Union Pacific Historic Steam Locomotives Big Boy No. 4014, The Largest Steam Train in the World, and The Living Legend No. 844 Photographs from Their Stop at the Laramie Railroad Depot in Downtown Laramie, Wyoming | Train Photography

Union Pacific Steam Locomotive Big Boy No. 4014 Leaving Laramie, Wyoming | Fine Art Photograph by Allison Pluda / SenecaCreekStudios.com

Big Boy’s Return to Laramie, Wyoming

Union Pacific Steam Locomotive Big Boy No. 4014, the largest steam train in the world, along with The Living Legend No. 844, stopped at the Laramie Railroad Depot in Downtown Laramie, Wyoming on May 4th, 2019 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad and golden spike on its way to Ogden, Utah. The locomotive has been in Cheyenne for the last few years being worked on by engineers until it was finally restored for this commemorative trip and blew its whistle for the first time in about 60 years the day of these photographs. Ed Dickens, the senior manager of Union Pacific’s Heritage Operations and the engineer of Big Boy No. 4014, had the legendary task of getting a front row seat to smiling faces across the West. Rail fans from all over the world came to witness this historical and memorable event and an estimated 3,000 alone visited the Laramie Depot that day. For Laramie, crowds are usually something reserved for the legendary solar eclipse only, but when Big Boy came to town people were lining up along the tracks and on the overpasses and bridges starting at 7am, a full 5 hours before the trains would arrive.

The Crowd in Downtown Laramie, Wyoming Reflected in Steam Locomotive Big Boy No. 4014 | Fine Art Photograph by Allison Pluda / SenecaCreekStudios.com

History of the Big Boy Steam Train

Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific Railroad, the first of which was delivered in 1941. Big Boy engines hauled freight between Wyoming and Utah in the 1940s and 1950s and of the 25 Big Boys built, eight remain, but only this one, No. 4014, will be operational. The Big Boy locomotive measures longer than two city buses. It’s heavier than a Boeing 747 jet plane fully loaded with passengers, yet powerful enough to pull 16 Statues of Liberty over a mountain range. The locomotives were 132 feet long and weighed 1.2 million pounds. Because of their great length, the frames of the Big Boys were “hinged,” or articulated, to allow them to negotiate curves. They had a 4-8-8-4 wheel arrangement, which meant they had four wheels on the leading set of “pilot” wheels which guided the engine, eight drivers, another set of eight drivers, and four wheels following which supported the rear of the locomotive. The massive engines normally operated between Ogden, Utah, and Cheyenne, Wyo. Eight of the Big Boys were donated for public display in various cities around the country. They can be found in Pomona, Calif.; St. Louis, Mo.; Dallas, Texas; Omaha, Neb.; Denver, Colo.; Scranton, Penn.; Green Bay, Wis.; and Cheyenne, Wyo. Big Boy No. 4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December 1941. The locomotive was retired in December 1961, having traveled 1,031,205 miles in its 20 years in service. No. 4014 was moved from its display location in Pomona, Calif., to Cheyenne, Wyo., where it underwent restoration that took five years. Big Boy hit the rails in 2019 for its trip to Ogden Utah for the 150 Anniversary “The Great Race to Ogden” and the Golden Spike Ceremony, starting from Cheyenne heading west May 4, 2019 and returning May 19, 2019.

View the Big Boy Photo Gallery

See the photographs below from when the steam trains were in Laramie on May 4th, 2019 from Laramie, Wyoming professional photographer Allison Pluda of Seneca Creek Studios or visit store.senecacreekstudios.com. All photographs are available as archival fine art prints shipped to your doorstep for free.


Ask us about having the photographs you love printed in any size as a signature metal print or loose, matted, or framed paper print and shipped to you by request at no extra charge. All of our fine art prints are professionally printed, archival quality, and are priced by size. Love more than one photograph? Ask us about designing a gallery wall print collection series or custom album, folio box, or coffee table book styled just for you with all your favorite photographs. Want a certain sized wall print or looking for something in specific? Let us know if there is a particular size, location, subject, theme, or photograph you are looking for and we will custom print it for you as a metal, framed, or loose archival print at no extra cost. We will let you know as soon as we have your print ready for you so you can pick up at the studio or we can ship it to you directly.

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