolink tracks in November
    (Photo courtesy of Bruce Jones)

    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, Wyo.

    Eight of the Big Boys were donated for public display in various cities around the country. They can be found in Pomona, Calif.; St. Louis, Mo.; Dallas, Texas; Omaha, Neb.; Denver, Colo.; Scranton, Penn.; Green Bay, Wis.; and Cheyenne, Wyo.

    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.
    The locomotive's progress will be tracked on this GPS map.


    Getting much closer
    (Photo courtesy of Bruce Jones)

    To get it moved from the museum to the closest railroad tracks, UP engineers constructed a series of short track segments and then pulled the heavy locomotive across the parking lot of Fairplex in a series of leap-frog installations. Here's a video that shows how these sections of track were installed to move the 450-ton locomotive. (**Note: On the Union Pacific site, the weight is stipulated to be 2,200,000 pounds or 1100 tons. Not real sure why there is a 650 ton discrepancy on this...)

    Long-time RTA photo contributor, Bruce Jones, has been documenting some of this move.

    More updates from the RailGiants museum


    Parking lot move completed... Just have to open the gate to the Metrolink rail -- actually a new rail had to be installed!
    (Photo courtesy of Bruce Jones)

    Text and other information courtesy of the Union Pacific Railroad
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-31-2014 at 05:37 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Great!

    No doubt all that was recorded for a documentary, such as Monster Moves or Mega Moves. Can't wait to see it.

    Lifey

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
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    Default Will cause traffic delays...

    Wall-to-wall railfans can be expected along portions of I-15 and old Route 66 between Devore and Victorville when the 4014 begins it's historic journey to Wyoming. The timing on that trip is still to be determined.

    What I'm looking forward to is the one-day return down the Cajon Pass under steam! That will be an awesome day for rail fans!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Photo Opps

    Here is the "planned" public display schedule for the locomotive... (It's entirely possible and perhaps probable that other public displays will occur as the locomotive makes it way up to Wyoming...) But as of this date, here is the latest information...

    Sunday, January 26th
    Arrival at the Covina Metrolink Station (600 N. Citrus Avenue) at 3:00 am PST
    ON DISPLAY: 7:00 am to 8:00 am PST

    Saturday, February 1 to Sunday, February 2nd
    Bloomington, California at the Colton Yard (19100 Slover Avenue)
    ON DISPLAY: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm PST

    Monday, February 3rd to Friday, February 7th
    Working on locomotive -- no public display

    Saturday, February 8th to Sunday, February 9th
    Bloomington, California at the Colton Yard (19100 Slover Avenue)
    ON DISPLAY: 9:00 am to 4:00 pm PST

    The eventual move north to Cheyenne will be made in the spring -- (let's hope we actually have a Spring this year....)

    This video provides some close-ups of the locomotive during one of the moving days on November 17th. Look at the size of the wheels relative to the bystanders standing nearby! It takes a while... the first movement occurs at 21:35...in the video.
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-25-2014 at 05:52 PM. Reason: added link to video

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default Doesn't really seem possible.... but

    Updates from January 23rd.... Bruce visited the site and posted some photos that show HOW the Big Boy will join the tracks of the Metrolink system... The train will enter the Metrolink tracks, tender first...


    The 4014 and crew making ready for the move -- Just beyond the yellow tractors is the Metrolink main line.
    (Photo: Bruce Jones)


    Looking east toward engine with stub of temporary track near Metrolink rails (next to the tractor)
    (Photo: Bruce Jones)


    Closer view of temporary spur line tracks...
    (Photo: Bruce Jones)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default Big Boy has left the building

    Photos taken as the locomotive leaves the Fairplex parking lot -- great shot from the top of the tender that shows the temporary spur line complete and the pusher engine waiting for the Big Boy to emerge!

    Big Boy safely made the trip to Covina, where it is being seen by hundreds of fans. (Photos to come)

    Instagram photo of the locomotive at the Covina station
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 01-28-2014 at 01:47 AM. Reason: added link for the twitter feed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default Big Boy is on the way to Wyoming

    Big Boy has arrived in Las Vegas!

    Here is the schedule of where Big Boy will be and when

    Article & photos about the arrival in Las Vegas here.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
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    Default Big Boy cruises into Yermo

    Here are some photos captured by veteran train chaser, Dr. Bruce Jones during move up the Cajon Pass going to Yermo, California:


    Train traveling on UP mainline at Hill 582. (Cajon Pass) UP Mojave subdivision MP 464
    (Photo courtesy of Bruce Jones)


    BNSF Mojave subdivision MP 16
    (Photo courtesy of Bruce Jones)


    Turning onto UP trackage at Daggett
    (Photo courtesy of Bruce Jones)


    Arriving Yermo, California
    (Photo courtesy of Bruce Jones)


    Crowds at Yermo
    (Photo courtesy of Bruce Jones)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,936

    Default Thanks.

    I get the feeling that Mr Jones is a bit of a train buff. Thanks for the great photos. Keep them coming.

    Lifey

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
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    Default Hill 582 is his comfort zone

    Lifey,

    I'll see what I can get from him -- but I'm reasonably sure he's not chasing this locomotive any farther north.

    Bruce suggested the following link on the Trains Magazine site for web streaming of the locomotive!

    I tried out the free version of the service -- it only takes about 9 minutes to complete registration. It shows where the TRAINS SUV is (with the streaming cameras) and therefore presumably where 4014 is. At this exact moment, the system is offline -- presumably the camera crew is at the motel -- resting for tomorrow.

    Actually, that's weird. The TRAINS film crew is still in Salt Lake City -- but the locomotive should have already reached Ogden...

    Here is a FAQ about this effort to stream coverage of this historic journey

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 05-04-2014 at 03:23 PM. Reason: added resource

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