'Big Boy' to make overnight stop in McAlester

·2 min read

Jul. 9—The world's largest steam locomotive will make an overnight stop in McAlester on Aug. 12 as part of a 10-state tour celebrating railroad heritage and the communities Union Pacific serves.

Union Pacific announced its Big Boy No. 4014 will leave Cheyenne, Wyoming on Aug. 5 and will make brief whistle-stops in communities across Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming as part of "The Big Boy 2021 Tour."

One of those stops will be an overnight stay in McAlester near the intersection of North Main Street and East Krebs Avenue on Aug. 12 at 4 p.m. before leaving Aug. 13 at 9 a.m.

No. 4014 will also make brief whistle stops on its way to McAlester in Vinita, Pryor, Wagoner, and Muskogee.

The McAlester stop will be a "viewing only" stop, which is a location where people can view the Big Boy only, with no tours on the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car and no merchandise sold.

It is the last overnight stop before the locomotive makes its first display stop in Ft. Worth, Texas on Aug. 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Display day stops include access to the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car, with special-edition Big Boy souvenirs available for sale from the merchandise tent. Admission to display days are free.

Other cities the Big Boy will be displayed are Houston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; St. Louis, Missouri; and Denver, Colorado.

A complete schedule can be found by visiting www.up.com/heritage/steam/schedule/index.htm.

Weighing in at 1.2 million pounds, the Big Boy, built in 1941, is the largest, heaviest, and most powerful operational steam locomotive in the world, according to Union Pacific. The Big Boy stands 17 feet tall and is 133 feet long — 99 feet less than a Boeing 747.

Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific. Only eight remain today, with the other seven held in static displays in museums at Cheyenne, Wyoming; Denver, Colorado; Frisco, Texas; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Omaha, Nebraska; Scranton, Pennsylvania; and St. Louis, Missouri.

According to Union Pacific, No. 4014 was retired in December 1961, traveling a total of 1,031,205 miles in its 20 years in service.

Union Pacific reacquired No. 4014 in 2013 from the RailGiants Train Museum in Pomona, California after the train spent 52 years at the museum. The company spent the next six-years restoring the train to operational condition prior to the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Visitors are strongly encouraged by Union Pacific to keep safety top of mind while viewing and photographing No. 4014 on its journey.

Once the train begins its trek, a map showing No. 4014's location and route will be available at www.upsteam.com.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com

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