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Submitted on
February 11, 2012
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20,307 (1 today)
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Make
NIKON
Model
COOLPIX S550
Shutter Speed
1464128/100000000 second
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F/3.5
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6 mm
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64
Date Taken
Feb 11, 2012, 12:32:36 PM
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Nikon Transfer 1.0 W
×
Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 in Pomona by rlkitterman Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 in Pomona by rlkitterman
The Railfan Nation named this 6 out of the top 50 pictures in the group for the year 2012. Thank you to everyone!

The biggest steam locomotive in the world is the Union Pacific Big Boy, designed by Otto Jabelmann and built by ALCO in 1941 to pull long, heavy trains over the mountains. The class was originally to have been named "Wasatch" for the mountain range. However, during construction, a worker scrawled "Big Boy" on the body of one of the big engines, and the UP decided to call the engines Big Boys.

The UP was obsessed with big engines, which would let them run longer and fewer trains on the steep slopes, and the 4-8-8-4 Big Boy was the acme, the zenith, the biggest Big Engine of all. Each of the 25 Big Boys (Nos. 4000-4024) was nearly 140 feet long, as tall as a house, and weighed over 600 tons. In other words, the locomotive had the size and weight of a small ship. The firebox burned coal fed by a mechanical stoker, and a centipede tender carried the coal and water supply for the long boiler. The 4-8-8-4 articulated Mallet configuration, in which the front of the engine could pivot, let the Big Boy go around curves in the mountains. The Big Boy was not only powerful enough to pull 3000 or 4000 ton trains, but was also very fast for its size, able to reach 80 miles per hour. This became very useful in World War II, when the Big Boys had to haul long military trains across the country.

The Big Boys were retired in the early 1960s, and No. 4014 is preserved at the Railway Locomotive Historical Society ("Rail Giants") at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. Given the sheer size of the Big Boy, which could only be turned on two long turntables, there are no plans to restore it to operating status.

Happy 150 years, Union Pacific!

Over 4000 views in the first day? And hundreds of favorites? Thanks everyone! I've never had a picture be this successful before!

PS: I know there is a lot of debate over this, but I think the Big Boy is generally recognized as the overall biggest steam engine when you average out the size, weight, and power.

PPS: Thank you for everyone who came and viewed this picture, as I have just gotten over 10,000 views on it!

PPPS: According to Trains Magazine, the Union Pacific Railroad wants to take No. 4014 and restore it to operating condition in time for the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad in 2019. If that is true, then the Big Boy will ride again!
Add a Comment:
 
:iconmidway2009:
Midway2009 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is my favorite locomotive. :D
Reply
:iconpocketwatch22:
pocketwatch22 Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2015
I Would love to see it
Reply
:iconmaroongoon:
MaroonGoon Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014
Holy Moly! It is a big boy!
Reply
:iconslowdog294:
slowdog294 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2014  Professional General Artist
Beautiful. :winner:
Reply
:iconjesse220:
Jesse220 Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2014
Fascinating+fav 
Reply
:icondaniel-storm:
Daniel-Storm Featured By Owner Edited Aug 31, 2014
Wow.
That is some kind'a amazing. :clap:
Reply
:iconresearcher42:
researcher42 Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014
Man I like to see one of these running
down the railroad tracks.
:nod:
Reply
:icondc1224dc:
DC1224DC Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2014
with a 5 mile fright train behind it
Reply
:iconijnfleetadmiral:
ijnfleetadmiral Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014
You will have a chance soon...Union Pacific is restoring her to operational service.
Reply
:iconanonymouslifeform:
AnonymousLifeform Featured By Owner May 22, 2014
Industry! Yeah!
Reply
:iconhearsegurl:
HearseGurl Featured By Owner May 6, 2014   Photographer
Beautiful Shot! :+fav:
Reply
:icongbr3:
GBR3 Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014
awesome!!!
Reply
:iconomega-steam:
omega-steam Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2014  Student Digital Artist
Well, she's gone. Now replaced by a rather boring SD40-2 in its stead.
Reply
:iconzhugebeifong:
zhugebeifong Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Have you heard that the Big Boy departed from California and is now heading to Cheyenne?
Reply
:iconrlkitterman:
rlkitterman Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Yes, I was following the news on Facebook, and I am looking forward to hearing from UP how the restoration is progressing.
Reply
:iconzhugebeifong:
zhugebeifong Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
That is interesting. You know, I was able to stand by, and board a UP Challenger in Cheyenne. It was impressive to actually see the cab.
Reply
:iconpocketwatch22:
pocketwatch22 Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2014

I would love to see 4014 when we it is restored to working order

Reply
:iconnikolai60:
nikolai60 Featured By Owner Jan 30, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I don't know if you're still up on it, but 4014 is currently in the process of being moved. More than that, I heard she's not just being restored, it's going to be upgraded to a more efficient boiler and put back on the line!
Reply
:iconatom-smasher-errors:
Atom-Smasher-Errors Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
If that is the case, I hope that UP will make the new boiler look as historically accurate as possible. I'm not saying that everything must be perfect, I just want it to look a little bit like it did before restoration.
Reply
:iconnikolai60:
nikolai60 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
My understanding is before it's put on the line it'll be part of the 150th anniversary, so it's doubtful they'll do much appearance-wise to the main engine. They've said it'll be converted to run on oil, so it's the tender that'll probably see some changes. The outer casing of the boiler on those old engines is pretty strong, so odds are only the insides will be renovated.
Reply
:iconatom-smasher-errors:
Atom-Smasher-Errors Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
Alright.

I've seen an N scale model of 4005 with an oil burning tender. That's what it will most likely look like.
Reply
:iconnikolai60:
nikolai60 Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Here's hoping. To be perfectly honest though, I'll just be happy to have people putting steam engines back on the line.
Reply
:iconatom-smasher-errors:
Atom-Smasher-Errors Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Photographer
It is nice to see a piece of working history.
Reply
:iconnikolai60:
nikolai60 Featured By Owner Feb 3, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Indeed.
Reply
:iconthomasthe747:
Thomasthe747 Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2014   Digital Artist
I can't wait until the UP 4014 restoration! :D
Reply
:iconatom-smasher-errors:
Atom-Smasher-Errors Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
If you look up Union Pacific on Google, 4014 will come up before 844.


This restoration is gonna be huge guys. HUGE.
Reply
:iconty123sonic:
TY123sonic Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow it didnt look that big until I saw the bench next to the stairs. Holy crap that really is a Big Boy
Reply
:icontychocain:
TychoCain Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2013
First things first:  Great photo of a great locomotive.

This is the very locomotive that UP just took for restoration and return to service as mentioned in your notes.

www.up.com/aboutup/special_tra…
Reply
:icondan-s-t:
Dan-S-T Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Holy cow that is big
Reply
:iconsuiseiseki-sama:
suiseiseki-sama Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2013
beautiful :wow:
Reply
:iconelr79655:
elr79655 Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
Not that it wouldn't be great to see a Big Boy in operation again, but I just have to wonder one thing. If he is restored, does UP plan to continue operating the 4014 once the Sesquicentennial of the Transcontinental Railroad have passed, or is UP just blowing smoke since NS' 30th Anniversary largely overshadowed its own 150th last year?
Reply
:iconrlkitterman:
rlkitterman Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I am not entirely sure, but I hope they would keep running 4014. It would be great if they could somehow run it from coast to coast, or at least from Chicago to California.
Reply
:iconelr79655:
elr79655 Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2013

Update: Several news reports have information that UP has made arrangements this week with the Southern California Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society to acquire the 4014 from the Pomona Fairplex.  Next stop, Cheyenne, Wyoming!

www.sacbee.com/2013/07/23/5590...

journalstar.com/news/state-and...

online.wsj.com/article/PR-CO-2...

www.southwestiowanews.com/coun...

 

Reply
:iconrlkitterman:
rlkitterman Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for the information!  I wonder when they will be moving No. 4014.
Reply
:iconelr79655:
elr79655 Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2013
When the time comes, I'll bet they'll probably move him to Cheyenne via the former Los Angeles & Salt Lake (Cajon Pass), then over the Transcontinental.
Reply
:iconfedorasrawesome:
fedorasrawesome Featured By Owner May 26, 2013
:iconiliketrainsplz:
Reply
:iconskoshi8:
Skoshi8 Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Amazing how they can fit that monster onto a skinny little track.
Reply
:iconnexusthefox:
NexustheFox Featured By Owner May 4, 2013
BIG BOY :love:
Reply
:icontherailfaningboy:
therailfaningboy Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2013
You Know there gonna bring back this big boy to steam operation
Reply
:icondaxserv:
Daxserv Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013
tell me, is that front end silver or a shade of grey, building a kit, and it is specified silver but looks to bright?
Reply
:iconrlkitterman:
rlkitterman Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
It may have been more of a stainless steel kind of color, but I'd recommend weathering it to look more realistic. If you can take silver paint and get it good and weathered it will look more like the Big Boy smokebox.
Reply
:icondaxserv:
Daxserv Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2013
its in my scrap book [link] the model is far from finished but I am sure you will see what I mean!
Reply
:iconbabynuke:
babynuke Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Nothing short of impressive! :)
Reply
:iconblacksand459:
Blacksand459 Featured By Owner Feb 25, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
That is one mean piece of machinery! B-) I would love to be there to see them drive this icon down the tracks once again in 2019. I think many, many folks would also love that chance.

Thanks for posting!
Reply
:iconorang111:
orang111 Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
WOW....


It's too BIG...
Reply
:icondaxserv:
Daxserv Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2013
I always look in awe at this beast, it is the power of man, why do we waste it so much else where. Took a full look at your Endland trip photo, sorry the weather wasn't the best for you, but like us guys, it is unpredictable to say the very least. - Dave from Hertfordshire UK
Reply
:iconjoseph-w-johns:
Joseph-W-Johns Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Professional Photographer
Placed at #6 on the 2012 TRFN top 50 deviations and deviants list [link]
Reply
:iconrlkitterman:
rlkitterman Featured By Owner Jan 1, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I just saw it!
Reply
:iconmaurizubo:
maurizubo Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2012
wonderful locomotive!!
Reply
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