Famed steam locomotive embarks on June tour from Wyoming to Nebraska
OMAHA, NEB., MAY 19, 2023
Union Pacific’s famed Big Boy No. 4014, the world’s largest steam locomotive, returns to the rails on June 7 for its Home Run Express Tour to Omaha, Nebraska, where it will be on display for 11 days during the college baseball championship.
The 1.1 million pound locomotive that was built to haul heavy freight during World War II can be viewed at Home Plate next to Charles Schwab Field in Omaha from June 15-25, with numerous whistle-stops planned along its journey from Cheyenne, Wyoming, to the ballpark.
“The Big Boy is a special piece of Union Pacific’s history that played a vital role in helping carry the nation through World War II, and reminds us of rail’s continued role in the U.S. economy,” said Scott Moore, senior vice president – Corporate Relations and Chief Administrative Officer. “We are delighted to provide rail enthusiasts and baseball fans alike the opportunity to bask in the glory of two distinctly American passions, experiencing the rich history of rail and the thrill of a baseball game.”
Baseball shares a deep connection with railroads, dating back to the late 1800s. As the sport grew, players and fans relied upon rail to travel long distances for games. By 1876, game times were being scheduled to coincide with train schedules.
Big Boy will leave Cheyenne, Wyoming, on June 7, en route to Omaha. It will make numerous whistle-stops in Wyoming and Nebraska before returning to its home base in Cheyenne on July 3. During its Omaha display, the public will be allowed to see the locomotive up close between June 15-21 and June 24-25 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Scheduled whistle-stops and public displays:
- June 7 – Albin and LaGrange, Wyoming, overnight in Gering, Nebraska.
- June 8 – Broadwater and Lemoyne, Nebraska, overnight in North Platte
- June 9 – North Platte layover
- June 10 – Cozad, Kearney and Grand Island
- June 11 – Columbus and Fremont
- June 15-21 – Omaha, public display
- June 24-25 – Omaha, public display
- June 29 – Fremont, Columbus and Grand Island
- June 30 – Overton and Gothenburg, overnight in North Platte
- July 1 – North Platte layover
- July 2 – Ogallala and Chappell, overnight in Sidney
- July 3 – Kimball, Nebraska and Pine Bluffs, Wyoming
Twenty-five Big Boy locomotives were built for Union Pacific to haul freight over the steep grade of the Wasatch Mountain Range in Utah during World War II. Eight were preserved after the locomotive was retired six decades ago, but only Big Boy No. 4014 is still in operation.
The locomotive was restored for 2019’s “Great Race” tours to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad’s completion. In 2021, Big Boy brought out more than 1 million people to see the engine as it traveled through 10 southern and midwestern states, including Texas and Louisiana, followed by a special trip in 2022 to Union Station in Denver, Colorado, as part of Cheyenne’s Frontier Days.
A steam tracking map showing No. 4014’s location and route will be available at upsteam.com.