Big Boy, crew set for well-deserved rest after trip across western Wyoming

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Big Boy No. 4014 and 4-8-4 No. 844 visit Granger, Wyo., as part of Monday's trip from Evanston, Wyo., to Rock Springs. The train will take a two-day break in Rock Springs before resuming its trip home on Thursday.
Justin Franz
ROCK SPRINGS, Wyo. — After more than a week and a half of nearly non-stop action for Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4014 and its crew — including a closely watched inaugural run to Utah followed by three days of celebration for the 150th anniversary of the First Transcontinental Railroad — both men and machine are taking a well-deserved rest.

On Monday, UP No. 4014 and 4-8-4 No. 844 continued their homeward journey with a 112-mile sprint from Evanston, Wyo., to Rock Springs, Wyo., where the train and crew will stay for two days.

The trip to Rock Springs, at times at a leisurely pace across the Evanston and Rawlings subdivisions, featured a slightly longer train than No. 4014 had last week — 12 cars, including the “Experience the Union Pacific” exhibit car. Despite the few extra cars, the Big Boy hardly broke a sweat for much of the run. One of the highlights though was the climb up Peru Hill west of Green River. The train arrived in Rock Springs over an hour late after making a longer-than-expected stop at Granger.

While traffic on nearby Interstate 80 was nothing compared to that on Sunday — when No. 4014 made a spectacular run through Weber and Echo canyons — dozens of chasers followed the Big Boy east. Despite it being a Monday, the locomotive still attracted crowds in Granger, Green River, and Rock Springs.

No. 4014 and No. 844 will be on display Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 501 North Front Street in Rock Springs. The train will continue east on Thursday to Rawlins and Friday to Laramie. The train will stay in Laramie for a day before making a triumphant return to Cheyenne on Sunday.
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