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Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

(OP)
For those of you who admire and 'geek out ' on the original technology rocketships, UP is rolling their Big Boy 4014 out for a little tour:

https://fox40.com/news/local-news/roseville/worlds...

https://www.up.com/heritage/steam/4014/index.htm

https://www.up.com/heritage/steam/schedule/index.h...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_4014

The steamers were the pinnacle of tech in their day. It amazes me to look at the fine machining and mechanisms and realize these were designed and constructed without the benefit of the modern precision tools and techniques that are taken for granted by today's standards.

Though the Big Boy series engines were constructed by ALCO, I worked with an older machinist/die maker in my younger days who started off his career in the '50s working at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia, PA. They still were building steam locomotives and repairing steam before the diesel-electrics took over. His descriptions of the old-school methods were quite amazing. His ability to remove material to 'get the part out of the stock' in a pre-CNC environment was amazing. It is one thing to design a part - it is a completely different mindset and skill to know how to use manual machine tools (vertical mill, lathe, etc.) with just DROs and dial OEM verniers on the axes to remove the excess material to get the part hiding inside! He also designed and built some amazing mechanism based on often lost-art tech.

I'll definitely have to make it out to a steam stop to check out 4014!

RE: Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

We lived in Cheyenne for 4 years with the Air Force. I was pleasantly surprised to see these monsters on the move again.

RE: Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

I believe it was a Big Boy toured thru my area a few years back. I was able to find a spot along the route to watch it go by. Maybe 20 ft off the line, while lt steamed by at speed. It was both awe inspiring and terrifying at the same time.

Afterwards I drove to the small town where it made a stop. Huge crowds.

That was cool on a par with war birds, you ask me :)

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

There are a couple steam locomotives on static display here. I look up at them and think "Built by puny man".

EDIT: Might better have said "Conceived and built by..."

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

(OP)
SnTMan seeing a Big Boy roll by sounds great. I am going to have to plan for being trackside too and see this machine in motion.

RE: Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

Best of luck, hope you get the experience:)

The problem with sloppy work is that the supply FAR EXCEEDS the demand

RE: Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

If it wasn't for the fact that we're going to be spending most all of July in Michigan (for several family events) I would definitely be driving to either Roseville or Ogden to see the 'Big Boy'.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

I consider myself fortunate to have seen both the 4014 Big Boy and the 3985 Challenger run west of Chicago. What surprised me the most was how quiet they are at speed.

RE: Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

Agree, swall. Had a chance to ride a steam ship in New Zealand last fall. It had a catwalk, open to the passengers, to walk across above the engine room. At full-ish speed (within 10 psi of the boiler operating limit) you could have a normal conversation at about the same noise level as a pickup truck cab. Except when they opened the firebox to shovel in more coal.

I am sending the link to my home email, I may get the chance to see her run this June, though it would be a road trip to get there.

RE: Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

While I've never seen a Big Boy, moving or otherwise, I have seen the Challenger 4-6-6-4 Steam Locomotive #3985. Now it was not moving, but it was under steam:



It was on display as part of the Railfest ‘99 event at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, which was held in June 1999. It was billed as the last great gathering of steam in the millennium. There were dozens of locomotives on display, the Challenger being the largest. I talked to one of the engineers and he said that it was a great trip moving the locomotive from Cheyenne since they were limited to going only 40 mph (the maximum speed over current trackage for a steam locomotive that heavy). He said they just set the throttle and watched the scenery go by particularity coming through the Sierras.

John R. Baker, P.E. (ret)
Irvine, CA
Siemens PLM:

The secret of life is not finding someone to live with
It's finding someone you can't live without

RE: Union Pacific Big Boy Steam

Risen behind the 3985, Portland to Bend, once upon a time.

When one this sentence into the German to translate wanted, would one the fact exploit, that the word order and the punctuation already with the German conventions agree.

-- Douglas Hofstadter, Jan 1982

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