|UP 4014 during her operational days|
Photo: Union Pacific
It's official. Union Pacific Railroad announced today that it has re-acquired one of their legendary 4-8-8-4 steam locomotives with the full intention of restoring it to active service. After a lengthy stay in the rumor mill, UP reached an agreement with the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, Southern California Chapter in Pomona, to transfer ownership of #4014 back to the railroad. Union Pacific plans to relocate No. 4014 to Cheyenne, WY, where their "Heritage Fleet Operations" team will work to restore it to operating condition.
UP donated #4014 to the historical society December 7, 1961, which was the 20th anniversary of Pearl Harbor in 1941, the same year that the first Big Boys began operations. The locomotive arrived January 8, 1962, at its current display location at the Rail Giants Train Museum in Pomona.
"Our steam locomotive program is a source of great pride to Union Pacific employees past and present," said Ed Dickens, senior manager of Union Pacific Heritage Operations. "We are very excited about the opportunity to bring history to life by restoring No. 4014."
What About Denver's Big Boy?
Big Boy 4005, the Big Boy on permanent display at the Forney Transportation Museum in Denver may have been considered for restoration, but given the long duration #4005 spent out under the open sky in the years before the museum moved, she almost certainly would have cost more to restore although it's unclear Union Pacific ever seriously considered the locomotive, one of several surviving Big Boys around the country.
|Union Pacific 4014 in Pomona CA in 2005|
Photo: Morven, Wikimedia Commons