News Wire: Big Boy's Great Midwest Tour: to Mason City, Iowa

453 views
9 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
Moderator
  • Member since
    January, 2011
  • From: Wisconsin
  • 1,418 posts
Posted by Brian Schmidt on Wednesday, July 17, 2019 2:30 PM

Follow along with Trains Editor Jim Wrinn in this third compilation video from Union Pacific Big Boy 4-8-8-4 No. 4014's Great Midwest Tour. This video focuses on Big Boy's trek through Iowa on its way to Mason City, Iowa.

http://trn.trains.com/news/news-wire/2019/07/big-boys-great-midwest-tour-to-mason-city-iowa

Brian Schmidt, Associate Editor Trains Magazine

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • From: East Coast
  • 929 posts
Posted by D.Carleton on Thursday, July 18, 2019 10:08 AM

This is all nothing short of wonderful; properly executed corporate hubris is a boon for morale.

Not to look a gift iron horse in the mouth, where is the 6936? The tier 4 EMD is nice but backing up a Big Boy with a Centennial is epic.

Editor Emeritus, This Week at Amtrak

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Central Iowa
  • 4,843 posts
Posted by jeffhergert on Thursday, July 18, 2019 3:02 PM

I thought maybe they should use the E units as a back up for the trip. 

When we got into Boone, they wanted to change out the UP8167 diesel helper for another unit that night.  Because it got dirty following the steam engine.

We weren't able to because both us and the steam crew were running short on hours of service.  They had to wait until the next day to make the changes.

Jeff 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 8,083 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 18, 2019 4:27 PM

We need stories.  Many more stories.  I actually broke a tooth grinding my jaws in envy over this situation day before yesterday.  TELL.

  • Member since
    May, 2003
  • From: US
  • 16,653 posts
Posted by BaltACD on Thursday, July 18, 2019 4:45 PM

jeffhergert
I thought maybe they should use the E units as a back up for the trip. 

When we got into Boone, they wanted to change out the UP8167 diesel helper for another unit that night.  Because it got dirty following the steam engine.

We weren't able to because both us and the steam crew were running short on hours of service.  They had to wait until the next day to make the changes.

Jeff 

Presuming the 4014 'lost steam' or some other failure that would permit it to 'move without restriction' - what procedures would be used in operating the UP 8167 (or any other diesel in such service).

  • Member since
    January, 2019
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 1,754 posts
Posted by Flintlock76 on Thursday, July 18, 2019 4:53 PM

Overmod

We need stories.  Many more stories.  I actually broke a tooth grinding my jaws in envy over this situation day before yesterday.  TELL.

 

Mod-man, maybe if you and I start doing novenas maybe  Big Boy just might  come east of the Mississippi!

The down side?  While I believe all prayers are answered, sometimes the answer is "No."  Crying

It was rough enough finding out there's another  Altoona out there!

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • 8,083 posts
Posted by Overmod on Thursday, July 18, 2019 5:52 PM

I have faith that the Trek to Tennessee can be repeated by the larger power, and we'll get at least a short view across the river at some hopefully-not-too-future point.  Already budgeted time for the 'nearest point of approach' this trip in West Chicago, around the 27th.

But what I want NOW are the road pilot stories and observed details.

  • Member since
    January, 2015
  • 1,524 posts
Posted by kgbw49 on Thursday, July 18, 2019 8:42 PM

The Johnsonville Bratwurst Big Taste Grill Tractor-Trailer rig will be setting up in Altoona.

Image result for JOHNSONVILLE bRATWURST TRUCK

Image result for JOHNSONVILLE bRATWURST TRUCK

I am pretty sure Leinenkugel's Brewery - home base Chippewa Falls, WI right up the road - will have a few tents set up for thirsty railfans to quaf a few cool and frothies.

Delta flies in to Eau Claire and Minneapolis-St. Paul International is only about 90 minutes away by car.

So you can have a brat from the World's Biggest Grill and wash it down with some of Wisconsin's finest while getting up close to the World's Biggest Steam Locomotive.

Here is the event schedule from the City of Altoona's web site:

https://www.ci.altoona.wi.us/events.phtml

By the way, the high school mascot is the Railroaders.

Altoona was the northernmost limit for the C&NW Class H 4-8-4 "Zepplins".

Altoona also hosted the heaviest Pacifics ever built in the Omaha Road's Class E-3 4-6-2.

So they have hosted some big iron in Altoona, WI in the past, but 4014 is the Biggest That Ever Was. 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2003
  • From: Central Iowa
  • 4,843 posts
Posted by jeffhergert on Friday, July 19, 2019 2:57 AM

BaltACD

 

 
jeffhergert
I thought maybe they should use the E units as a back up for the trip. 

When we got into Boone, they wanted to change out the UP8167 diesel helper for another unit that night.  Because it got dirty following the steam engine.

We weren't able to because both us and the steam crew were running short on hours of service.  They had to wait until the next day to make the changes.

Jeff 

 

Presuming the 4014 'lost steam' or some other failure that would permit it to 'move without restriction' - what procedures would be used in operating the UP 8167 (or any other diesel in such service).

 

It's not only in case of a major failure, but also just to help if a little extra power or braking (dynamic braking) is needed.  On my run and on the Boone to Mason City leg they only required a little dynamic braking in a few instances.  They never needed the helper for power.

The diesel has the automatic brake cut out, the independent cut in.  The steam engineer controls the air brakes.  The reverser is forward, but the throttle or brake is used only on orders from the steam engineer. 

Only once, when leaving Carroll while heading for the control point at East Carroll, was I instructed to hold the train at 15 mph with dynamics.  We were running under train control (a restricting cab signal) and stopped at East Carroll for a few minutes.  The 4014 doesn't have PTC but has exCNW's ATC and original UP CCS (cab signals).

Jeff

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Western, MA
  • 8,220 posts
Posted by richg1998 on Friday, July 19, 2019 10:22 AM

I found the below in another forum from a former driver. You can believe it or not. I have seen the inside of a good size steamer and what they had to deal with as compared to a diesel. Don't forget where they have to sit in both locos.

"Having spent a lot of time in steam locomotive cabs as an engineer pilot during my WC days I can tell you it isn't much fun after the first hour or so. They ride rough, they are dirty, extremely noisey, and you constantly have to look out for dumb people on the track when moving and swarming all over when stopped. At the end of 12 hours you are exhausted and want to never see the thing again. But, for that first hour or so...it's a dream come true. This is the reason many steam engineers never looked back when steam went away and they began to enjoy the comfort, cleanliness and quiet of diesels."

Rich

If you ever fall over in public, pick yourself up and say “sorry it’s been a while since I inhabited a body.” And just walk away.

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