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Union Pacific confirms plans to restore Big Boy steam locomotive

Published: July 23, 2013
4014 Lustig
No. 4014 at Pomona
Photo by David Lustig
OMAHA, Neb. – Union Pacific confirms today it will purchase and restore a 4-8-8-4 Big Boy steam locomotive. The railroad has reached an agreement with the Southern California Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in Pomona, Calif., to transfer ownership of No. 4014 back to Union Pacific. The railroad plans to relocate the locomotive to Cheyenne, Wyo., where its Heritage Fleet Operations team will work to restore it to operating condition. Details regarding those efforts will be made public at a later date.

Union Pacific donated No. 4014 to the historical society Dec. 7, 1961. The locomotive arrived Jan. 8, 1962, at its current display location at the Rail Giants Train Museum in Pomona.

"Our steam locomotive program is a source of great pride to Union Pacific employees past and present," says Ed Dickens, senior manager of Union Pacific Heritage Operations. "We are very excited about the opportunity to bring history to life by restoring No. 4014."

Trains News Wire has been following the saga of No. 4014 since December 2012 and will continue to provide updates as they are available.
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5 stars
Even though I live on the other side of the planet, I got chills down my spine when I heard that a Big Boy is being restored to working order…
I was not even born when the last Big Boy left the rails, but now I am just waiting to hear from UP, when the locomotive will be back on track, to book with my family the plane tickets to come and see it! That would be truly a day to remember!
Think about the enormity of this event. This is the biggest steam locomotive ever built. No locomotive since, not even an AC6000 has even had a chance to beat this loco in terms of tractive effort and drawbar pullI. I've seen one of these beasts on display and stood next to the drive wheels. I'm 6' 2'' and the drivers were a couple inches taller than me. This is one of the biggest days in railroading history.
This day is one of the biggest events in railroading history. What a wondrful testament this is to the employees of UP's heritage program. If I have on dream, it is to some day sit in the cab and control this freigthening, beautiful, and powerful reminder of the power and glory that is the steam locomotive. Finally, think of the mechanichs who built this marvel of engeneering. No computer, I-pad's tablets or blackberrys involved. Just their God-given brains.
Mr. Cline: for the same reason they converted 3985 to oil: coal cinders start prairie fires and UP doesn't want to be liable for the damage.
Once again UP shows how committed it is to embracing its heritage . Although other roads have followed UP lead in showing thier roots nothing in today's world compares to bringing one of these "giants" to life again. UP is truly a class act.
I,ve heard they ( UP ) think it's nesessary to convert it to burn oil.. This puzzles me. UP is in the heart of Wyoming low-sulfur coal. Given todays state of the "oil-crisis", Why fix something that isn't at all broken??
I say "Let the cinders fly like ALCO and UP intended!!! At least that way, the UP steam program won't be crippled by the unstable oil market...
Just my two cents......

Todd Cline.
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