With hundreds cheering it on, the Big Boy made it home. The Museum of the American Railroad’s beyond massive 4-8-8-4 Union Pacific steam locomotive arrived without incident at its new digs in Frisco, TX, on Aug. 25, capping a two-part move interrupted by periodic postponements. The move culminated almost to the day MAR’s yearlong transfer of 40 pieces of vintage locomotives and rolling stock from its former home in Dallas’ Fair Park. On Aug. 27 a six-car consist left Dallas and arrived on the 12-acre Frisco site behind the Discovery Center to officially mark the start of an adventure that was conceived in 2009 when MAR agreed to lay tracks in Frisco. “We did it!” said MAR CEO Bob LaPrelle after No. 4018 rolled to a stop at 2:20 p.m. just inside the gate off the BNSF main line by Tower 19. “It went flawlessly.” A throng of rail enthusiasts,…
The “Big Boy” will be on the move shortly to its new home in Frisco, TX. Officials at the Museum of the American Railroad got the word about 10 a.m. today from BNSF Railway that the second leg of moving the Union Pacific steam locomotive should begin at 9 a.m. Sunday. Within minutes of the news, calls began coming into MAR’s office at the Frisco Heritage Museum within minutes. “The word is out,” MAR CEO Bob LaPrelle said with a grin. The locomotive has been holding over in Irving since Sunday, following its departure from its longtime home in Fair Park in Dallas. Last weekend, crews pulled the steam engine to the interchange point between the Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad and BNSF Railway in South Irving. Steam locomotive expert Scott Lindsay of Steam Operations Corp. arrived Friday morning from Birmingham, AL, to assist with Sunday’s move. If Big Boy…
Almost 50 years to the day that Dallas’ much anticipated railroad museum opened at Fair Park, tracks are being removed as the Museum of the American Railroad winds down a move to newer ground. Workers were on hand today to pull up rail that will be transported to MAR’s new museum in Frisco, TX, with exception of the rails which holds the massive “Big Boy” locomotive that is still waiting to be moved. Several attempts to transport the Union Pacific steam locomotive have been stymied for one reason or another, the latest because of track maintenance on one assisting railroad’s line. After a couple of failed attempts to make the move earlier this summer, MAR got the green light to transport No. 4018 on July 21. But plans were dashed in the final hour because of concerns about it going through a wye. A subsequent attempt the following weekend was…
Union Pacific Railroad announced Tuesday it reached an agreement with the Southern California Chapter – Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in Pomona, CA, to transfer ownership of one of the world’s largest steam locomotives, “Big Boy” No. 4014, back to Union Pacific. UP plans to relocate No. 4014 to Cheyenne, WY, where the railroad’s Heritage Fleet Operations team will work to restore it to operating condition. Details regarding those efforts will be made public at a later date. Restoration is expected to take three to four years. UP 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,” said Ed Dickens, senior manager – Union Pacific Heritage Operations. “We are very excited about the…
Museum of American Railroad officials postponed the move of the Union Pacific “Big Boy” hours before it was to leave Fair Park for Frisco on Sunday. Concerns over how the locomotive would negotiate a wye along the route caused the postponement, according to an email released by MAR. The museum’s F7A diesel locomotive painted in Santa Fe Warbonnet colors and two storage box cars were moved instead. No date has been announced when the Big Boy will attempt to be moved again. After a few previous unsuccessful attempts to move the “Big Boy”, MAR was ready to make the much anticipated move of the vaunted locomotive.Museum officials received word on Friday that the move would begin Sunday. Dallas, Garland and Northeastern Railroad crews, which are assisting on the move, were expected to arrive at Fair Park in Dallas at 7 a.m. today to make preparations. “It looks like we’re finally…
Today’s scheduled move of the “Big Boy” has been put on hold. The Museum of the American Railroad announced Saturday that the planned transfer of the Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 Big Boy from Fair Park to Frisco, TX, was cancelled because of a derailment along the route in which the locomotive is to be escorted. A new date has not been announced. “We regret any inconvenience this may cause to our stakeholders and supporters,” said a statement from the museum on Saturday morning announcing the delay. “We are very appreciative of all the efforts put forth by the local railroads as we continue to move the collection from Dallas to Frisco.” MAR is making the move with assistance from the Dallas, Garland and Northeastern Railroad and BNSF Railway. On Saturday, MAR hosted museum supporters, volunteers and media members for an “exercising” of the Big Boy and photos.
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Building for the Future
Most modern-day short lines were born on tracks that larger railroads operated as branch lines or divisions to reach their customer base. Some serve Class 1 railroads on the very tracks they once owned but were left behind after business dried up. The Northwest Tarrant & Pacific is no exception. The Cowcatcher’s freelanced shelf-style project railroad is a prime example of a small short line that connects with a larger carrier after acquiring track that was abandoned.
Timing key for TrainTopia
The story of the Bob Sanders G-scale layout that has drawn visitors to the Frisco Discovery Center since last summer takes more twists and turns than the high trestles crossing rocky canyons between Texas and Arizona.
The 2,500-square-foot layout, the property of the Museum of the American Railroad, is about two-thirds of a planned exhibit. Already it offers an expansive, multilevel experience in a theatre setting complete with sophisticated lighting and sound. But in the next few months, “TrainTopia – A Railroad Odyssey in Miniature” will begin construction on an equally impressive O-scale layout to occupy the front portion of the room. How all of this got to MAR is a good story President and CEO Bob LaPrelle likes to tell.
Going DCC simplifies model railroad operation and is easier than it looks. Just don’t sweat the jargon. If you can read you can do it…
Streetcar history unfolds at the Milwaukee Transit & Archives Museum in Cudahy, WI…
TEXRail is off to a running start and officials are already talking about expanding the line that got rolling shortly after the first of the year.
THESE STORIES AND MORE, PLUS A FULL CALENDAR OF UPCOMING EVENTS!
BONUS WEB COVERAGE: In CRU Call in the March/April 2019 issue, Publisher Tim Blackwell tells of how adding a little clutter to right of ways adds realism without overdoing it on the Cowcatcher’s project layout, the Northwest Tarrant & Pacific Railroad…
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The 51st Amherst Railway Society Railroad Hobby Show in January packed more than 18,000 in the “Big E” in Springfield, MA, and new HO- and N-scale locomotives grabbed plenty of attention.
PIKO SmartControl light DCC System
Model railroaders seeking an affordable, easy-to-use DCC system for smaller layouts should consider the PIKO SmartControl light Basic Set. The set is designed for use with HO, N and TT layouts and has advanced features not seen in other entry-level DCC systems.
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