The Most Impressive Locomotive Steam Engine “Big Boy”
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The Most Impressive Locomotive Steam Engine “Big Boy”


The Big Boy 4014 Restored in 2019 rolls into Town!
The Big Boy 4014 Restored in 2019 rolls into Town!

Big Boy is one of the most powerful and largest series of steam locomotives ever manufactured. It was manufactured from 1941 to 1944 by the American Locomotive Company of Schenectady, N.Y. This was entirely for the Union Pacific Railroad. The Big Boy locomotives were constructed largely to deal with heavy freight traffic in the Wasatch Mountains, where trains encountered a continual grade of 1.55 per cent on a distance of track east of Ogden, Utah.

There are seven Big Boys on public display in various cities around the country. They can be found in St. Louis, Missouri; Dallas, Texas; Omaha, Nebraska; Denver, Colorado; Scranton, Pennsylvania; Green Bay, Wisconsin; and Cheyenne, Wyoming. To See more of These Machines and where you can see them in Museums around USA Click Here  and to see more history of this Amazing History on of once long ago Giant!



Image of the Big Boy 4014
Image of the Big Boy 4014

During the 1930s, “bigger was better” when it went to another train for the Wasatch Mountains.

Situated in eastern Utah, the Wasatch Mountains present an impressive barrier along the union Pacific course. As no one voyages east from Ogden, Utah for 55 miles, you will be in the little town of Emory, Utah. You will have likewise gone up 1,900 feet in elevation. This is a wonderful trip up into the mountains driving on the interstate. A train, nonetheless, will have to go with a particularly steep incline.

Due to the steep slopes, a traffic bottleneck was forming on the Union Pacific line in the Wasatch Mountains. With The Second Great War approaching not too far off, the bottleneck turned into a significant challenge requiring consideration. The appropriate response was a locomotive train that could pull a 3,600-ton train over this stretch, unassisted. That locomotive was Big Boy. A gigantic machine estimating almost a large portion of a football field and weighing more than 600 tons, Big Boy surmounted the Wasatch.

The Union Pacific ordered 25 Big Boys. Today, eight stays. Let’s become acquainted with Big Boy with fascinating thoughts about it.


Is the big Boy actually the greatest? 

To proclaim the railroad’s exercises during The Second Great War and feature their new trains, the Union Pacific put full-page promotions in National magazines promoting the Big Boy as the world’s biggest steam engines.

Contingent upon how you need to measure big boy, this assertion is both valid and invalid. According to weight, Big Boy is weighty. Notwithstanding, if one thinks about tractive exertion — pulling power — trains from a similar time built for Chesapeake and Ohio, Great Northern, Norfolk and Western, Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range, Northern Pacific, Erie and Virginian rail lines all, on paper, hypothetically conveyed more force than a Big Boy. This argument goes to and fro. Click Here to learn more about it!

One measurement inclines toward the Big Boys, different insights point somewhere else. However you take a gander at it, the Big Boys were exceptionally huge and handily dealt with the work for which they were built.


How Many Miles? 

Nighht Image of the Big Boy 4014, A Must Tour with these Big Locomotives on Display in Different parts of the Country in the USA
Nighht Image of the Big Boy 4014, A Must Tour with these Big Locomotives on Display in Different parts of the Country in the USA

Union Pacific placed two orders for Big Boys. In 1941, they ordered 20. In 1944, five more were constructed. Their territory was the 435 miles between Cheyenne, Wyoming and Ogden, Utah. As a class, Big Boys ran until 1959, with some coming out of service earlier. Additionally, from 1941 to 1948, Big Boys only worked the 163 miles from Ogden to Green River, Wyoming. From 1948 to 1959, they did not travel west of the Green River.

In their final years, the Big Boys only worked the 58 miles between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming. Every one of the first 20 Big Boys tallied over one million miles of service. The last five had all travelled over 800,000 miles when they retired and all this on a piece of the railroad just over 400 miles long. For the record, #4017 travelled 1,052,072 miles during its life.

The main order of Big Boys, #4000 – 4019, weighed 1.18 million pounds in full working condition. They were tried at speeds somewhere in the range of 70 and 80 M.P.H. In regular service, Big Boys were restricted to a maximum velocity of 55 M.P.H. That is an exceptionally enormous mass of iron descending the tracks at an extremely high velocity. From the time the engineer applied the brakes, until the time the big Boy reached a stand-still was between 1 to 1.5 miles.

At last, as though the 4000s weren’t adequately large, the Union Pacific thought about requesting five extra 4-8-8-4s that would be much bigger. As The Second Great War dragged on, the U.P. required extra force on its line to Los Angeles through southwest Utah. Historian and artist Gil Bennett (Classic Trains, spring 2019), plans were on the planning board to fabricate #4025-4029. This third class of big boys was to gauge 139 feet, 11 5/8 inches in length and weigh just shy of 1.3 million pounds.


Final Words

The Big Boy locomotives had a nice design. The structure of the front engine was hinge-connected to the rear engine under an individual boiler. In addition to this, a set of 4 pilot wheels led to a set of 8 coupled driving wheels, which were compounded by another set of 8 coupled drivers, with 4 trailing wheels.

Click Here to Learn more about the History of Big Boy


Although The Big Boys were the heaviest, they were not the strongest engines. No other engine has been able to match the combination of power, agility and speed.

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