Union Pacific’s 4014, also known as the “Big Boy” will be on display in Houston on Tuesday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at 902 Washington Ave. The iconic 4-8-8-4 “”Big Boy” is one of several built for the Union Pacific Railroad to operate between Cheyenne and Ogden, where some of the steepest grades along its route, at the time, were located. 4014 is the only surviving and fully functional unit, there are seven others, but each of them do not work and are in train museums around the country.
While in display, visitors can see the train up close and buy souvenir merchandise inside the pop-up tent and hop inside the historic passengers cars. Entry is free, however visitors will have to find their own parking. More information is available on the Union Pacific website.
On Wednesday, 4014 will depart Houston and stop in Huffman, Texas at 10:45 a.m. for 30 minutes at Spanish Cove Drive and stop again in Hardin, Texas at 12:30 p.m. for 45 minutes at the County Road 2009 crossing. From there is will head to Beaumont, arriving at 3:15 p.m. near the I-10 frontage road and Hollywood Ave where there train will stay for the night. Thursday it will head into Louisiana for display and the onto Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado and back to Wyoming.
4014 was built in 1941 by the American Locomotive Company and operated in revenue service until 1959. It was then donated to a private museum before Union Pacific reacquired the engine in 2013 and restored it over a two year period. It now tours the western half of the country for special events and commemorative train trips complete with passenger cars where the public can ride.
4104 weighs a whopping 762,000 pounds and its tender weighs 436,000 pounds. While it originally burned coal to heat the water into steam, it has been converted to burn fuel oil. It can safely travel 80 mph with 7,000 horsepower pushing the engine along.
Images courtesy of Union Pacific