Union Pacific’s iconic steam locomotive Big Boy No. 4014 will be rambling through Central Nebraska this week, with stops planned in Gibbon on Thursday and Central City on Friday. A stopover in Grand Island on Thursday will have no public access.
According to Union Pacific, Big Boy’s ramble across Nebraska this year is titled “Great Race Across the Midwest.”
Fans of the great locomotives that made America great can keep track of Big Boy’s journey through the state on upstream.com. There they can find a route map and tour schedule, including No. 4014’s GPS location tracking information. Due to the dynamic nature of these operations, running times and scheduled stops are subject to change.
The train is scheduled to arrive in Sidney at 12:15 p.m. on Monday, then will have a layover. On Tuesday, its trip continues to Ogallala, where it is expected to arrive at 10:30 a.m. for a 45-minute stop. Both Sidney and Ogallala are in Mountain Daylight Time.
Its next stop Tuesday will be at 1:30 p.m. in North Platte, where the train will have a layover for a day and a half at the downtown crossing on East Front Street.
The journey will continue on Thursday when No. 4014 will arrive in Lexington at 9:45 a.m. for a 45-minute stop at 202 W. Pacific Ave. It will then arrive in Gibbon at 12:01 p.m. for a scheduled 15-minute stop at the Pawnee Road Crossing. It will arrive in Grand Island at 1:30 p.m. for a layover at a private rail facility. There will be no public access to the locomotive while it’s in Grand Island.
On Friday, at 9 a.m., “Big Boy” will arrive at C Ave. in Central City for a 15 minute stop before resuming its journey to Columbus and Fremont before its makes its final Nebraska stop at the UP Home Plate in Omaha.
According to Raquel Espinoza of Union Pacific, 25 Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific. The first was delivered in 1941 to handle the steep terrain between Cheyenne, Wyo., and Ogden, Utah.
Of the eight still in existence, Espinoza said No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy and the only one still owned by Union Pacific.
She said following more than two and a half years of restoration, No. 4014 recently completed its inaugural tour to Ogden for Union Pacific’s 150th anniversary celebration of the transcontinental railroad’s completion.
“The Big Boy and historic steam locomotive Living Legend No. 844 met nose-to-nose, recreating the iconic image taken May 10, 1869, when the last spike was tapped into place at Promontory Summit, creating America’s first transcontinental railroad,” Espinoza said.