Big Boy's Big Day
Cheyenne and Railroad history enthusiasts as well as Cheyenne Parks and Recreation department employees gathered in Holiday Park on July 9th, 2018 at 12 p.m. for Big Boy No. 4004's ribbon cutting and reintroduction to the public. Big Boy No. 4004 was scheduled for cosmetic restoration later in 2017 and after 6 months has recently had its reintroduction.
This Big-Boy steam engine is one of 25 of the world's largest steam engines. These locomotives were built specially for the Union Pacific railroad in Schenectady, New York from 1941-1944 by the American Locomotive Company. These steam engines aren't labeled world's largest for just any reason, these big boys measure out to be 132 feet long and weigh 1.2 million pounds. These steam engines were created with the purpose of efficiently navigating curves and often operated on the track between Cheyenne, Wyoming and Ogden, Utah. The steam engines earned their rightful nickname from a worker chalking "Big Boy" onto a smokebox door, thus the Big Boy was created.
For Big Boy No. 4004 it's last venture would be from Cheyenne to Laramie in October of 1958 where it was then stored for several years before being donated to Cheyenne. The 4004 reached its final resting place of Cheyenne's Holiday Park in June of 1963 taking its place as one of the 8 Big Boys on display in the country. 4004 was built in 1941 weighing 1,208,750lbs with a fuel capacity of 28 tons, water capacity of 25,000 gallons, cost of $265,000.00, and has run 440,545 miles.
The full restoration of No.4004 took place over 6 months including removal of asbestos and a fresh paint job along with several other internal repairs for safety concerns. One of the main objectives of the restorations was that it would appear to be in the same condition as when it was first delivered in 1941. The restoration was finished concluding with a grand reopening and ribbon cutting on July 9th, 2018 in Holiday Park.
Cheyenne and Railroad history enthusiasts as well as Cheyenne Parks and Recreation department employees gathered in Holiday Park on July 9th, 2018 at 12 p.m. for Big Boy No. 4004's ribbon cutting and reintroduction to the public. This was a momentous occasion that many thought might have never come. The restoration of No.4004 was agreed upon and set back in November of 2017. Many residents of Cheyenne gathered for the reintroduction of one of Cheyenne's largest tourist attractions and most popular landmarks. Many visitors were granted the once in a life time opportunity of experiencing Big Boy from inside the fence.
©Molly G. Photography 2018
all information provided in this article is found at the historical sight of Big Boy in Holiday Park.
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