THE magazine of railroading

SEARCH TRAINSMAG.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Union Pacific is Studying a Big Boy Restoration Story below

9194 views
17 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • 3,154 posts
Union Pacific is Studying a Big Boy Restoration Story below
Posted by CAZEPHYR on Friday, December 07, 2012 5:54 PM

This is not an early April 1st story, but a story from Trains.com and several other sources.

CZ

Bookmark and Share

Union Pacific studying Big Boy restoration project

Published: December 7, 2012
UP 4014
No. 4014 climbing Wyoming's Sherman Hill on June 25, 1949.
Photo by R.H. Kindig
POMONA, Calif. – Union Pacific may be bringing back the ultimate steam machine, an Alco-built 4-8-8-4 Big Boy, the last of which steamed more than 50 years ago.
Company spokesman Mark Davis told Trains News Wire Friday that the company has been approached by and is working with a third party interested in restoring and operating a Big Boy. He said the railroad is evaluating the condition of preserved UP Big Boy locomotives and that it believes two might be available for restoration. Davis declined to name the other party or give a timeline for the project. But at least one organization is already talking about its potential to put a Big Boy back on the main line.
The treasurer of the Southern California railroad club that owns a displayed Union Pacific Big Boy 4-8-8-4 says his group hopes to learn more Saturday about a UP offer to acquire No. 4014 for restoration and operation.
In an exclusive interview with Trains News Wire, John Mastrobuoni from Prescott, Ariz., said the Southern California Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society is eager to find out if the railroad can meet its requirement that a replacement piece take the place of the Big Boy at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona. The engine is one of eight survivors of the 25 locomotives that Alco built beginning in 1941 for freight service between Cheyenne, Wyo., and Ogden, Utah until the last steamed in 1959.
Mastrobuoni said he participated by phone in a meeting Tuesday in which Ed Dickens, who manages UP’s fleet of historic operating steam and diesel equipment, appeared at a chapter meeting in California to pitch the idea. He said Dickens on Saturday is expected to provide more details about what UP would offer and called discussions “preliminary.”
The idea is already controversial, as some board and chapter members consider the Big Boy as the centerpiece of the club’s exhibit. The 4014 was donated to the chapter in 1962. The exhibit also includes a UP DD40X Centennial diesel No. 6915, UP 4-12-2 No. 9000, Southern Pacific 4-10-2 No. 5021, and Santa Fe 4-6-4 No. 3450.
“If we can come to an agreement with the railroad, an operating Big Boy is better than one on display,” Mastrobuoni said. “We’d lose the engine for display, but we’d be known everywhere as the group that helped make one run again.”
He added that rebuilding the No. 4014 would take several years with the aim of operating for the 150th celebration of the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 2019. The coal-burning engine would be converted to oil firing.
The railroad has not publicly announced plans to expand its operating steam locomotive fleet, which includes the never retired 4-8-4 No. 844, which made an extensive systemwide tour this year for the company’s 150th anniversary of its founding, and 4-6-6-4 No. 3985, which is undergoing a major overhaul.
Contrary to Internet reports that UP has vetted the other seven Big Boys, representatives of the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wis., the Forney Museum of Transportation in Denver, and the Steamtown National Park Service site in Scranton, Pa., said Friday that none have been officially contacted. On its face, the engine in southern California, with its dry climate, would be among the best condition.
In addition to 4014, the following UP Big Boys are still in existence: 4004, in Holliday Park, Cheyenne, Wyo.; 4005, Forney Transportation Museum, Denver, Colo.; 4006, Museum of Transport, St. Louis,Mo.; 4012, Steamtown, Scranton, Pa.; 4017, National Railroad Museum, Green Bay, Wis.; 4018, Museum of the American Railroad, Dallas, Texas; 4023, Kenefick Park, Omaha, Neb.

 

 

  • Member since
    March, 2004
  • From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • 6,555 posts
Posted by davidmbedard on Monday, December 10, 2012 8:15 PM
I'm sorry, but that story is false.

The real story is that Canadian Pacific has re-acquired a T1c from the Heritage Park Group (llc) and is going to start restoring it to operating condition starting in the new year.

David B

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • 180 posts
Posted by thomas81z on Monday, December 31, 2012 5:27 PM

now that the inital announcement is out , i want an update on what happening now Stick out tongue

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Southwest US
  • 11,747 posts
Posted by tomikawaTT on Monday, December 31, 2012 6:50 PM

If you trundle down the page to the Trains MAGAZINE forums, you'll find a five page thread on this piece of old news.

So, what's the final verdict?  Don't know, and don't really care.

Chuck (occasional science fiction author  -  Live for the future, not in the past)

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • 180 posts
Posted by thomas81z on Tuesday, January 01, 2013 12:42 PM

tomikawaTT

If you trundle down the page to the Trains MAGAZINE forums, you'll find a five page thread on this piece of old news.

So, what's the final verdict?  Don't know, and don't really care.

Chuck (occasional science fiction author  -  Live for the future, not in the past)

ok ahhh if you dont care why are you in this thread ?? just sayinHmm

  • Member since
    December, 2001
  • From: Smoggy L.A.
  • 10,415 posts
Posted by vsmith on Wednesday, January 02, 2013 9:56 AM

Final verdict?

Don't believe it until you see it being shipped to Cheyenne, even then detailed inspection could get 86 the entire project if hidden flaws are discovered (which I think it highly possible), until then all discussion is just intrigue.

   Have fun with your trains

  • Member since
    September, 2002
  • 6,201 posts
Posted by ndbprr on Saturday, January 05, 2013 8:07 AM
Anybody who thinks this has more probabity then a snowballs chance in hexx should hold their breath until they pass out and maybe they will come to their senses when they wake up.
  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • 180 posts
Posted by thomas81z on Saturday, January 05, 2013 9:18 AM

ndbprr
Anybody who thinks this has more probabity then a snowballs chance in hexx should hold their breath until they pass out and maybe they will come to their senses when they wake up.

lol 1218/ 611/4449/ 3985/ ring a bell . if UNION PACIFIC wants it , it will be done

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • 180 posts
Posted by thomas81z on Saturday, January 05, 2013 9:25 AM

here i got this from the steam preservation thread

FTA:"...A Dec. 23 letter sent by the chapter's board of directors to its members, and obtained by Trains Magazine, indicates a substantial division, both in the board and the museum’s membership, as to the ultimate fate of the locomotive. The letter stressed that at this time there is no firm proposal from the railroad, and the two parties are only in the midst of exploratory discussions. The chapter's board has unilateral authority to make such a deal. However, the board decided the issue to be important enough to take a vote of the membership in the matter.

Part of the proposed transaction would be for UP to provide alternate equipment for display, presumably a diesel locomotive or locomotives, to replace the Big Boy. Union Pacific has made it clear to the chapter that it would not consider a trade for another steam locomotive, as the railroad feels it is not in a position to thin its roster further.

Ed Dickens, manager of Union Pacific’s steam program, visited the chapter's exhibit on the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds Nov. 30-Dec. 4. According to the board, at that time, Dickens expressed interest in the Big Boy project. If the 4-8-8-4 does return to the railroad, after restoration, the belief is that No. 4014 would eventually visit most of the 23-state railroad.

Some members are in favor of having the locomotive back under steam again, which also means returning it to Union Pacific. Chapter members in favor of a trade feel that the primary benefit, not only for the chapter, but also for the public in general, is that people will be able to see a Big Boy in action.
Others are adamant that the removal of the Big Boy would weaken the position of the chapter as a viable museum. They believe that the absence of the No. 4014 will negatively impact visitor attendance to Pomona. In addition, there are concerns that if the Union Pacific operates the locomotive, the chapter would not receive appropriate recognition for its efforts.

One unanimous area of agreement in the chapter: If the No. 4014 is transferred to the UP, and for some reason the restoration project fails, is for any reason canceled, or the railroad's steam program is canceled, contract must include a clause to return the locomotive to the chapter in a condition as good as, or better then when transferred.

As a potential deal sweetener, the California museum has indicated that once the Big Boy is back in operation, the Union Pacific would consider operating a fan trip with the No. 4014 solely for the chapter's benefit. A counter argument has surfaced that if and when the locomotive begins system wide tours, it would rarely return to the Golden State.

Union Pacific has apparently indicated that, in case a deal with the Pomona cannot be reached, the railroad has other options. That is widely regarded to mean that there are Big Boy's elsewhere in the country that are potential restoration candidates.

Some members feel that loosing the Big Boy would put the chapter itself in jeopardy. Others point out that the group has other significant assets on display, including UP 4-12-2 No. 9000, SP 4-10-2 No. 5021, Santa Fe 4-6-4 No. 3450, and UP “Centennial” DD40AX No. 6915..."


So there you have it... The pot continues to boil, and Negotiations continue.  Hopefully, to a satisfactory end for all parties My 2 Cents

  • Member since
    January, 2013
  • 5 posts
Posted by chutes5632 on Monday, January 21, 2013 3:12 PM

Would love to see a Big Boy run again and a 9000 4-12-2 run again. iT MIGHT BE A PIPE DREAM  But we can dream can't we. Cool

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • 180 posts
Posted by thomas81z on Tuesday, January 22, 2013 3:39 PM

chutes5632

Would love to see a Big Boy run again and a 9000 4-12-2 run again. iT MIGHT BE A PIPE DREAM  But we can dream can't we. Cool

hummm the 9000 wow that would be cool but its taking alot legal manuvering just to get the 4014 so i doubt they would give up the only 9000Sad

  • Member since
    March, 2007
  • From: South Carolina
  • 1,711 posts
Posted by Train Modeler on Wednesday, January 23, 2013 10:22 AM

I have found that without dreamers/big picture types many big developments don't get started, much less completed.   We have heard rumors of a Big Boy returning on and off for years and I have wanted all of them to be true ever since I stepped into the cab of one.     I am assuming someone has figured out a fix for the boiler vs firebox issue using oil--I sure hope so.   Maybe that's what the third party is bringing to the table?

Thanks for the updates.

Richard

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • 180 posts
Posted by thomas81z on Thursday, January 24, 2013 12:24 PM

Train Modeler

I have found that without dreamers/big picture types many big developments don't get started, much less completed.   We have heard rumors of a Big Boy returning on and off for years and I have wanted all of them to be true ever since I stepped into the cab of one.     I am assuming someone has figured out a fix for the boiler vs firebox issue using oil--I sure hope so.   Maybe that's what the third party is bringing to the table?

Thanks for the updates.

Richard

well this has alittle more behind it then 10 guys that have layouts in their basement & wanna restore a steam engine lol, if they union pacific wants it a big boy WILL be restored might not be the 4014 but there is alot to chose from & union pacific has the lawyers & the logicstics to move any of them

  • Member since
    December, 2009
  • 268 posts
Posted by Thomas 9011 on Friday, January 25, 2013 8:39 PM

I am active on several other forums and from what I have read (from members of the UP steam crew, and the people representing the Pomona museum) is that the restoration and the running of the Big boy are not the problems. They have already done extensive research into the running, and restoration of the locomotive. 

The delay is finding a replacement locomotive for the Pomona museum. I say horsesh** on this article saying that the UP can't find a SD40T-2 (one of the locomotives the museum would like to trade for). The UP has 7 of them. There is many more scattered all over the United states the UP can buy. I am sure Larry's truck electric has a few

 For all you people saying the length of the Big boy is too long to run.The length of the DD40X is 98 feet. The length of the Big boy locomotive is 85 feet (minus tender). The DD40X is not only as long as the Big boy it is 13 feet longer! The DD40X travels all over the UP system.

Even if the Pomona locomotive does not work out. The Big boy in Holiday park should be easy to acquire.

 

 

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • 180 posts
Posted by thomas81z on Saturday, January 26, 2013 9:11 AM

Thomas 9011

I am active on several other forums and from what I have read (from members of the UP steam crew, and the people representing the Pomona museum) is that the restoration and the running of the Big boy are not the problems. They have already done extensive research into the running, and restoration of the locomotive. 

The delay is finding a replacement locomotive for the Pomona museum. I say horsesh** on this article saying that the UP can't find a SD40T-2 (one of the locomotives the museum would like to trade for). The UP has 7 of them. There is many more scattered all over the United states the UP can buy. I am sure Larry's truck electric has a few

 For all you people saying the length of the Big boy is too long to run.The length of the DD40X is 98 feet. The length of the Big boy locomotive is 85 feet (minus tender). The DD40X is not only as long as the Big boy it is 13 feet longer! The DD40X travels all over the UP system.

Even if the Pomona locomotive does not work out. The Big boy in Holiday park should be easy to acquire.

yea they have the list worked out in order of conditon from what i understand so its not if but which 1 they will drop the money on , & on the length issue look @ the auto racks they are 89' plus unarticulated so there is no problem about length / weight

 

 

  • Member since
    May, 2004
  • 4,034 posts
Posted by tatans on Sunday, January 27, 2013 3:35 PM

The Selkirk in Calgary is beyond repair from neglect, damage so bad it is cheaper to build a new locomotive, but the preservation is almost finished for the C.P.R.  3101 Northern in Regina Sask.,  3 years of work finally coming to fruition.

  • Member since
    November, 2003
  • From: Rhode Island
  • 1,949 posts
Posted by carnej1 on Monday, January 28, 2013 11:23 AM

Thomas 9011

I am active on several other forums and from what I have read (from members of the UP steam crew, and the people representing the Pomona museum) is that the restoration and the running of the Big boy are not the problems. They have already done extensive research into the running, and restoration of the locomotive. 

The delay is finding a replacement locomotive for the Pomona museum. I say horsesh** on this article saying that the UP can't find a SD40T-2 (one of the locomotives the museum would like to trade for). The UP has 7 of them. There is many more scattered all over the United states the UP can buy. I am sure Larry's truck electric has a few

 For all you people saying the length of the Big boy is too long to run.The length of the DD40X is 98 feet. The length of the Big boy locomotive is 85 feet (minus tender). The DD40X is not only as long as the Big boy it is 13 feet longer! The DD40X travels all over the UP system.

Even if the Pomona locomotive does not work out. The Big boy in Holiday park should be easy to acquire.

 

 

Although I'm sure the UP is studying the clearance issues and that alone prob. is not a deal killer on this proposal, you are making an apples and oranges comparison between the Big Boy and the DD40X. It's not really the length of the equipment as much as it is the wheelbase and the ability of the running gear to operate smootly and safely on given track.

 A diesel truck, even a DD one has very different dynamic motion than a set of steam locomotive drivers..

"I Often Dream of Trains"-From the Album of the Same Name by Robyn Hitchcock

  • Member since
    February, 2012
  • 180 posts
Posted by thomas81z on Monday, January 28, 2013 4:05 PM

carnej1

Thomas 9011

I am active on several other forums and from what I have read (from members of the UP steam crew, and the people representing the Pomona museum) is that the restoration and the running of the Big boy are not the problems. They have already done extensive research into the running, and restoration of the locomotive. 

The delay is finding a replacement locomotive for the Pomona museum. I say horsesh** on this article saying that the UP can't find a SD40T-2 (one of the locomotives the museum would like to trade for). The UP has 7 of them. There is many more scattered all over the United states the UP can buy. I am sure Larry's truck electric has a few

 For all you people saying the length of the Big boy is too long to run.The length of the DD40X is 98 feet. The length of the Big boy locomotive is 85 feet (minus tender). The DD40X is not only as long as the Big boy it is 13 feet longer! The DD40X travels all over the UP system.

Even if the Pomona locomotive does not work out. The Big boy in Holiday park should be easy to acquire.

 

 

Although I'm sure the UP is studying the clearance issues and that alone prob. is not a deal killer on this proposal, you are making an apples and oranges comparison between the Big Boy and the DD40X. It's not really the length of the equipment as much as it is the wheelbase and the ability of the running gear to operate smootly and safely on given track.

 A diesel truck, even a DD one has very different dynamic motion than a set of steam locomotive drivers..

yea i do have a good feeling that this will come to  forwishen Pirate

Join our Community!

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

Trains free email newsletter
NEWS » PHOTOS » VIDEOS » HOT TOPICS & MORE
GET OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX
Connect with us
ON FACEBOOK AND TWITTER

Loading...