Union Pacific’s iconic steam locomotive Big Boy No. 4014 will visit North Platte July 9-11, parked on the rail siding next to Front St. downtown.
If Big Boy is on schedule, it will arrive at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 9. It will layover there the next day and leave at 8 a.m. Thursday, July 10.
The stop will provide an opportunity to see this rolling piece of history during its tour across the Midwest in observation of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railway.
The locomotive can be seen from the street. No public access is expected.
Big Boy will return to North Platte during Rail Days in early August, when the public can see it up close.
On the way to North Platte Tuesday, the locomotive will make a 45-minute stop in Ogallala at 10:30 a.m. MT.
After leaving North Platte Thursday, it is scheduled for a 45-minute stop in Lexington at 9:45 a.m.
A comprehensive route map and tour schedule, including No. 4014’s GPS location tracking information is available HERE.
Here is the full schedule from Cheyenne to Omaha: (Running times and scheduled stops are subject to change.)
July 8 — 12:15 p.m. MT Scheduled arrival and layover at 10th St. and Hickory Street in Sydney.
July 9 — 10:30 a.m. MT Scheduled 45-minute stop at Spruce St. crossing in Ogallala.
1:30 p.m. CT — Scheduled arrival and layover downtown crossing on E. Front St. in North Platte.
July 11 — 9:45 a.m. CT Scheduled 45-minute stop at 202 W. Pacific Ave. and N St. in Lexington.
12:01 p.m. CT Scheduled 15-minute stop at Pawnee Road Crossing in Gibbon.
1:30 p.m. CT Arrival and layover at private rail facility in Grand Island – no public access.
July 12 — 9 a.m. CT Scheduled 15-minute stop at C Ave. crossing in Central City.
10:30 a.m. CT Scheduled 45-minute stop at 26th Ave. crossing in Columbus.
12:45 p.m. CT Scheduled 45-minute stop at 10 South Main St. in Fremont.
5:45 p.m. CT Arrival and layover at UP Home Plate in Omaha.
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, Wyo. and Ogden, Utah, carrying freight during World War II.
Of the eight still in existence, No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy and the only one still owned by Union Pacific. Following more than two-and-a-half years of restoration, No. 4014 recently completed traveled to Ogden for the anniversary celebration of the transcontinental railroad’s completion.
The Big Boy and historic steam locomotive Living Legend No. 844 met nose-to-nose, recreating the iconic photograph taken May 10, 1869, when the last spike was tapped into place at Promontory Summit, creating America’s first transcontinental railroad.
On Aug. 3-6, the Rail Days celebration will be held to synchronize with with Big Boy’s stop in North Platte on its way back to Cheyenne. Rail Days will begin the weekend before the train arrives.
On Saturday, Aug. 3 at Cody Park, there will be free rides, inflatables, swimming, food, vendors and more; including a Clifford the Big Red Dog photo booth, organizer Kirsten Parker of the Golden Spike said.
Big Boy will arrive the Monday evening, Aug. 5. It will be open the next day to the public, along with a special “experience car” filled with Union Pacific history.