Trains News Wire EXCLUSIVE: Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4014 starts its epic journey to restoration

Trains Industry Newsletter
Get a weekly roundup of the industry news you need.
By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine. View our privacy policy.
With the UP steam crew watching each wheel carefully, UP Big Boy No. 4014 moves into the sunlight. The engine's right side has been against a tree covered embankment for the past 24 years.
Jim Wrinn
The public gets a close up look at No. 4014 at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona, Calif., Thursday, the day the Big Boy left home for restoration.
Jim Wrinn
UP steam crew members check the lead driver as the engine exits the Rail Giants Museum.
Jim Wrinn
POMONA, Calif. – Every journey begins by putting one foot in front of the other, and for Union Pacific’s repatriated Big Boy steam locomotive No. 4014, that turned out to be true Thursday.

Using a front end loader, the UP steam crew carefully walked the 600-ton locomotive out of the Rail Giants museum and onto panel track laid for the move across 5,000 feet of the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds parking lot.

With the track work in place, the crew began the day with the move, starting about 8:30 a.m. and concluding just as a 10 a.m. briefing was about to begin. About 200 people gathered to watch the spectacle of the Big Boy inching along as the front end loader pulled it.

The only glitch was minor. The front driver lifted up as the engine entered a sharp curve leaving the museum, but the UP crew greased up the flanges and kept moving slowly into place. The total progress for the day: about 700 feet.

In the afternoon, the steam crew received a tractor-trailer delivery of four additional pieces of panel track. The crew spent the afternoon installing those panels, and planned to receive more panel track today. It will take several days to leap frog the locomotive and panel track across the parking lot, and then a connection has to be made with Metrolink. The first destination for the locomotive is UP’s shop at West Colton, where it will be prepared for the dead-in-tow move via Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Laramie to the restoration shop in Cheyenne, Wyo.

The UP and the Rail Giants Museum, a project of the Southern California Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society, agreed to put the engine back in UP’s hands for restoration to operation as a public relations ambassador for the railroad company. On Thursday, with the Big Boy finally gone and standing in the parking lot, chapter spokesman Steve McFerson summed up the museum’s role as home to the engine for the past 51 years and the place where the dream of a Big Boy in steam was born.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

  • Previous Day
  • November 15, 2013
  • Next Day
Leave a Comment
Want to leave a comment?
Only registered members of are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
Please keep your feedback on-topic and respectful. Trains staffers reserve the right to edit or delete any comments.


The Genesee & Wyoming 

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy
Subscribe Up To 58% off the newsstand price!
Subscribe To Trains Mag Today