News & Reviews News Wire UP placing two tickets on sale today for Big Boy cab rides

UP placing two tickets on sale today for Big Boy cab rides

By Trains Staff | June 23, 2023

Set-price tickets replace earlier auction, which railroad says was ‘manipulated’

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Large steam locomotive leads train past grain silo.
UP Big Boy No. 4014 leads its train through Duncan, Neb., on June 11, 2023. Two tickets for Big Boy cab rides go on sale today. Travis Mackey

OMAHA — Union Pacific’s auction for a chance to ride in the cab of Big Boy No. 4014 has become a sale of two tickets at a set price, with the tickets going on sale at 5 p.m. CDT today, July 23.

In a message to its “Steam Club” members, the railroad says the auction to support the Union Pacific Railroad Museum “was manipulated by an individual and did not result in an award to the highest bidder.” As a result, two tickets, priced at $9,500 each, will go on sale at 5 p.m. CDT at the tickets page of the museum website,

Purchasers will ride the Big Boy on July 3 from Pine Bluffs, Wyo., to Cheyenne, Wyo, a trip scheduled for 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

More about the museum is available at its website.

The final days to see the Big Boy on display in Omaha are this Saturday and Sunday, June 24-25, from noon until 6 p.m. CDT at the “Home Plate” display at 12th and Cuming streets. The locomotive is scheduled to begin its return to Cheyenne on Tuesday, June 27, departing the Home Plate display at 9 a.m. The full schedule is available here.

5 thoughts on “UP placing two tickets on sale today for Big Boy cab rides

  1. A fantastic opportunity for the inveterate fans of the majestic and lovely UP Big Boy No. 4014!

    Dr. Güntürk Üstün

  2. Union Pacific 4014 is a steam locomotive owned and operated by the Union Pacific (UP) as part of its heritage fleet. It is a four-cylinder simple articulated 4-8-8-4 “Big Boy” type built in 1941 by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) at its Schenectady Locomotive Works. It was assigned to haul heavy freight trains in the Wasatch mountain range. The locomotive was retired from revenue service in 1959 and was donated to the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society; thereafter, it was displayed in Fairplex at the RailGiants Train Museum in Pomona, California.
    In 2013, UP re-acquired the locomotive and launched a restoration project at its Steam Shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In May 2019, No. 4014 moved under its own power for the first time after sitting dormant for almost six decades, becoming the world’s largest operational steam locomotive and the only operating Big Boy locomotive of the eight that remain in existence.[2] It now operates in excursion service for the UP steam program. No. 4014 became the first mainline steam locomotive to be equipped with the positive train control (PTC) system in 2021.

    Dr. Güntürk Üstün

  3. The Union Pacific Big Boy is a type of simple articulated 4-8-8-4 steam locomotive manufactured by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) between 1941 and 1944 and operated by the Union Pacific Railroad in revenue service until 1962.
    The 25 Big Boy locomotives were built to haul freight over the Wasatch Range between Ogden, Utah, and Green River, Wyoming. In the late 1940s, they were reassigned to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where they hauled freight over Sherman Hill to Laramie, Wyoming. They were the only locomotives to use a 4-8-8-4 wheel arrangement: four-wheel leading truck for stability entering curves, two sets of eight driving wheels and a four-wheel trailing truck to support the large firebox.
    Today, eight Big Boys survive, with most on static display at museums across the United States. One of them, No. 4014, was re-acquired by Union Pacific, and between 2014 and 2019 was rebuilt to operating condition for the 150th anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad. It thus regained the title as the largest and most powerful operating steam locomotive in the world.

    Dr. Güntürk Üstün

  4. Got to keep an eye out on some foamers. I wonder how the process was manipulated as the bid had been $2,100.+

    1. My understanding is that someone placed a “Joke bid” of $21,000+ under the assumption someone else would then outbid him. No one did, and when the auction ended he couldn’t raise the funds to pay for the ticket.

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