• The American Locomotive Co built 25 of the monsters to Union Pacific's specifications between 1941 and 1944
  • Seventeen Big Boys were scrapped when they were pulled from service, but eight survived and are on display
  • Union Pacific chose the 4014 for restoration because it spent more than 50 years in the friendly climate of California
  • Big Boys are 132 feet long, weigh 1.2million pounds with a full load of fuel and can reach 80mph

In its prime, a massive steam locomotive known as Big Boy No. 4014 was a moving eruption of smoke and vapor, a 6,300-horsepower brute dragging heavy freight trains over the mountains of Wyoming and Utah.

It's been silent for half a century, pushed aside by more efficient diesels, but now it's coming back to life. The Union Pacific Railroad is embarking on a yearslong restoration project that will put No. 4014 back to work pulling special excursion trains.

'It's sort of like going and finding the Titanic or something that's just very elusive, nothing that we ever thought would happen,' said Jim Wrinn, editor of Trains, a magazine that covers the railroad industry.


Big Boy coming through! Locomotive of the Union Pacific Railroad to be restored to its former glory | Mail Online