Big Steam in 2019

Posted by Jim Wrinn
on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Did I tell you I won the Power Ball? Yeah, I’m that guy who picked up millions by buying a lottery ticket at a convenience store in New Berlin, Wis. Now, after waking up rebuilders Scott Lindsay and Gary Bensman to start working three shifts a day until their done on my top 20 list of locomotives I want to see run (another topic in itself), I still have stupid money to go watch big mainline steam this year. Here’s what I plan to do.

 

I start off next month in Wyoming and Utah with Union Pacific Big Boy 4-8-8-4 No. 4014 on its inaugural trip from Cheyenne to Ogden and back with 4-8-4 No. 844. That puts a biggole smile on my face.

 

In June, I zip up to Minneapolis to enjoy Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 No. 261 on the Twin Cities & Western the weekend of June 23, and then zip down to the land of corn the weekend of June 29 for Iowa Interstate’s QJ 2-10-2 No. 6988. Midwestern steam is good steam.

 

July 4 weekend is at Western Maryland Scenic for the debut of Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6-6-2 No. 1309. Can’t miss that one. 17 miles of mountain railroad.

 

Southern Pacific 4-8-4 No. 4449 is supposed to be fired up in August for a convention of garden railway enthusiasts. It also will pull holiday trains in December.

 

Pennsylvania and Ohio are the places to be in September, when Norfolk & Western 4-8-4 No. 611 visits the Strasburg and Nickel Plate Road No. 765 visits Cuyahoga Valley, respectively. On Oct. 5, I get Pere Marquette 2-8-4 on a Mount Pleasant-Cadillac round trip in Michigan. On Oct. 20 and 27, and Nov. 10, Southern 2-8-0 No. 630 and 2-8-2 No. 4501 doublehead on Chattanooga-Summerville round trips (this also runs June 1).

 

Of course, UP hasn’t announced the rest of its 2019 Big Boy tour, so there will be more travels to be added.

 

Now I have to admit that I lied when I said that I won the lottery. But it sure was nice to think about all the steam that will be running on the main line this year. I hope to see you all out there.

 

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