Big Boy locomotive makes stop in Jefferson

Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 12:43 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2021 at 7:14 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON, Texas (KLTV) - It’s the biggest in the world according to the Guinness Book, and it gets around just fine. KLTV was on time for Union Pacific’s Big Boy train when it made a stop in Marion County.

It’s 132 feet long and weighs 1.2 million pounds: Union Pacific’s 4014, also known as Big Boy. It made a quick stop at the Jefferson RR crossing at Alley Street. Lynn and Donna Luttrell made a trip from Sulphur Springs to join the crowd to get a look.

“Just thought it’d be something to see; to have the opportunity to see it after all the work they’d done on restoring it, and what a massive piece of equipment it was and what the guys back in the olden days did. It was just really admirable. And we just thought we’d come over and spend the day in Jefferson and see the train,” Luttrell said.

Police and railroad authorities made sure everyone was stayed back the required 25 feet minimum but Sandra Hollingsworth maybe wanted to get closer.

“It’s huge. It’s beautiful and big, and I want to ride it,” Hollingsworth said.

Conrad Vargas says he grew up around trains in California, but had he seen the Big Boy before?

“No this is the first time. We knew it came through here but this is the first time. I brought my wife down to see it,” Vargas said.

“What did you think?” I asked him.

“Exciting,” he smiled.

According to Union Pacific, 25 Big Boys were built. There are seven on display around the U.S, one of them in Dallas. Number 4014 was restored and got back on track in 2019. It now runs on oil, but originally it was coal.

“You can just imagine how hard it would have been with coal, and having to shovel it and put it in there to run that massive equipment. And the work the guys would have done, the dirty jobs it would have been back in the forties. So it was just really interesting. I like the mechanics of it and the history of it. So it was worth the trip for us,” Lutrell said.

Can you tell Lynn’s got a thing about trains? He says he still has his little model railroad trains from the sixties when he was the engineer, and maybe seeing the 4014 made him feel like a big boy once again.

Big Boy Number 4014 was in use from 1941 until 1961, normally going between Odgen Utah and Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was retired after traveling over a million miles while in service.

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