TOPEKA (KSNT) – Big Boy left its home base at the Union Pacific Steam Shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on Aug. 5 and traveled south across Oklahoma and Texas on the first leg of its tour, which ends Sept. 7 upon its return to Wyoming.
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’s returned this year with brief 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 was in Topeka on Monday for about 45 minutes to give people plenty of time to see or talk to the steam team, as well as take a “selfie” with the world’s largest steam locomotive and the only one operating today.
Big Boy No. 4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December of 1941. The locomotive 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.