Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Huge Big Boy steam locomotive coming back to life
Yahoo News (AP) ^ | April 15, 2014 | DAN ELLIOTT (AP)

Posted on 04/15/2014 4:27:36 PM PDT by Navy Patriot

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — In its prime, a massive steam locomotive known as Big Boy No. 4014 was a moving eruption of smoke and vapor, a 6,300-horsepower brute dragging heavy freight trains over the mountains of Wyoming and Utah.

It's been silent for half a century, pushed aside by more efficient diesels, but now it's coming back to life. The Union Pacific Railroad is embarking on a yearslong restoration project that will put No. 4014 back to work pulling special excursion trains.

"It's sort of like going and finding the Titanic or something that's just very elusive, nothing that we ever thought would happen," said Jim Wrinn, editor of Trains, a magazine that covers the railroad industry.

"Something that's so large and powerful and magnificent, we didn't think any of them would ever come back," he said.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: History; Science
KEYWORDS: rail; steam
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-74 next last
The American steel mills no longer have the technology to cast the one piece frames for these engines, so to build one from scratch would take a decade to re learn the process.

It is truly a rush to drive one of these engines.

1 posted on 04/15/2014 4:27:37 PM PDT by Navy Patriot
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

I say that’s great news.


2 posted on 04/15/2014 4:30:55 PM PDT by luvbach1 (We are finished)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

3 posted on 04/15/2014 4:39:21 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

You an engineer? I’ve chased the 3985 and 4449 and 2472 around. Stayed up all night and driven insane drives for a good shot. :-)

/foamer


4 posted on 04/15/2014 4:39:22 PM PDT by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: sasquatch

ping


5 posted on 04/15/2014 4:40:07 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

I am not a particular railroad buff but there really is something about those old steam engines which is impressive as all get out.

I have read that nuclear powered ships are technically steam powered as the atomic material is used to create the steam.


6 posted on 04/15/2014 4:40:22 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

I visited the Henry Ford Museum in Greenfield MI when I was a kid. There were a bunch of locomotives that were a wall of iron to me. (I was about 8.)


7 posted on 04/15/2014 4:40:36 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

Steam locomotives were not replaced due to lack of power or speed, but for the increased efficiency and ease of maintenance of diesels. Those old engines pulled hard and were damn fast.


8 posted on 04/15/2014 4:43:14 PM PDT by Jeff Chandler (Obamacare: You can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yp6OM_hrTUQ

22 minutes but there are shorter ones.


9 posted on 04/15/2014 4:44:18 PM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

The boiler’s fired by coal. Look for the EPA to shut down this project ASAP.


10 posted on 04/15/2014 4:45:05 PM PDT by kevao (Biblical Jesus: Give your money to the poor. Socialist Jesus: Give your neighbor's money to the poor)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Cyber Liberty

there is one in Scranton Pa
and one in the Midwest Rail museum
(Big Boys that is)


11 posted on 04/15/2014 4:47:42 PM PDT by aumrl (let's keep it real Conservatives)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Cyber Liberty

12 posted on 04/15/2014 4:48:39 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: luvbach1

They were all over the place when I was a kid.

They were filthy.

No thanks.

.


13 posted on 04/15/2014 4:49:52 PM PDT by Mears
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Chandler

14 posted on 04/15/2014 4:50:05 PM PDT by hout8475
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Chandler

IIRC today’s engines are driven by electric motors.


15 posted on 04/15/2014 4:51:41 PM PDT by AppyPappy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: AppyPappy

Yes, they are...and diesel motors turn the electric turbines.


16 posted on 04/15/2014 4:55:11 PM PDT by hoagy62 ("Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered..."-Thomas Paine. 1776)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: hout8475

Diesel was my favorite when playing Thomas with my son! We both drive diesel trucks now! lol


17 posted on 04/15/2014 4:57:14 PM PDT by US_MilitaryRules (Tastes like Heaven, Burns like Hell! Mmmmmm. What is it?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: AppyPappy

They’re slowed down by electric motors, too.


18 posted on 04/15/2014 4:57:24 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: Riley
You an engineer?

I are an engineer, but not a railroad engineer.

Fortunately, my uncle spent his life driving for the Santa Fe, and I was able to drive a couple of their best big steam under his watchful eye.

19 posted on 04/15/2014 4:57:54 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Mears

I saw them (big steam engines) at the Railroad Fair in Chicago in 1949 and in films. Never lived near enough to railroad tracks to see them.


20 posted on 04/15/2014 4:58:30 PM PDT by luvbach1 (We are finished)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

I recall watching a TV documentary about the UP firing up a Big Boy for a run from Denver to Cheyenne, WY. Does the UP have another Big Boy in running condition???


21 posted on 04/15/2014 5:01:23 PM PDT by The Great RJ
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: yarddog

You be right, just remember, there are two loops so irradiated water is never outside the shielding.


22 posted on 04/15/2014 5:01:42 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

Highly recommend the White Pass & Yukon Route out of Skagway Alaska ! Breathtaking narrow guage ride through Alaska’s mountains.

Have the HO version of the steam engine and matching old-fashioned Pullmans and caboose. “Skagway River” line.


23 posted on 04/15/2014 5:02:09 PM PDT by bicyclerepair (The zombies here elected alcee hastings. TERM LIMITS ... TERM LIMITS)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

What did Santa Fe have- some kind of huge, insane 2-10-10-2 or something? SP nut myself, but big steam is always awesome to watch.


24 posted on 04/15/2014 5:03:40 PM PDT by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: bicyclerepair

Oh, super narrow-gauge fan. North Pacific Coast 3’ gauge, in particular.


25 posted on 04/15/2014 5:05:06 PM PDT by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: The Great RJ

There are probably about half a dozen that can be put in running condition with a complete overhaul, I don’t know how many UP owns, most were donated to various historical societies.


26 posted on 04/15/2014 5:05:44 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: The Great RJ
http://www.up.com/aboutup/special_trains/steam/index.shtml
27 posted on 04/15/2014 5:06:05 PM PDT by real saxophonist (Disharmonious & Unmutual)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: yarddog

“nuclear powered ships are technically steam powered”

Anything nuclear powered is done so through steam.


28 posted on 04/15/2014 5:07:09 PM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Obama lied; our healthcare died.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Riley

Yes they did, SF did a lot of experimentation.


29 posted on 04/15/2014 5:07:31 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: yarddog

the eternally hot core flashes water to steam to drive the turbines which drive the generators which drive the electricity.


30 posted on 04/15/2014 5:07:52 PM PDT by Hammerhead
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Riley
America could not have been built without narrow gauge.
31 posted on 04/15/2014 5:10:07 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: bicyclerepair
I'M holding out until Sarah Palin will ride with me.
32 posted on 04/15/2014 5:14:58 PM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 23 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

Love old ‘two streaks of rust’ NG lines. get to drive anything cool?


33 posted on 04/15/2014 5:16:14 PM PDT by Riley (The Fourth Estate is the Fifth Column.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

None of these are currently running but an example of the slightly smaller “Challenger” series loco can be seen in action by searching for “UP 3985” on YouTube. Still a massive 1 MM lb+ plus behemoth, absolutely awesome barreling across Wyoming at 70 mph. There are also some archival pieces of the 40xx Big Boys.


34 posted on 04/15/2014 5:17:19 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (At no time was the Obama administration aware of what the Obama administration was doing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: HereInTheHeartland
Anything nuclear powered is done so through steam.

The St Vrain nuclear power plant used helium to transfer heat form the core to the steam side. It is a conventional power plant now.

35 posted on 04/15/2014 5:30:20 PM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Hammerhead
the eternally hot core flashes water to steam to drive the turbines which drive the generators which drive the electricity.

Most nuclear power stations use pressurized water reactors. The primary coolant is water that is prevented from vaporising by keeping it under tremendous pressure. As it passes through the reactor its temperature rises by only a few degrees. It then passes through a steam generator where it heats unpressurized water into steam. This is relatively low grade steam and the turbines are specially designed for it.

As a matter of fact, if the water in the primary coolant loop starts getting vapor in it, it becomes suddenly very inefficient at absorbing heat from the reactor, and you've got a big problem.

36 posted on 04/15/2014 5:33:54 PM PDT by dr_lew
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: aumrl

There are two in a railroad museum in northern Illinois. I visited it about 15 years ago and got some pictures of my children sitting on the them. These machines were truly awe-inspiring. I got the same feeling from looking at them and touching them that I got from watching a rocket take off. Even silent and rusted, power radiated from them. I am so pleased someone is bringing one back to life. Seeing it move will be a tremendous thrill.


37 posted on 04/15/2014 5:36:13 PM PDT by ottbmare (the OTTB mare, now a proud Marine Mom)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Cyber Liberty

They have a huge collection and a few years ago built a roundhouse. Steam engines from around the country are sent to Greenfield Village for repairs.


38 posted on 04/15/2014 5:44:39 PM PDT by cyclotic (Hey BSA-I'm gone. Walk Worthy-traillifeusa.com)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot
 photo newfolder00005copy.jpgNot a steam engine but these are waiting to pull a train up the Swannanoah gap between Old Fort and Black Mountain N.C. It is the steepest grade East of the Mississippi for regular trains.
39 posted on 04/15/2014 5:47:30 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: cyclotic

Yep. And I effed up, it’s in Dearborn. I knew that.


40 posted on 04/15/2014 5:48:12 PM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

This massive train engine was on display in California at the LA county fair for years — we climbed all over it, sat in the engineer’s seat and marveled at how huge it was. We imagined ourselves driving the thing over the Sierra Nevada mountains, how magnificent it must have been!

This past Sept. at the fair, there were a bunch of young guys working on it - we asked what was up and they said they were going to take the train to Wyoming and get it back in working order (they told it would take two years).

I hated to see it go because it was such a marvel of engineering and pure power. The diesel engineers who were working on the train said it would be fixed up so people could ride on it, that it would be making excursions.

Sigh. Guess we’ll have to travel to Wyoming to see it in action (it’ll be worth it.) Only wish dad were alive to see it fired up...


41 posted on 04/15/2014 5:56:43 PM PDT by Bon of Babble (The dogs bark; the caravan moves on!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

I got to visit the UP 4014 while it was at West Colton yards. I think it is still there but is about to leave for Wyoming. They will be coverting it to oil fired by droping a new oil tank in where the coal used to go.

I got to talk with the people who will be doing the work and who will be behind the controls when it gets to be operational. There are like 8 of them still in existance across the country but this one was in the best shape. Being in Southern California helped in the preservation.


42 posted on 04/15/2014 5:58:24 PM PDT by Parley Baer
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Jeff Chandler

We were also told at the fair by the docents, when this particular train was on display for years, that it caused prairie fires as it roared across the plains — there were so many sparks coming from the stack.

The young engineers working on it said THAT had to be dealt with b/c it would never be allowed to “fire up” if it shot out sparks as it did in the old days.

Must have been a wonder to see that thing roaring down the tracks.


43 posted on 04/15/2014 6:00:52 PM PDT by Bon of Babble (The dogs bark; the caravan moves on!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

The guys who were working on this train when we were visiting it at the LA County fair said all but two were ripped apart for scrap (!!).

They told us the only other one left is in St. Louis in a museum.


44 posted on 04/15/2014 6:02:20 PM PDT by Bon of Babble (The dogs bark; the caravan moves on!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: hoagy62

Isn’t it, diesel “engine”, turns the electric “generator” to power the electric “motors”.


45 posted on 04/15/2014 6:05:42 PM PDT by X-spurt (CRUZ missile - armed and ready.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: ottbmare

If its the same one, they have a total of 25 steam engines now, in Union Illinois, they give rides on fully restored trains.

http://www.irm.org/


46 posted on 04/15/2014 6:08:20 PM PDT by KEVLAR (Liberty or Death)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: X-spurt

Even diesels can really roar. I once watched as 12 engines pulled a large train up the Swannanoah Gap at Ridgecrest which is right at the top.

There were 5 in front, 5 in the middle and 2 pushing. They were all running flat out and it was an impressive sight. Even with 12 engines roaring, it was not going fast at all.


47 posted on 04/15/2014 6:10:26 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]

To: yarddog

Bookmarks


48 posted on 04/15/2014 6:16:51 PM PDT by publius911 ( At least Nixon had the good g race to resign!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

For the longest time if you needed a part fabricated, it could be ordered from the Datong Locomotive Works in China, as they were still making steamers until recently.


49 posted on 04/15/2014 6:17:21 PM PDT by Edward Teach
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Navy Patriot

My sister and I rode D&H steam locomotives chug a chugs up with the engineers together with our grandfather, in 1944.


50 posted on 04/15/2014 6:20:33 PM PDT by bunkerhill7 ("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-74 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson