World’s Largest Steam Locomotive returns next month: Big Boy No. 4014 steam route 2021 schedule; Plan to see a whistle stop near Joplin

Joplin News First

JOPLIN, Mo. —  Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4014 is the world’s largest steam locomotive ever created. One of eight in existence and it’s the only one that still operates (the others are in museums). Coming next month it will visit towns along the western edge of the Joplin region. Mark your calendar. You can see it chugging into these cities along Union Pacific tracks.

  • Wednesday, Aug. 11: Moran, Kansas
  • Wednesday, Aug. 11: Parsons, Kansas
  • Thursday, Aug. 12: Parsons, Kansas
  • Thursday, Aug. 12: Vinita, Oklahoma
  • Thursday, Aug. 12: Pryor, Oklahoma
  • Thursday, Aug. 12: Wagoner, Oklahoma

As it stops in these locations you will only be able view the train, and most usually for a short visit. It’s called a ‘whistle stop’. You cannot board the train for tours. The larger cities on this 10-state 2021 steam route are slated for public viewing and tours are: St. Louis, Fort Worth, New Orleans, Denver, Houston.

“Weighing in at 1.2 million pounds, the Big Boy makes a big impression in communities it visits, reminding us of bygone days and the important role the railroad continues to play in our global economy,” said Scott Moore, senior vice president – Corporate Relations and chief administrative officer. “This summer, we are proud to announce that the Big Boy will be back to tour through 10 of the states and hundreds of the communities which Union Pacific serves.”

Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific, the first of which was delivered in 1941 to handle the steep terrain between Cheyenne and Ogden. Of the eight still in existence, No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy. The other seven can be found on display in Cheyenne, Wyoming; Denver, Colorado; Frisco, Texas; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Omaha, Nebraska; Scranton, Pennsylvania; and St. Louis, Missouri.

Union Pacific strongly encourages visitors to keep safety top of mind while viewing and photographing No. 4014 on its journey. For everyone’s safety:

  • Remember, trains can’t stop quickly to avoid people or vehicles on the tracks.
  • A train’s distance and speed can be deceiving.
  • The average train overhangs the track by at least three feet – take extra precaution and stand back at least 25 feet.
  • Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and right of way are private property.
  • Never assume tracks are abandoned or inactive – always expect a train.

The Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car, a multi-media walk-through exhibition providing a glimpse at the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading, will accompany the Big Boy on its tour. A steam tracking map showing No. 4014’s location and route will be available at upsteam.com.

About Union Pacific

Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP) delivers the goods families and businesses use every day with safe, reliable and efficient service. Operating in 23 western states, the company connects its customers and communities to the global economy. Trains are the most environmentally responsible way to move freight, helping Union Pacific protect future generations. More information about Union Pacific is available at www.up.com.

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