By Railfan & Railroad Staff
CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Union Pacific says that “Big Boy” 4014 will return to the main line in August but it’s not saying where — at least not yet.
On Monday, the railroad posted on its Facebook page that it would be releasing details in the coming weeks about a trip to start in August. The trip would be the first time the world’s largest operating steam locomotive has run since its inaugural season in excursion service in 2019. UP canceled all plans to operate in 2020 due to the pandemic.
“We know you missed seeing our steam locomotives last year nearly as much as the UP Steam Team missed operating No. 844 and Big Boy No. 4014. We have great news, the Steam Team is busy planning an excursion for No. 4014, likely kicking off August,” officials wrote. “Stay tuned to the Steam Club for more information regarding the route and display locations in the coming weeks as we finalize all of the details.”
In 2019, the locomotive visited 17 states during three different trips to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad. UP estimates more than 1 million people saw the locomotive run during its inaugural season as part of the UP’s historic steam fleet. Although no formal plans were announced in 2020, sources close to the railroad said that UP was planning on bringing the locomotive to the Pacific Northwest, an area it did not visit during its 2019 tour.