Tuesday, May 6, crowds gathered around railroad tracks in Morgan County waiting for “Big Boy.” This mammoth size steam engine was built in 1941 and weighs in at a whopping 1.2 million pounds.
The train was scheduled to roll through somewhere in the 9 a.m. hour, but several other trains had to be moved in order for “Big Boy” to proceed. Onlookers were happily waving to each train that would pass by, even though each engineer likely knew their train was a disappointment.
Old and young observers waited patiently; some were there over an hour before the train finally made its way through Morgan shortly after 10 a.m. There were smiles and waves, and of course, many photographs as the engine made its way to a stop at the crossing in Echo.
The train is one of 25 “Big Boys” built exclusively for the Union Pacific Railroad at the beginning of the 1940s. Their route generally rain between Ogden, Utah, and Cheyenne, Wyoming.
This particular “Big Boy,” No. 4014, was retired in 1961 and has resided in a museum at the Los Angeles County fairgrounds for over 50 years. It traveled 1,031,205 miles in its 20 years of service.
The enormous steam engine will make its final stop in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where it will receive much needed repairs. These repairs are estimated to take from three to five years to complete.
Local resident Paul Dickson made the extra trip to Echo to see the train at a standstill and was lucky enough to photograph the engine up close. He also captured a little bit of history by snapping a picture of former Echo Café owner Frank Cattelan with “Big Boy.”