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Steam & Excursion > What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?


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Date: 12/08/12 13:03
What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: unseenthings

Since there is all this foaming and speculation about seeing a Big Boy run, I know the thought running in the back on several people heads is how can I get a ride. Granted, most of us on here or more about chasing than riding, but I'm sure it's not something one would want to pass up. Many of us on here have had the privilege of riding behind, or running 844 & 3985, even though UP has never sold a single ticket(AFAIK) due to non compete with AMTRAK. However, there has always been a way around that, either selling/renting the entire train set to an organization, or flat out donating it. However even this is few and far between, and usually even then, one has to be a member of the recipient group. I have never heard of anyone trying to buy the train just to offer a one off excursion to the paying public, I'm guessing the price is just too high unless UP steps in to subsidize the cost. And most importantly, feels it is in their best interest. Maybe someone will chime in why there has never been a "Ride behind the worlds largest steam locomotive one day only Saturday July X between X & X" sale before. promoted by some venture group. None the less would it be possible to try something like that for a Big Boy excursion, and what would you pay?



Date: 12/08/12 15:01
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: HotWater

About 4 or 5 years ago when there was a chance that the 4023 didn't seem to be "going anywhere soon", the proposal was discussed about taking 4023 to Cheyenne and "putting her back in service". Naturally as a coal burner, she would be restricted to the state of Wyoming, but a once a year excursion over "the Hill" and back would be a major sell-out. The general agreement was tickets would sell for $1500 to $2000 EACH for a round trip over Sherman Hill, including MANY photo run-bys.



Date: 12/08/12 15:15
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: goneon66

HotWater Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> About 4 or 5 years ago when there was a chance
> that the 4023 didn't seem to be "going anywhere
> soon", the proposal was discussed about taking
> 4023 to Cheyenne and "putting her back in
> service". Naturally as a coal burner, she would be
> restricted to the state of Wyoming, but a once a
> year excursion over "the Hill" and back would be a
> major sell-out. The general agreement was tickets
> would sell for $1500 to $2000 EACH for a round
> trip over Sherman Hill, including MANY photo
> run-bys.

i'd pay it........

66



Date: 12/08/12 16:08
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: dan

buy a ticket on a frontier days train perhaps



Date: 12/08/12 16:41
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: Bob3985

dan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> buy a ticket on a frontier days train perhaps


A 4000 could probably be turned on the KP wye in denver but it would never make it around the wye at Laramie without relaying a new one. Also at Laramie they could never turn the train again as the tail track of the old L,NP & HP has been ripped up by the roots and they could only turn the loco there. The 3985 had a tough time getting around that wye and they would grease the heck out of it.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 12/08/12 16:54
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: EmpireBuilder

First off Denver is in Colorado and it couldn't go there.

Second, the high price for a once a year trip that won't create much PR value outside of the railfan community wouldn't cover the enormous expense to rebuild and maintain it, let alone house it when the shop is cramped now. Even sold out with say 400 seats wouldn't even touch the interest on the money to do that, let alone the massive expense to put the trip on. It's not a good corporate investment. If you ran a business would you spend money like that. The stockholders sure as hell wouldn't be for it and that is the bottom line.



Date: 12/08/12 17:04
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: rehunn

Yup, coal loop at Thunder #1 to the coal loop at Mid-America #5, interesting excursion, hundreds of miles and ease of
turning, $2000 would be about right.



Date: 12/08/12 17:14
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: dan

4000's ran to denver in the past, not sure off the curvature of the present alignment, but i am optimistic



Date: 12/08/12 17:17
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: needles_sub

$2000.00 to ride behind a Big Boy. No thanks, I'll just be track side taking a picture.



Date: 12/08/12 17:27
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: EmpireBuilder

dan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> 4000's ran to denver in the past, not sure off the
> curvature of the present alignment, but i am
> optimistic

Yes, they did then. However, UP says this now - Naturally as a coal burner, she would be restricted to the state of Wyoming. So,no Colorado.



Date: 12/08/12 17:54
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: Inthehole

Nothing more than 3985. it essentially is a 4000, just to less wheels. Also, I think it was Bob or Steve told me why would you want and Big Boy, the difference is only about 10 feet.

I can also tell you from a news reporter perspective, I wouldn't cover the story any differently. To the general public, the world's largest operating steam locomotive is no different based on 10 measly feet.



Date: 12/08/12 17:56
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: dan

I didn't read that, perhaps during a wet july monsoon, with all the foam present trackside we in colo can self extinguish...

so I also didn't read it will be coal, i assumed it would be oil..after the 3985 learning curve.

But coal smoke smells better

one of the reasons i carry a shovel



Date: 12/08/12 18:19
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: mcdeo

Hmmm....$2000 to ride behind a steam engine or $2000 to operate a steam engine for 4 days in the Cumbres pass. Decisions, decisions.

Maybe I'll quite my day job and join the railroad finally.

Mike ONeill
Parker, CO
Southern California Photos and maps



Date: 12/08/12 18:28
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: RuleG

EmpireBuilder Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
However, UP says this now -
> Naturally as a coal burner, she would be
> restricted to the state of Wyoming. So,no
> Colorado.

Why would it not be allowed in Colorado if it was a coal burner?

Several coal burners already run in Colorado on the Cumbres & Toltec, Durango & Silverton and Georgetown Loop Railroad.



Date: 12/08/12 18:29
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: CarolVoss

When figuring the cost of riding behind a steam engine you have to look at who is sponsoring the excursion and what classes of px accommodations are they offering?? We rode in private dome cars behind the 4449 in October on the Deschutes run from Portland to Bend and back----pricey. Our choice. But there were many other less costly options available for px in coach. It's hard to set up a "one size fits all" price point when talking about such trips. Too many variables that can be offered.
C.

Carol Voss
Salinas, CA



Date: 12/08/12 18:42
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: EmpireBuilder

Thats what U.P. said at the time. I can understand them not wanting any liability for fires at the very least. I'm sure there are other corporate reasons.



Date: 12/08/12 19:13
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: Costanza

Word is....it's going to be converted to an oil burner....big big job there...ugh. If that happens....where it goes is restricted only by how you turn it around to go back. Except for socal....they don't like anything that's fun and makes a mess....



Date: 12/08/12 19:30
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: KeyRouteKen

STEAM excursions of any kind have gone thru the roof over the past 50+ years.

When the famous "Backwoods Special" was operated back in 1954 or so, the trip was 1200 miles thru three states, over three days and using ELEVEN locomotives including double-headed cab forwards and a rare AC-9 2-8-8-4. The price was $ 30.00 coach or $ 43.00 Pullman. Big difference, huh ??

KRK



Date: 12/08/12 19:36
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: RuleG

KeyRouteKen Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> STEAM excursions of any kind have gone thru the
> roof over the past 50+ years.
>
> When the famous "Backwoods Special" was operated
> back in 1954 or so, the trip was 1200 miles thru
> three states, over three days and using ELEVEN
> locomotives including double-headed cab forwards
> and a rare AC-9 2-8-8-4. The price was $ 30.00
> coach or $ 43.00 Pullman. Big difference, huh ??
>
> KRK

That also seems to be true for concerts and sporting events. Tickets for the first Super Bowl in 1967 were $12.00.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31751_162-57370751-10391697/super-bowl-ticket-prices-a-historical-look/



Date: 12/08/12 20:49
Re: What would you pay to ride behind a Big Boy?
Author: steam765

I Personally would rather stand along side her taking pictures and just enjoying seeing an hearing a real Big Boy
Now I would pay a lot to ride in the cab of a Big Boy that would be a dream come true



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