It’s not every day you get to see an antique steam engine from the 1940’s rumbling down the tracks, smoke billowing from the stacks.

Union Pacific’s historic Big Boy steam locomotive No. 4014 is touring the Union Pacific system throughout 2019 to commemorate the transcontinental railroad’s 150th anniversary. It will roll into West Chicago around 2:30 this afternoon and will be on display starting Saturday. It will spend a few days hanging out so we can all take all take a look at this piece of American history.


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The Big Boy No. 4014 moments before departure from Cheyenne.

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The train will be at the Provo Training Center in West Chicago for a few days. It rolls in today around 2:30 and will depart for Iowa on Tuesday. Click here for information from the city of West Chicago for parking information and other nuggets you’ll need to know before you go.

The Big Boy’s return to the rails is the product of more than two years of meticulous restoration work by the Union Pacific Steam Team. No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy locomotive.

Eight Big Boys survive today, most on static display at museums across the country. One locomotive, No. 4014, was re-acquired by the Union Pacific in 2013 to be restored to operating condition. The locomotive’s restoration was completed in May 2019 and made its first runs since 1959 that same month, allowing it to regain the title as the largest and most powerful operating steam locomotive in the world. In celebration of the 150th anniversary completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad, 4014 went on tour.[2][3]

When “On Display,” the public is invited to view the locomotive up close and tour the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car – a converted baggage car that serves as a rolling museum.

If you go check it out, remember that you aren’t allowed within 25 feet of the track while this beast is moving.