Will She Ever Run Again?
The Union Pacific Big Boys were one of the largest and strongest locomotives ever built.
Entering service in the 1940s, they hauled huge loads up Sherman’s Hill until the last one was withdrawn in 1962.
While sister loco Challenger 3985 has been in storage since 2010, although we believe she is still operational. The Challengers preceded the Big Boy and were a smaller, though still giant, locomotive.
In 2014, Big Boy 4014 was moved from California to Cheyenne to Union Pacific’s Steam restoration workshops with the intention of returning her to service for excursion trains.
Here is a video of the move.
When this happens, it may even surpass the return of Beyer Garratt 6029 in Australia, which still rates as a big engine in world terms.
Right now, there are several locos under restoration in Cheyenne. In particular 8444, which was popular on excursion trains, is being restored along with 4014.
UP 8444 Photo by Ron Wright
It is hoped that this engine will return to service either later this year or in 2016.
What’s Happening In Cheyenne
Back to the Big Boy. It was moved to Cheyenne in 2014 and work is being done to bring the workshop up to date and complete the repairs necessary to return her to active service.
Looking at the investment behind all of this, I have no doubt that rail fans around the world will be able to see her in steam again sometime in the not too distant future.
The following video is the latest information on Cheyenne.