CHEYENNE, Wyo. — The planned Pacific Northwest tour of Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4014 is off for 2022, the railroad announced in a Thursday afternoon email to members of its Steam Club. But the locomotive will make an outing to Denver later this month to pull an excursion benefitting the Union Pacific Museum.
The 4-8-8-4 will travel to Denver on July 28 and be on display there July 29, then pull a July 30 excursion from Denver to Cheyenne, the 2022 Museum Special, to benefit the museum, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit.
Union Pacific Museum patrons will have an opportunity to purchase tickets via a special presale beginning today (Friday, July 1) at noon CDT. Information on becoming a patron is available here. Tickets will go on sale to the general public July 5 at the museum ticketing website.
UP said a full schedule for the Denver trip will be posted at the UP Steam website “in the coming days.”
The railroad said the West Coast tour, a loop through Portland, Ore., could not be rescheduled because it continues to “focus on efforts to improve network operations.” That tour was announced in April and was originally scheduled to begin June 26, but was postponed just 11 days later as the railroad said it needed to address “supply chain congestion” [see “Union Pacific postpones Big Boy tour …,” Trains News Wire, April 22, 2022]. At the time, the railroad had held out hope for holding the trip later this year.
4 thoughts on “Big Boy West Coast tour off; Denver-Cheyenne excursion announced”
The Union Pacific (UP) and BNSF railroads intersect in Cheyenne – Wyoming. The city is home to a BNSF railyard, as well as the Union Pacific’s roundhouse that hosts their steam program. UP’s operational steam locomotives No. 844 (“Living Legend” built in 1944 by ALCO) and No. 4014 (“Big Boy” built in 1941 by ALCO) reside in the steam shop.
Cheyenne hasn’t had regular scheduled passenger train service since 1997. It first lost passenger service in 1979 when the San Francisco Zephyr was rerouted away from Cheyenne Union Pacific Depot. The wider metro area lost passenger train service in 1983 when the Zephyr was renamed and rerouted the California Zephyr. A brief restoration of passenger service via the Pioneer from 1991 to 1997 only lasted six years. Wyoming is one of only two states in the Lower 48 without Amtrak service, the other being South Dakota.
Given the close proximity of the growing Denver metro area with its international hub airport there are proposals to restore rail service (either on existing infrastructure or on yet to be built rail lines) under the name Front Range Passenger Rail. Most proposals include an initial Denver – Cheyenne route, but more ambitious proposals would extend the train line all the way south to Albuquerque or even El Paso.
Dr. Güntürk Üstün
To be honest, it is far better than nothing!
Roll dear “Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4014” rail buddy roll from the Mile High City to the Magic City of the Plains on Saturday, July 30, 2022!
Dr. Güntürk Üstün
UP might realize that at the tour dates they will still be short T&E fpr one or more crew districts??
While I am disappointed as a fan, this is absolutely the correct call. All efforts should be focussed on service recovery and actual improvement in service levels– without sacrificing the long-term historicl that the UP has which can serve as irreplacable assets to grow the business– when it is worth promoting.