Yes the wind chill factor in Cheyenne this morning was -40°F. No excuse to miss a rare opportunity to tour the Union Pacific Steam Shop, the only place left in the USA where steam locomotives are rebuilt.
Sponsored by the Wyoming Transportation Museum,
the tour is about two hour. Included are a visit to the outstanding museum and the local brewery located in the old railroad depot.
My interest in steam locomotives goes back to my youth when my father was a section foreman on the old Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. Watching the Mallet 2-8-8-2s pulling and pushing the heavy freight trains up the grades leading to the Moffat Tunnel was always a thrill. Later I was able to ride in the cab of one and blow the whistle!
Wandering through the museum reminded me of the many times I was able to ride with my father and his crew on one of these.
A few readers of this blog might like to have this in their collection.
The UP 4014 “Big Boy” sat at the Los Angeles Fairgrounds for many years. An anonymous donor put up several million dollars to have the 4014 restored to running condition. In May 2014 the UP brought her back to Cheyenne. I watched from a place near Tie Siding, Wyoming. It was snowing. What else would you expect during springtime in Wyoming?
There is no set timeline for the restoration. Estimates are in the two year range. The project was put on hold when the extent of repairs on UP 844 was discovered. UP 844 is now back in good condition. Considering it is 71 years old, the extent of repairs might be expected. After 4014 is done the shop will turn their attention to their Challenger UP 3985. The repairs aren’t expected to be too extensive.
Took over 60 pictures. Hard to work around the glare from the high clearstory windows. If you want to see them, they are at Dropbox.
Should you be interested in the Big Boys, Google is your friend. The Union Pacific puts a lot of information on YouTube that some may find interesting.