Author Topic: BIG BOY IS COMING  (Read 6013 times)

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Offline wolfy

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BIG BOY IS COMING
« on: April 16, 2014, 10:27:38 AM »
Another BIG BOY is on its way to Cheyenne for a full working restoration! :banana:  I saw one of these things in Sioux City a few years ago when it was hauling an excursion train.....they are REALLY big & COOL! 8)

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/huge-big-boy-steam-locomotive-coming-back-life-0
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Offline MnSportsman

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2014, 10:31:39 AM »
Funny. I read the title & first sentence & my mind immediatly went to this thought:
http://www.bigboy.com/
Thus, that a new restaurant was coming to Cheyenne.
But quickly I realized that you were talking about a steam engine & I do recall being somewhere where I could see it. I even think I took pictures( on film) but I do not recall the time nor place.


  Funny how my mind goes... It is lunchtime here right now, so that may be part of the reason...LOL
;)


Thanks for sharing the nugget of info though, Wolfy!
:D

I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline upthecreek

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2014, 10:35:53 AM »
6300 horsepower....yum yum yummy :)

Creek
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Offline Dano

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2014, 10:48:16 AM »
6300 horsepower....yum yum yummy :)

Creek

I read that earlier and thought the same thing- that's some pullin power right there!!

Offline crashdive123

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2014, 04:33:12 PM »

Offline wolfy

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2014, 05:06:25 PM »
I love the SOUND of those babies chuffing up Sherman Hill or highballin' it over the plains of my beloved Nebraska.....

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Offline upthecreek

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2014, 06:23:59 PM »
We have a restoration project on a J series at the Roanoke NS yard. Those were some awesome machines too.

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Offline wolfy

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2014, 06:41:05 PM »
Here's another one I really liked.  SMOKIN' 8)

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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2014, 07:08:08 PM »
Love to watch them O' drive arms start to pump

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Offline werewolf won

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2014, 11:17:28 AM »
Yes as a huge UP fan I cannot wait to see a Big Boy running over Sherman Hill.  The 3985 is one of the Challenger class engines, huge by most standards, but the big boys were even bigger.  They also have 844 in their heritage engine program and one of the Centennial class double diesels.   I wish they would resurrect a 4500 class turbine as well, those were UP classics too.
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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2014, 04:41:18 PM »
6300 horsepower....yum yum yummy :)

Creek

Superman is more powerful than a locomotive, but not more than THIS locomotive.  >:D
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Offline wolfy

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2014, 05:53:10 PM »
Yes as a huge UP fan I cannot wait to see a Big Boy running over Sherman Hill.  The 3985 is one of the Challenger class engines, huge by most standards, but the big boys were even bigger.  They also have 844 in their heritage engine program and one of the Centennial class double diesels.   I wish they would resurrect a 4500 class turbine as well, those were UP classics too.
Yeah, the Challenger video was my choice because I couldn't find a real good video of the Big Boy SNORTIN' LIKE A HAWG.....the 3985 video was much more impressive for the sound and the smoke trail, plus, it was shot down by Lexington, Nebraska where my father in-law lived for many years.  You have to be a heavy sleeper to live there.....the coal trains from Wyoming come roaring through, blowing the whistles at every crossing, about 25 minutes apart 24/7 ???

If you have never seen it, the biggest switch yard in the world is in North Platte, Nebraska where you can view the various trains being assembled from the new Golden Spike Tower.  It is a fascinating process.  All the cars roll onto the various lines and into position and assembled by coasting off of a hump where their descent is controlled by giant electro-magnets.   Huge facility....kids love it, including me!  Some of them asked me if I was an engineer......I think the bib overalls and hickory-striped caps I always wear may have had something to do with that.  8)

Here's an old Big Boy video that isn't too bad :shrug:

« Last Edit: April 23, 2014, 06:04:00 PM by wolfy »
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Offline Bearhunter

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2014, 06:04:53 PM »
That's awesome Wolfy :thumbsup:

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Offline werewolf won

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2014, 06:10:02 AM »
The last Big Boy ran in the early 60?s sound recording back then was not what it is today for sure.  I can only imagine what one of those beasts under load must have sounded like in person.  It is great that some rail fan took the time to record these and other locomotives on film and tape and then got them transferred from the original (8mm ??) films to a digital format.

I worked my way through college at an industrial supply company.  In those days many of the textile plants were still in New England and all of them had honking big steam boiler plants.  All were oil burners by this time, but a few were converted coal burners; some firemen had their shovels chrome plated and mounted hanging in the boiler room.  Something I should have taken a picture of, but sadly never expected them not to be there.  Today not only are the jobs gone, many of the buildings are too.

A big water tube boiler without a fire in her box is just a thing; but with steam in her chest she turns into a living breathing entity.  She needs food (fuel) air, water, a spark to bring and keep her alive.  As she comes up to pressure she creaks, pops, and groans.  The sounds of compressors and pumps fill the plant; soon you feel the heat start to build, the acrid scent of the un-burnt oil and smoke start filling the air.  It?s a dangerous time, she is just as apt to blow out or up as run; until she is hot she?ll and moan resisting the building pressure pushing out water or wisps of steam at joints that have yet to expand and seal.  As steam fills her drum the balancing act begins.  Her blow off valves are teetering between being open and sealed, the engineer?s black art and skilled hands working the valve, that allows enough of her steam out of her into the plant, but not so much that she dies waiting for her condensate to return to keep her alive, or feed water valves to open and drown her .  His eye will be glued to the pressure gauge that gives the clue to what her next move will be will she blow or go.  Soon she will be purring like a contented cat, but now she is fighting like a caged tiger, belching clouds of sooty smoke out her stack.  And that is just a stationary power plant; put wheels under her and they must have been magnificent.
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Offline Malcolm

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2014, 09:21:42 PM »
Thank you one and all!  Between the posts and subsequent Googling, I added a lot to my meager knowledge of railroads and steam engines.

Offline wolfy

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2014, 06:04:51 PM »
If you get your order in soon, you can own your very own BIG BOY, but you have to act fast!  Just like the original, there are going to be only a limited number of them made and there will never be any more produced. :-\


http://www.lionel.com/CustomerService/ProductInstructionalVideos/video.cfm?documentID=6603

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Offline hunter63

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2014, 07:14:58 PM »
That is really cool......what a hoot!

I grew up in a railroad town 1/2 way between Minneapolis/St Paul and Milwaukee....Chicag o and Northwester line.

Had a round house with a locomotive still parked there as a boiler for heat......
It was moved out and the round house was leveled when I was about 10-11 years old.

This looks like it, Bella Plaine, IA




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« Last Edit: May 11, 2014, 07:36:33 PM by hunter63 »
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Offline wolfy

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2014, 07:46:12 PM »
Cool old photo H63! :thumbsup:  Here is a page from Lionel's catalog with the Big Boy model and the price.....$2699.99 :shocked:

http://www.lionel.com/products/catalogs/interactive/2014se/html5/index.html?page=1

And a webpage link for the railroad museum & roundhouse just down the road from me in Sioux City, IA....

http://www.milwaukeerailroadshops.org
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Offline abbrown

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2014, 09:16:07 PM »
This is a funny subject... As a track maintenence manager for a certain railroad that recently introduced a new big boy into is heritage fleet restoring it from its grave in California, these were a pain in the rear when they entered your territory.  Not only does it bring excess attention, they are extremely hard on turnouts and curves (a yards worst nightmare) I never liked seeing the dang things.   

That being said I have ridden the 844 a couple times across my territory and they are impressive to see operate.

Wolfy if you're ever in Omaha, let me know and I can set you up with a tour of our Harriman dispatch center. . The life line to our railroad.

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Offline wolfy

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2014, 09:22:56 PM »
Thank you SO MUCH for the offer and don't be surprised if I take you up on it sometime! :banana: :cheers:
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Offline wolfy

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Offline wsdstan

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2019, 02:04:51 PM »
A million pounds is a lot of locomotive.
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Offline madmax

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2019, 02:20:32 PM »
My Great Uncle Ray was a railroader, snowmobiler, and ice fisherman (The women thought he was "coarse" which delighted me).  He took me to the yard and I "drove" a train.  I remember every second of it. Whiskey, tobacco, oil, and a hint of BO.  Now we watch the Great Smoky Railroad Engine steam out of Bryson City and I get goose bumps.

RIP Uncle Ray. 
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 03:00:44 PM by madmax »
At least it's not a femur through the pelvis.

Offline wolfy

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #23 on: August 04, 2019, 04:02:44 PM »
Heather & I got up bright and early for a trike trip to Columbus, Nebraska to see the BIG BOY that is finishing up its rail excursion through Nebraska, Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Missouri before heading back home to Cheyenne, Wyoming.  This was also the last chance for us to see it stopped in a small Nebraska town, rather than having to battle a cast of thousands of steam & rail fans that gather by the stops in the bigger cities like Des Moines, Iowa or Omaha. 

It was a GREAT experience to finally see, hear & FEEL this 1.2 million pound beast!  We needed jackets for about the first 30 miles of the trip, but it soon warmed up into the mid 80s for the rest of the way down to Columbus.  By the time we got home, just a few minutes ago, the thermometers on the trike and the hometown bank were sitting at 91 degrees.....and with me straddling a 107 cubic inches of hot V-twin engine! :-\

Ahh....air conditioning, I love it! 8)
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 08:32:36 AM by wolfy »
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Offline Sarge

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #24 on: August 04, 2019, 04:13:20 PM »
Glad you got to see it, wolfy!   8)
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #25 on: August 04, 2019, 10:27:40 PM »
With that kind of weight on the engine and the tender and given the 4-8-8-4 layout do they have to do anything to the various bridges and culvert crossings when it runs along?   I also wondered about the deflection of the rails and ties with that kind of loading?  I suppose the rails and bridges are built to handle that kind of weight and it probably isn't all that much heavier than some of the other trains running these days..
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Offline wolfy

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #26 on: August 05, 2019, 07:48:23 AM »
I don't know about any problems with trestles or culverts, but they are hell on the rails in the switchyards and in some of the tighter curves....which they try to avoid by switching to the lines that have the gentler curves.  Consequently, the track maintenance crews hate them, I'm told.  Besides tearing up the tracks, they throw all the schedules for the other trains into a complete tizzy because of all the scheduled 45 minute stops the BIG BOY makes for the crowds of folks that want to see it for the first & maybe last time before heading back to Cheyenne.  I was pleased to hear that the throngs of folks that came to see it along its journey have been WAY larger than the U.P. expected.  I can't imagine that they'll never fire the boilers again after this unexpectedly and wildly popular publicity tour of the heartlands. :coffee:
« Last Edit: August 05, 2019, 07:57:42 AM by wolfy »
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #27 on: August 05, 2019, 02:31:12 PM »
Makes sense.   
A man who carries a cat by the tail learns  something he can learn in no other way. 
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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #28 on: August 06, 2019, 05:57:44 PM »
Congrats Craig, glad you got to see Big Boy.
Speaking about your trike, I was in Colorado Springs on 7/28 & 29th at the Quality Inn. got up Monday morning and walk outside to find a HD trike from Neb. I kept watching for a farmer in bib's to come out. Never seen you.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #29 on: August 13, 2019, 04:42:34 PM »
I saw this engineer when Heather & I went down to Columbus to see the Big Boy last Sunday.  He was on the restoration crew that rebuilt the 4014.....it's well worth watching. :thumbsup:


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Offline crashdive123

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Re: BIG BOY IS COMING
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2019, 06:28:22 PM »
An amazing piece of machinery for its time, and still today.