Big Boy stubs its toe with derailment

Two axles derail in slow-speed mishap in Rawlins, Wyo., yard after trip from Rock Springs
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UP steam program manager Ed Dickens hammers home wood blocking to rerail No. 4014. The locomotive derailed Thursday afternoon in the Rawlins, Wyo., yard.
TRAINS: Jim Wrinn
The UP steam crew walks No. 4014's two derailed drivers back onto the rail at Rawlins, Wyo.
TRAINS: Jim Wrinn

RAWLINS, Wyo. — The world’s largest operating steam locomotive, 600-ton Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4014, derailed Thursday afternoon as it entered the yard here after an uneventful trip from Rock Springs, Wyo.

The Big Boy, 4-8-4 No. 844, and 12 passenger cars in UP’s heritage fleet are on the return leg of their journey to celebrate No. 4014’s restoration and the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike.

Driver axles Nos. 2 and 3 on the second engine of the articulated locomotive fell into the gauge as the engine entered the yard at the Washington Street underpass. The accident took place about 2:15 p.m.

The engine was moving slowly when the drivers came off the rails. The front engine, front truck, rear truck, and driver axles Nos. 1 and 4 all remained on the rails. The UP steam crew worked with local track forces to fix the track under the engine and bring the locomotive’s 68-inch drivers back onto the rails, which they accomplished about 5:20 p.m.

Crews placed wood blocking under the drivers to walk them back onto the rails. The diesel in the consist was used to provide traction for the entire passenger train, including 4-8-4 No. 844, which remained on the rails. The crew walked the locomotive backwards to a switch for the main line. Nos. 4014 and 844 returned to the main line and backed into the yard. That is how they accessed Rawlins on May 4 on the westbound leg. Today’s move was the first time No. 4014 used the switches at the west end of the Rawlins yard.

There was no word Thursday evening as to whether the derailment and delay would affect Friday’s plans to run from Rawlins to Laramie, Wyo. Watch Trains News Wire and the Trains Facebook page for additional information as it becomes available.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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