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Steam & Excursion > Field of Dreams – UP 4014 in Iowa/Nebraska (photo essay)


Date: 08/14/19 00:24
Field of Dreams – UP 4014 in Iowa/Nebraska (photo essay)
Author: mfmalk

Link to Photos

Follow the link above to my photo essay of the Union Pacific Big Boy #4014 in Iowa and Nebraska last month. The weather was miserably hot and humid, yet people turned out in droves. Surprising was the numbers just standing around trackside. Not inline for anything – just soaking it all in. It was so much more than the images captured; rather the rare experience and magic of bringing great joy to countless thousands by an operating steam locomotive from a bygone era.

But not just any steam locomotive. Twenty five ‘Big Boy’ locomotives were built to haul freight over the Wasatch Mountains between Utah and Wyoming. In the late 1940s, they were reassigned to Cheyenne, Wyoming, hauling freight over Sherman Hill to Laramie. These were the only locomotives to use a 4-8-8-4 wheel arrangement: four-wheel leading truck for stability entering curves, two sets of eight driving wheels and a four-wheel trailing truck to support the large firebox.

Eight Big Boys survive today, most on static display at museums across the country. 4014 was re-acquired by the Union Pacific Railroad in 2013 for restoration to operating condition. The locomotive’s rebirth was completed in May 2019 and made its first runs since 1959 that same month, allowing it to regain the title as the largest and most powerful operating steam locomotive in the world.

Doing the job it’s now called on to perform as a public relations tool, 4014 is an absolute home run! The locomotive looks good. Union Pacific looks good. The public left with a good opinion of the railroad. Steam and community brought together. All of those people who came out to witness the 4014 operating were surely not all railfans. Mission accomplished!

At some point I will rejoin the chase as 4014 again embarks from home base in Cheyenne for some Southern California excursions in October; I look forward to seeing so many families out enjoying the view of the train performing. And seeing that menacing yet very graceful beast in motion.

Thank you to Union Pacific and the steam crew for all their hard work in making this experience so enjoyable for us all.

Enjoy,
Matthew



Date: 08/14/19 04:04
Re: Field of Dreams – UP 4014 in Iowa/Nebraska (photo essay)
Author: Bob3985

A great photo essay Matthew. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Bob Krieger
Cheyenne, WY



Date: 08/14/19 08:26
Re: Field of Dreams – UP 4014 in Iowa/Nebraska (photo essay)
Author: Bucyrus-Erie

Always enjoy your work, Matthew. 



Date: 08/14/19 08:37
Re: Field of Dreams – UP 4014 in Iowa/Nebraska (photo essay)
Author: meixel

Beautiful!

John Meixel
Longmont, CO



Date: 08/14/19 16:30
Re: Field of Dreams – UP 4014 in Iowa/Nebraska (photo essay)
Author: mfmalk

Thank you everyone!
Like us all, I patiently wait for UP to release their October schedule.
As a former resident of Southern California, I would like to catch it on the high desert after coming out of the L.A. basin; I can already envision those scenes.
Matthew

 



Date: 08/15/19 07:25
Re: Field of Dreams – UP 4014 in Iowa/Nebraska (photo essay)
Author: spdaylight

Great photo of Ed . .  looks like a 'proud papa'!  Well done and thanks for the essay

Craig
mcmrailvideos.com
 



Date: 08/15/19 07:50
Re: Field of Dreams – UP 4014 in Iowa/Nebraska (photo essay)
Author: mfmalk

The photos of Ed Dickens are a cool little story in itself. Three of us were granted special permission by Union Pacific police to approach the tied down locomotive at dust to photograph it, as seen in the very last image of the bunch. As we are standing around waiting for the conditions to get right up walks a man in a yellow vest to survey 4014. Afterwards he approaches us and introduces himself. Here is a guy who just spent the entire day running the engine, is most definitely tired, hungry, and in need of a shower. He proceeds to give us 45 minutes of his time, telling us about his day as well as being interested in our story. Before him leaving, we asked if we could take his portrait with the locomotive. He was more than willing to do so. Pure class and professionalism by him and the officers who helped to make the photos of Ed possible. Thank you!

Matthew



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