Big Boy No. 4014, the famed Union Pacific steam locomotive built in the 1940s to conquer mountains while carrying equipment in support of World War II, is embarking on a 10-state tour and will arrive Friday, Aug. 13 and be on public display Aug. 14 in Fort Worth.
Train enthusiasts of all ages will get a chance to talk to the steam crew, tour the Experience the Union Pacific rail car – a railroad museum on wheels – and take a selfie with the world’s largest steam locomotive, one of 25 of its kind built and the only one still in operation.
On Friday, Big Boy is scheduled to make three brief whistle-stops before arriving in Fort Worth:
- 2 p.m. Pottsboro, Grayson St. Crossing
- 4 p.m. Pilot Point, Liberty St. Crossing
- 5 p.m. Denton, E. Sycamore St. Crossing
The locomotive will be on display from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, near downtown Fort Worth, about one block east of 825 E. Ninth St. Admission is free.
- Meet the Steam Team – At 11 a.m., the Union Pacific steam crew that helped restore and now operates Big Boy will take questions from the audience for 30 minutes.
- Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car – This restored baggage car now serves as a traveling history museum, providing a glimpse of the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading through sounds, images and interactive technology
- Interactive Booths and Tents – There will be several exhibits set up where participants can learn more about model railroading, acquire a souvenir and receive a free Clifford and the Railroad Crossing book from Safe Kids Worldwide, an organization dedicated to protecting children from unintentional injuries.
This is the first time Big Boy has gone on tour since its post-restoration debut in 2019 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad’s completion. It is returning in 2021 with a tour that includes whistle-stops in more than 90 communities and one-day public display events in five major cities: Fort Worth and Houston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; St. Louis, Missouri; and Denver, Colorado.
Big Boy No. 4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December of 1941. This powerful machine was built to cross the Wasatch Mountain Range east of Ogden, Utah. It was retired in 1961 after traveling a little over a million miles, reacquired by Union Pacific in 2013 and restored to service in 2019.
A complete schedule of Big Boy’s 2021 multi-city tour, along with a map tracking its journey, can be found online. The public can also follow along with Big Boy’s adventure on Twitter. Fans can share their photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and use the #BigBoy2021 hash tag for a chance to win a Big Boy T-shirt. Fifty winners will be selected throughout the tour. Union Pacific reminds all participants to be safe and stay 25 feet back from the tracks when taking a picture.