By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Union Pacific Railroad’s famed Big Boy 4014 locomotive, the world’s largest steam-driven locomotive, will run again sometime this year, according to a recent announcement.
Last week, UP announced that its steam locomotives would soon be up and running again and that the Big Boy would likely run again sometime in August.
“We know you missed seeing our steam locomotives last year nearly as much as the UP Steam Team missed operating No. 844 and Big Boy No. 4014,” the announcement said. “We have great news, the Steam Team is busy planning an excursion for No. 4014, likely kicking off August.”
UP canceled all plans to run the steam locomotives in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Big Boy was unveiled to the public in 2019 after a multi-year restoration process.
It traveled to multiple states on a “Great Race Across the Midwest” tour, going from Wyoming to Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, just to name a few. It is the only operating Big Boy to travel the rails since the model was retired in 1961.
The Big Boy name is fitting, as the locomotive weighs more than 600 tons and is the longest ever built. Around 25 of the Big Boys were made in the 1940s to pull heavy loads up steep grades between Utah and Wyoming, and only eight remain intact.