All about the community of model railroading and rail enthusiasm
October 10, 2019 / Updated July 25, 2023
The world’s largest operating locomotive came back to life and showed off its renewed chuff in the Great Race Across the Midwest to much fanfare earlier this year.
The Great Race Across the Southwest – a round-trip tour of Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah – began in Cheyenne on Sept. 27. The massive locomotive is currently touring California and will be on display today and tomorrow in Bloomington, a suburb of San Bernadino.
From California, the tour dips into southern Arizona and near New Mexico’s panhandle before arriving in El Paso late in the afternoon on Oct. 20 to start a 23-day run across Texas. After a two-day public display, the Big Boy will be idled until Nov. 1 when it leaves for Fort Hancock, TX.
The route in the Lone Star State runs to San Antonio, Houston, Palestine, Marshall and Atlanta. The Big Boy has a brief stop in Texarkana on Nov. 12, then runs to North Little Rock.
From North Little Rock, the locomotive travels into Northeast Oklahoma and to Kansas City, MO, where it will be on display at Union Station on Nov. 18. From Kansas City, No. 4014 goes west through Kansas to Denver before returning to Cheyenne on Nov. 27.
Starting in 1941, UP received delivery of 25 Big Boys to handle the steep terrain between Cheyenne and Ogden, UT. Of the eight still in existence, No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy.
In May, after undergoing extensive restoration, the massive locomotive completed its inaugural tour to Ogden for UP’s 150th anniversary ceremony. The Big Boy and Living Legend No. 844 met nose-to-nose, recreating the iconic image taken May 10, 1869, when the last spike was tapped into place at Promontory Summit to create the country’s first transcontinental railroad.
No. 4014 will be on display:
Oct. 10-11 – Greater Los Angeles Area, CA
Oct. 18 – Tucson, AZ
Oct. 21-22 – El Paso, TX
Nov. 5 – San Antonio, TX
Nov. 7 – Houston, TX
Nov. 11 – Marshall, TX
Nov. 14 – North Little Rock, AR
Nov. 18 – Kansas City, MO
The public won’t have access to the Big Boy in Limon and Denver, CO.
“Weighing in at 1.2 million pounds, the Big Boy makes a big impression in communities it visits, reminding us of bygone days and the important role the railroad continues to play in our global economy,” said Scott Moore, UP’s senior vice president of corporate relations and chief administrative officer. “Union Pacific wants to thank the countless rail fans and communities who have helped us celebrate this tremendous anniversary.”
Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific, the first of which was delivered in 1941 to handle the steep terrain between Cheyenne and Ogden. Of the eight still in existence, No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy.
In May, it completed its inaugural tour to Ogden for Union Pacific’s 150th anniversary ceremony. The Big Boy and historic steam locomotive Living Legend No. 844 met nose-to-nose, recreating the iconic image taken May 10, 1869, when the last spike was tapped into place at Promontory Summit, creating America’s first transcontinental railroad.