Magnificent Beastly Wyoming Locomotive Gets A Makeover
Trains helped to make the greatest nation the world has ever known. For the really hard work, a fleet of 25 monster locomotives was built between 1941 and 1944 and run by the Union Pacific Railroad until 1959.
“The 4-8-8-4 series originally was to have been called "Wasatch". One day while one of the engines was being built an unknown worker scrawled "Big Boy" in chalk on its front. With that, the legendary name was born and has stuck ever since.”
The “Big Boys” were built specifically to haul freight over the Wasatch mountains between Green River, Wyoming and Ogden, Utah.” That particularly difficult stretch was a major challenge for the Wyoming Division, so they built them as 4-8-8-4, articulated, Wyoming coal-fired, steam locomotives.
Out of the 25 built, only eight remain, two of those are in Cheyenne and they are magnificent. Now, Big Boy No. 4004 which resides in Holliday Park, is being restored, thanks to the Cheyenne City council’s approval of a $355,000 contract. Fitting, for a city that owes its very existence to the Union Pacific Railroad.
Restoration work on Big Boy No. 4004 should be complete for the Cheyenne Depot Days celebrations in May of 2018.
“When 4014 returns to running condition, it will displace UP 3985 as the largest, heaviest and most powerful operational steam locomotive in the world.”
See these magnificent beasts when you can.