Big Boy comes to Altoona | Wis.Community

Big Boy comes to Altoona

July 28, 2019 - 5:04pm
Big Boy

Presentation of award to Big Boy steam train in Altoona, WI

Union Pacific's Big Boy 4014 - Minnesota and Wisconsin runs

On July 23 Big Boy, engine 4014 stopped in Altoona as part of its tour of the country commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad completion. The Big Boy engines were the largest steam engines ever built and were designed to haul large loads over the Wasatch Mountain range. The 25 Big Boy engines were built by Union Pacific between 1941 and 1944 and were used until 1959. They are the largest steam engines built, at 132 feet long and 7000 horsepower. The engines are so long that they needed to be built as articulated engines - the could not go around all curves if they were a single piece. They are also the only engine built as a 4-8-8-4 design.

4014 was restored for this tour throughout the US. This was a major undertaking and included a conversion of the engine from coal to oil-burning. It is the only functioning Big Boy engine although several others are in museums across the country. The train that visited Altoona included a traveling museum for the Union Pacific Railroad.

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Video of Big Boy thanks to Douglas Hildebrandt, all rights reserved.

Steve Hanson
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Altoona, WI