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Big Boy 4014 hits the main line - They said it couldn't be done.

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  • Big Boy 4014 hits the main line - They said it couldn't be done.

    This is a story that could bring a tear to the crustiest machinist and/or railroad aficionado. After five years of restoration the first Union Pacific "Big Boy" has achieved full restoration and hit the main line YESTERDAY, May 3, 2019 for trial runs and evaluations.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RR7Q27cIEvo (35 minutes)

    They said it couldn't be done. It was too heavy, too long, it burned too much fuel, and would cost too much to restore. But they were wrong. Union Pacific, Big Boy #4014, now holds the title of the Worlds largest operating steam locomotive. This locomotive underwent a frame up rebuild and is now better than new. This was a big day for the #4014. It was the first time it was taken out of the yard and onto the main line.

    To get a sense of the size of this behemoth go to the 16 minute mark and compare it to the size of the workers.

    We have one in my city and you can go and look at it, but to see this beauty under power in this video as it looked when it was first made is something quite special to behold.
    Last edited by DATo; 05-04-2019, 11:46 AM.

  • #2
    Awesome
    Thanks

    Frank

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    • #3
      Another video of a (the?) test run, complete with whistle:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMNOnduYV3M



      The Big Boy will appear from the upper right of the frame.
      Last edited by tlfamm; 05-04-2019, 12:47 PM.

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      • #4
        Why do we not hear that familiar steam engine "chuffing" sound? Is this a steam turbine?
        Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by lynnl View Post
          Why do we not hear that familiar steam engine "chuffing" sound? Is this a steam turbine?
          This locomotive has four cylinders, hence the different stack sound.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lynnl View Post
            Why do we not hear that familiar steam engine "chuffing" sound? Is this a steam turbine?
            You need to get a little load on the engine and get the speed up, then the exhaust begins to "pop" some...
            Keith
            __________________________
            Just one project too many--that's what finally got him...

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            • #7
              It's worth noting that UP has a full-time paid steam staff and deep pockets, not a few volunteers with limited funds. Also, 4014's rebuild was on a strict schedule and missing a target date meant heads would roll.

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              • #8
                You are hearing a steam turbine, but it is the electric generator that powers the lights.
                I was in Salt Lake City Utah, near where they are going to run it. Was thinking about flying up there to see it in person, but rather not compete with the 100,000 rail fans from around the world doing the same, if not twice that number.
                It is a miracle that anyone would restore a Big Boy, let alone do it RIGHT! Every rail fan should have a tear in their eyes, and if you don't, you ain't a rail fan.

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                • #9
                  what is with the pusher locomotive on the back of the train?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by quasi View Post
                    what is with the pusher locomotive on the back of the train?
                    Most operations with steam locomotives will have a diesel in the consist as a backup, it is just sitting idle. They don't want to tie up a line in case of something breaking on the steamer that would preclude it from running on its own.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DATo View Post
                      This is a story that could bring a tear to the crustiest machinist and/or railroad aficionado.
                      Im not even into trains and that was super cool. Thanks for sharing. JR
                      My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

                      https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

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                      • #12
                        Had a close friend who was in charge of bring back the 4014 from Los Angeles to Cheyenne to be rebuilt. Unfortunately, Ed died of a heart attack in the process. Attached is a photo of the crew from the Union Pacific, speaking at Ed's funeral. What Ed would give to see this magnificent steam locomotive finished. Every time I hear it’s thunderous whistle my heart goes out to Ed Gerlits.



                        Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                        • #13
                          As the engine is backing out of the house, in the next track is a tender marked 4014. The tender on the back of 4014 simply marked UP. Is that piece not yet ready for use? Or is the original for different fuel? Or why?

                          Mike

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MikeL46 View Post
                            As the engine is backing out of the house, in the next track is a tender marked 4014. The tender on the back of 4014 simply marked UP. Is that piece not yet ready for use? Or is the original for different fuel? Or why?

                            Mike
                            It hasn't been converted to oil yet.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RB211 View Post
                              You are hearing a steam turbine, but it is the electric generator that powers the lights.
                              .
                              I searched but could not find any reference to a steam turbine in that locomotive. Any reference where you got that information?

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