News from CHEYENNE, WYO! Union Pacific (UP) Big Boy 4-8-8-4 #4014 has one set of her two legs back as of Tuesday 12/11/18. Photos published to the Union Pacific steam shop Facebook page showed UP crews on Tuesday lifting the smokebox of the gigantic locomotive and boiler with sideboom tractors and sliding the rebuilt front engine under the boiler. These photos also revealed a seemly almost completed boiler with the steam dome and smokebox inspection hatches missing and a complete backhead. The backhead looked as if it was close to completion featuring valves, piping, waterglasses, and other controls.
Moving the locomotive is a colossal step forward for the completion of the restoration of UP #4014. The 1941-built locomotive is set to run in May as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad. UP reports that it plans to send #4014 and 4-8-4 #844 to Ogden, Utah for this historic celebration. The last time a big boy locomotive ran under it's own power was in 1959, and its restoration has been moving at unprecedented speeds in the annals of the American steam locomotive preservation.
A noticed published in the federal register Thursday 12/13/18 shows that UP has asked the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) for waivers on the hot topic of Positive Train Control (PTC) compliance of steam locomotives. The railroad would like to receive waivers for locomotives #844, #4014, and Challenger 4-6-6-4 #3985.