Several days ago I read an article in our local newspaper about an old steam locomotive that was going to pass through our area. The Union Pacific 4014 Steam Locomotive is traveling across the country. Today it went from somewhere in Wisconsin to West Chicago. I wanted to get some photos of it but I figured there would be lots of people around. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the Winfield Station about 1 1/2 hours before arrival time and there were not that many people. So I staked out my spot and waited. More people arrived, but I had my territory right on the depot platform.
Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for the Union Pacific Railroad, the first of which was delivered in 1941. The locomotives were 132 feet long and weighed 1.2 million pounds. Because of their great length, the frames of the Big Boys were "hinged," or articulated, to allow them to negotiate curves. They had a 4-8-8-4 wheel arrangement, which meant they had four wheels on the leading set of "pilot" wheels which guided the engine, eight drivers, another set of eight drivers, and four wheels following which supported the rear of the locomotive. The massive engines normally operated between Ogden, Utah, and Cheyenne, Wyo.
Big Boy No. 4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December 1941. The locomotive was retired in December 1961, having traveled 1,031,205 miles in its 20 years in service. Union Pacific reacquired No. 4014 from the RailGiants Museum in Pomona, California, in 2013, and began a multi-year restoration.
My stop was right on the end of the platform so no one would get between me and the train. I was about 2 feet from the edge of the platform and signs warned about getting any closer than the painted yellow edge. From the time I started taking images until the complete train had passed took only 39 seconds.
Four days after it came through Winfield, it headed west and traveled through the farm country in Malta, IL. I was hoping to get some nice panoramic photos of it passing through the country but before it arrived, a worker parked on the access road right in the middle of my photographing area. So plan B went into effect and I was able to get some interesting images: