Retrotech, Back at Work

A Union Pacific steam locomotive, built in 1941, was returning from a visit to the College World Series in Omaha, when it was called upon to rescue a stuck freight train which needed some extra tractive effort to get over a hill.

More about this locomotive and its history here.

See also my post A Retrotech Adventure.

7 thoughts on “Retrotech, Back at Work”

  1. “Big Boy” was in Tucson 2 years ago as part of its tour after restoration. We went down to the rail yard to see it. The traffic jam was so great we never got to se it. We tried to get into the area but the crowds were too great.

    I think this has something to do with the dissatisfaction with the present reality in this country. The movie theater we usually go to on the rare occasions we go to a theater, shows classic movies in addition to the recent releases. Now, granted Oro Valley is a city with an older population than say, Los Angeles, but the theater was full on a Monday afternoon to see “Sound of Freedom.”

  2. Fun to watch, but I’d say cooked up by the dispatchers.
    A freight consist just happens to be underpowered, directly in front of the restored steam engine’s consist, where people were going to see the 4014 and take pictures.
    Along comes the Big Boy, and with a huge blast of diesel smoke (it was converted from coal years ago) it shoves it all along. Coincidental.
    If you watch the video, about 5th or 6th along in the Big Boy’s consist is an ALCO Super diesel electric, which normally tows the 4014 string cross country.

  3. Here’s the decent Wikipedia article in the type:

    There are seven others on display various places, none west of the Continental Divide. Unfortunately for Mike, the closest to Arizona is the one in Denver. There’s one in Frisco Texas I’ll have to remember to visit sometime.

    Unsurprisingly, railroads employ a fair number of train nuts and steam train nuts too. I don’t expect the demonstration took much in the way of extraordinary motivation to pull off.

  4. I highly doubt UP intended this as some sort of stunt. Trains can lose power and stall for any number of reasons, and it’s something that no dispatcher or trainmaster wants to deal with as it ties up a line for hours. 4014 is impressive enough as is.

    This isn’t the first time this has happened. Back when UP’s Northern 844 (aka UP 8444) was restored it also had to assist a freight, this time over Sherman Hill into Cheyenne WY.

    UP 4015 is in the consist to provide immediate protection power in case of an emergency, as well as allowing the use of dynamic (regenerative) braking which saves wear and tear on the dynamic components and brakes of 4014 herself and the Heritage passenger fleet. It’s a standard UP freight locomotive that is returned to the general pool between trips with 4014. The Heritage Fleet passengers are often repositioned using general freight locomotives or on regular trains.

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