5

Big Boy parts: turbo-generators, drivers, spring rigging, pilots, stack deflectors, and cabs

Posted one month ago by John E. Bush
In Part 4 I’ll continue detailing interesting elements involving the design and construction of the 20 Union Pacific Big Boy locomotives Nos. 4000-4019. In another of the series “25 things you may not have known about Big Boy locomotives,” the turbo-generators were located in a totally differently location than on previous UP locomotives.  Interestingly, it was decided to mount the generators low on the right side of the locomotive in the space between the last driving wh...
3

Of Big Boy boilers, parts, and running gear

Posted 2 months ago by John E. Bush
Now that we have progressed to the point where the first 20 locomotives have been ordered I’d like to address a few interesting things having to do with the design and construction of these engines. One thing you may not realize, and which will form another of the “twenty five things you may not know about Big Boy” is the fact that steam locomotives were rarely made entirely by the locomotive builders, and certainly none in the modern steam era. In the case of the Big Boys mor...
6

The History of the Big Boy Locomotive, Part 2

Posted 4 months ago by John E. Bush
For Part 1 of the Big Boy history, click here.  At this same time, the newly formed Department of Research and Mechanical Standards, led by Wyoming native Otto Jabelmann who had come under the eye of the Harriman family and been brought to Omaha to run the new group, was updating older power.  Always active in the advancement of steam loco performance and economy, Union Pacific staff had worked closely with engineers in the Firebar Corporation in the early 1930’s to develop a ne...
5

The History of the Big Boy Locomotive, Part 1

Posted 4 months ago by John E. Bush
Please let me open by stating that I am humbled and excited by the invitation to prepare and share this blog. The chance to do this now, as we anxiously await completion of the restoration to operation of Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4014, a concept only dreamed of just a few short years ago, somehow brings a feeling of kinship. As if I’m somehow a part of the family so diligently working toward what was for decades a seemingly impossible, never-to-happen goal. I hope it proves half as much f...

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy