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Sep 17, 2004
Moorpark, CA
We have been chatting a bit about trains, so I thought I would start a thread for it. I am a big fan of the old steamers. So I will start this one off with the Union Pacific Big Boy. For your rail fans, this baby is HUGE. It's a 4-8-8-4. Here are the specs for starters:

Steam Pressure: 300 lbs
Maximum tractive effort: 135,375 lbs.
Total Weight: approx. 600 tons
Coal capacity: 28 tons
Firebox: 96 in by 235 in.
Maximum horsepower: 6290
Length: 139 ft., 9 7/8 in.
Water capacity: 24,000 gallons
Fuel: soft coal
Top speed: 70 mph
Driving wheel diameter: 68 in.

Only 25 were built and they were specifically built for Union Pacific to carry freight across the Wasatch mountains. Pictures are from various sources and standard copyrights apply.

By the way, for those of you that use and, there is a suspiciously familiar layout site for train pics too! The link is below:


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Well, since I live in Doncaster I live in the town with rail history. Doncaster built the Mallard and the Flying Scotsman. It always has been, and always will be the rail center of the north. From Doncaster you can catch a train to anywhere in Britain without change. :thumbright:
Just noticed this thread! :D I dont think I've ever mentioned this here before but I'm a train nut! I'm interested in just about every kind; steam, electrics, diesels anything..

The Big Boy is a favorite of mine too Evan. As a matter of fact #4012 is on display at Steamtown here in Scranton, I've got a whole bunch of pics of it, I'm going to scan some in now and post em...
Heres a few of the Big Boy at Steamtown...


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More from Steamtown, Canadian National 2-8-2 #3254 leaving on an excursion to Moscow PA.


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Steamtowns two other operating steam locomotives, Baldwin locomotive Works 0-6-0 #26 (used for switching and rides around the yard) and Canadian Pacific 2-8-2 #2317.....


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Great stuff! I found out while looking for some pics that there is a rail museum near me that has a Big Boy and a Challenger! When the weather gets cooler, I am going to take my boy for a trip down there to see them.

Did you look at the railpictures site? They have some great shots there, including some of moving one of the Big Boys into a museum.
I love that name Union Pacific real pioneering stuff in its early days,
One of my favourite films has the Diesel Stream-liner stopping at Black Rock for Spencer Tracy to get off what a classic film that was. I almost did the trans Canadian run but didn't have quite enough funds for the trip when I was out there, if you guys ever get the chance to see a BBC series called great train journeys I urge you to watch it (bloody brilliant).
Ive had a quick trip on the footplate of the Flying Scotsman in the 70,s when it was run though an engineering yard to the work shops for tyre re-profiling.
That is one big mother of a loco Evan JCS you don't do things little in the states do you :)
Nope, we don't do it little, and Union Pacific was king of technology with those old engines. The Big Boy filled the need to get cargo over the Wasatch mountains in Utah during the war. It labored on for a number of years after the war too.

The challenger was more numerous and was another big engine for UP. I will see if I can dig up some pics of that one as well.

My dad has an HO scale Big Boy. The problem with it is, even at that guage, you need a huge turning radius (40 inches).

Must have been a real treat to take that brief ride on the Flying Scotsman!
I found out while looking for some pics that there is a rail museum near me that has a Big Boy and a Challenger! When the weather gets cooler, I am going to take my boy for a trip down there to see them.

Cool! Is the Challeneger #3985? I know its based out west somewhere but I'm not exactly sure where.

Yea, thats a great site! 8)

Some more pics, this time some modern (and not so modern) diesels!

First we have a brand new Amtrak Genisis (well brand new 2 years ago) at Steamtown, then Steamtowns Nickel Plate Road EMD GP9, which they use when 3254 or 2317 arent in steam, next an Amtrak F40PH, and last but certainly not least a Delaware Hudson GP40.


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Heres a bunch of train links:

Heres a good site they've got some great forums here for just about anything to do with trains, and lots of knowledgeable members to answer any questions you might have. (sorta the of trains ;))

A great site on steam locomotives:

Great site with stats, owner history, disposition etc on every Shay loco ever built:

Anything you can think of that has to do with model railroading you can find here:

Cool site with sound recordings of British steam:

You gotta love the GWR:

Lots of pictures of railroads in the northeast US

Great site on London, Midland and Scottish Railways Jubilee Locos:

Lots of great pictures here:
The Big Boy has always been my favorite, since I first laid eyes upon one... I remember how blown away I was by the sight of it... I also remember one time on a train ride I got a huge mouthful of coal soot..... Damn that was awful....

Im not a freak like u guys about em, but damn! some of em are just plain sexy to look at.....
It was love at first sight for me with the UP Big Boy. There is just something about the old steamers that gets to me. It's like the same thing I get when I hear a radial roar. I just grin from ear to ear and say "Oh YEAH!"
For me theres only three man made machines that seem to have a life of their own. Aircraft, Ships and Steam engines perhaps thats why there always referred to as she.
I've never felt the same about cars, I like them but they are heartless.
Blasphemy, cars aren't heartless! They have spirit, presence and character!

I'm glad we managed to keep the Flying Scotsman in Britain. Damn East Europeans trying to take it. I think it should be in Doncaster but it's in York Rail Museum, close enough.
A friend of mine from Massachusetts saw The Flying Scotsman when it was brought over here to the states on a tour back in the 60s or 70s. Hes got pictures of them lifting it off of the ship and stuff. Hes been trying to find them for a while now, if he ever sends em to me I'll be sure to post them...

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