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Union Pacific # 4014 Big Boy

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Got a little video I put together of the trip the wife and I made last week to see this big dude. Pictures and video dont do it justice. When he rolled to a stop in Elkhart I could feel the heat from the boiler and smell the hot grease. My mind went to what I felt like was the 40's all of a sudden. I really wanted to hear and see big boy on a hard pull but there's nothing heavy enough hooked to it or steep enough hills in iowa. This thing is a massive beast. Best thing is it probably ran like a top when it was brand new and didnt have a damn check engine light on or a computer problem. They said it weighs more than two modern Diesel locomotives. Id say it may be capable of as much work as two of them. But the manpower it takes to run it might out weigh the conviences of modern diesel. And I figured out my camera sucks and the wife's is better.

https://youtu.be/MVL76K6VsgA

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The boiler is capable of over 9000 horsepower. It can put around 7000 to the rail. That thing is a beast in every sense of the word.

 

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Should be equal to about 2 SD40's in hp................I wonder if UP is keeping track of the numbers of people out to see the Big Boy?  Seems like a great investment as far as public relations...............NS might have wished it never dropped its steam program.  On the east coast here N&W 611 had quite a following and I am sure if they still had the 1218 that would have drawn in a ton of people in this internet age.

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6 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

Should be equal to about 2 SD40's in hp................I wonder if UP is keeping track of the numbers of people out to see the Big Boy?  Seems like a great investment as far as public relations...............NS might have wished it never dropped its steam program.  On the east coast here N&W 611 had quite a following and I am sure if they still had the 1218 that would have drawn in a ton of people in this internet age.

Talked to a fella in the crowd that lives near Elkhart that was on the Challenger excursion when it came through several years ago. He said tickets for it were 5 grand to set in the high deck car and 3 grand for a regular seat. It was sold out too. It wasnt made nearly as public either.

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Wow.

Thanks 806!

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We got to see it at speed near Beaver Dam, WI a couple weeks ago.  Very, very impressive to be just a few feet away and FEEL it go by.

 

BigBoy.jpg

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As far as Dickens went with that rebuild, I can't believe they haven't dumped the diesel.................They got to be getting a number of miles on it, and other than dumping acouple drivers on the ground in Rawlings in the yard, they have no mechanical issues at all that I have heard or read about, other than cylinder packing leaks on the first trips which were more an annoyance than anything.  Maybe UP has a new rule a Diesel has to go as protection regaurdless????  I know Steve Lee wasn't too fond of dragging one along and didn't in alot of cases.

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It’s neat, but UP killed it when they converted it to oil. 

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40 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

As far as Dickens went with that rebuild, I can't believe they haven't dumped the diesel.................They got to be getting a number of miles on it, and other than dumping acouple drivers on the ground in Rawlings in the yard, they have no mechanical issues at all that I have heard or read about, other than cylinder packing leaks on the first trips which were more an annoyance than anything.  Maybe UP has a new rule a Diesel has to go as protection regaurdless????  I know Steve Lee wasn't too fond of dragging one along and didn't in alot of cases.

A great deal of the reason for the diesel is dynamic braking, yes the 4014 is capable of running all by itself but doing it this way they are minimizing the need for some maintenance items that basically don’t exist in 2019 like they did in 1949.

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39 minutes ago, drglinski said:

It’s neat, but UP killed it when they converted it to oil. 

UP brought it back to life by converting it to oil.  Nobody would be getting to experience a Big Boy under steam if it was still coal fired, that’s just the reality again of logistics being totally different in 2019 than 1949....

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They could have made it work if they wanted it to. 

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17 minutes ago, drglinski said:

They could have made it work if they wanted it to. 

Probably, but they would have got a lot of static from the Ohpra types about the evils of coal and THAT might have killed the restoration too.

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24 minutes ago, drglinski said:

They could have made it work if they wanted it to. 

Sure, because there are plentiful coaling facilities all over the modern railroad to refuel it every few hours.   Do you have any idea how much extra cost would have been involved with building that infrastructure for an excursion train?

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Again, if they wanted to....there are plenty of steam trains in excursions that still run on coal, but I digress.  

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How long a distance are they running on this train? The difference is a lot of those coal powered excursions aren't going that far. This one can be traveling farther. I don't know. 

If just a short run, im sure they could have bunkered enough coal to make it work. However any distance you are going to have logistics issues as i doubt there are any coal towers left. And im sure that engine likes its fuel, either coal or fuel oil. Unless you have a conveyor a truck isn't going to be able to dump a load of coal directly on the tender.

You also have to remember. This is more of a publicity thing than a money making operation for UP. How much money do you dump into a publicity stunt? Im sure just getting that engine up to steam again took a small fortune.

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4 hours ago, clay neubauer said:

A great deal of the reason for the diesel is dynamic braking, yes the 4014 is capable of running all by itself but doing it this way they are minimizing the need for some maintenance items that basically don’t exist in 2019 like they did in 1949.

I didn't know they were running anywhere on this trip that hilly to require dynamics?  

To the other posters about coal................The logistics of having it where you need it is a challenge, and track side fires because of the coal is a real issue in most places anymore.  I believe that was why 3985 was changed to oil, I believe they lit up quite a few fires with it.  Oil is also easier on the firebox and boiler as well, cinder erosion was a real issue back in the day.

Not sure how many followed Southern's steam program while Bill Purdie was running the show, but they had a special car they took with them to coal the locomotives, it was quite neat.  With that said, feeding a 4-8-8-4 with coal is alot different that a 2-8-2 or something similar.

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1 minute ago, Reichow7120 said:

You also have to remember. This is more of a publicity thing than a money making operation for UP. How much money do you dump into a publicity stunt? Im sure just getting that engine up to steam again took a small fortune.

Nobody will say, but I would say its paying off............Alot of people are talking about it and treking to see it.  I hope they don't scale the program back now, I think its too bad that the 3985 is sitting there all torn apart considering employees volunteered their time to originally get it going again after it had set since retirement.  

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1 hour ago, TP from Central PA said:

I didn't know they were running anywhere on this trip that hilly to require dynamics? 

To load up Bigboy... not for braking as such

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1 hour ago, Reichow7120 said:

How long a distance are they running on this train? The difference is a lot of those coal powered excursions aren't going that far. This one can be traveling farther. I don't know. 

If just a short run, im sure they could have bunkered enough coal to make it work. However any distance you are going to have logistics issues as i doubt there are any coal towers left. And im sure that engine likes its fuel, either coal or fuel oil. Unless you have a conveyor a truck isn't going to be able to dump a load of coal directly on the tender.

 

Across six states.

 

 

4DA4AE86-A770-42DA-998A-2E53AB5414C0.png

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19 minutes ago, clay neubauer said:

Across six states.

 

 

4DA4AE86-A770-42DA-998A-2E53AB5414C0.png

Which comes to my point. Those coal excursions are usually quite short where you don't have to restock the tender continuously. Most coal excursions are what? 15 to maybe 30 miles. Probably a bunch are less than that. Logistics for coal for this distance would be a PITA. Coal isn't laying everywhere like it was 55 years ago. 

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1 hour ago, Reichow7120 said:

Which comes to my point. Those coal excursions are usually quite short where you don't have to restock the tender continuously. Most coal excursions are what? 15 to maybe 30 miles. Probably a bunch are less than that. Logistics for coal for this distance would be a PITA. Coal isn't laying everywhere like it was 55 years ago. 

Most are 60-120 miles one way.   

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I saw the Big Boy on a siding last Tuesday night in Cedar Rapids IA and then on the tracks moving about 60MPH the next day.. managed to get 3 seconds of video shot until I realized I dont know how to run a video camera...

To say the least, it's named Big Boy for a reason!  incredible watching it race by with the whistle blowing!

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ITS SURE GOT A DEEP WHISTLE BLOW...

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22 hours ago, clay neubauer said:

We got to see it at speed near Beaver Dam, WI a couple weeks ago.  Very, very impressive to be just a few feet away and FEEL it go by.

 

BigBoy.jpg

Thats a good picture.

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21 hours ago, TP from Central PA said:

As far as Dickens went with that rebuild, I can't believe they haven't dumped the diesel.................They got to be getting a number of miles on it, and other than dumping acouple drivers on the ground in Rawlings in the yard, they have no mechanical issues at all that I have heard or read about, other than cylinder packing leaks on the first trips which were more an annoyance than anything.  Maybe UP has a new rule a Diesel has to go as protection regaurdless????  I know Steve Lee wasn't too fond of dragging one along and didn't in alot of cases.

I over heard some guys talking at Elkhart that the diesel was in the line up just for brakes.

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