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The Transcontinental Railroad’s 150th Anniversary

PHOTO COURTESY OF UNION PACIFIC


In 1869, the transcontinental railroad was completed in the U.S., revolutionizing coast-to-coast travel and igniting economic growth.

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of this historic event, Union Pacific Railroad recently restored Big Boy No. 4014—one of the world’s largest steam locomotives—to tour the Union Pacific system throughout 2019.

Big Boy’s tour includes stops in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Wyoming and California.

Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific Railroad. No. 4014 was delivered in December 1941. The locomotive, at 133 feet long and 1.2 million pounds, traveled 1,031,205 miles before its last run in 1959.

Union Pacific reacquired No. 4014 from the RailGiants Museum in Pomona, California, in 2013, to be restored. Among the eight remaining Big Boys, No. 4014 is the only one operating.