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‘Big Boy’ passes early pressure test

By | February 6, 2019

Hyrdostatic test means Union Pacific crews can continue readying the 4-8-8-4 steam locomotive for service

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Union Pacific’s Big Boy is another step closer to running this year after it passed a Federally required hydrostatic test.

Union Pacific posted a video on YouTube Wednesday showing workers knocking on the locomotive with hammers while pressurized water filled the boiler.

One scene shows a pressure gauge at 300 pounds per square inch.

In a separate video, Union Pacific Senior Manager of Heritage Operations Ed Dickens speaks on camera about the test. A hydrostatic test is required by Federal Railroad Administration rules to confirm that a steam locomotive’s boiler will be able to handle the heat and pressure of steam.

News of the test was distributed by the Union Pacific Steam Club.

6 thoughts on “‘Big Boy’ passes early pressure test

  1. Who signs off on the test, the FRA guys or an insurance inspector? As a boiler inspector, I wish I was there!

  2. Excellent it’s great to see that the UP 4014 is getting closer and closer to operating under its own power. Keep up the good work UP. BTW the first video wouldn’t play as it said Video Unavailable. The second video played just fine.

  3. Mister Lewis:

    A Professional Engineer with a Pressure Vessels certification (an additional certification to the P. Eng. licence) signs off on the test. He may or may not have to witness it. It is then submitted to the FRA for final approval, and a copy is kept on file.

    As a boiler inspector you should know this.

    In my field we do pressure vessel certifications all the time. A hydrostatic test is always a requirement but no big thing, (although it is a milestone) and finishing off the paperwork is, unless something happens, fairly routine.

    In case you are wondering, it is my job to make sure the people doing such tests do their job.

    The above comments are general in nature and do not form the basis of an attorney/client relationship. They do not constitute legal advice. I am not your attorney. Find your own damn lawyer.

  4. Ms. Harding, In the insurance inspection business I first give approval for the repair to be done, then sign off after I have witnessed the hydrostatic test if the welding company’s documents are in order. I have never signed off on a repair without witnessing a hydrostatic test. I am not a P.Eng but am an Authorised Inspector and am licensed as such by the National Board in Columbus, Ohio. My question is, would an insurance inspector sign off on the repair of a moving object? I’ve never done it and am wondering. I assume that an FRA representative would do that.

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