NEW ORLEANS (press release) – Big Boy No. 4014, the famed Union Pacific steam locomotive built in the 1940s to conquer mountains while carrying equipment in support of World War II, is on a 10-state tour and will arrive in Louisiana on Aug. 19.
Big Boy will make eight whistle-stops in southern Louisiana and will be on public display Saturday, Aug. 21, at the Audubon Riverview Park in New Orleans.
Train enthusiasts of all ages will get a chance during the one-day stop in New Orleans to talk to the steam crew, tour the “Experience the Union Pacific” rail car – a railroad museum on wheels – and take a “selfie” with the world’s largest steam locomotive, one of 25 of its kind built and the only one still in operation.
On Thursday, Aug. 19, Big Boy leaves Beaumont, Texas, and enters Louisiana, making three whistle-stops:
- 11:15 a.m. CDT – Lake Charles, Amtrak Depot, 100 N. Ryan St.
- 1:15 p.m. CDT – Kinder, 14th Crossing
- 3:30 p.m. CDT – Opelousas, N. Court St. Crossing
On Friday, Aug. 20, Big Boy will make three whistle-stops in southern Louisiana en route to New Orleans:
- 9 a.m. CDT – Plaquemine, Main St. Crossing
- 10:15 a.m. CDT – Donaldsonville, Railroad Ave. and Division St.
- 12:30 p.m. CDT – Luling, Gassen St. Crossing
Big Boy will arrive in New Orleans at about 7:15 p.m. and will be on display Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Audubon Riverview Park.
Highlights of the public display day in New Orleans:
- Meet the Steam Team – At 11 a.m., the Union Pacific steam crew that helped restore and now operates Big Boy will take questions from the audience for 30 minutes.
- Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car – This restored baggage car now serves as a traveling history museum, providing a glimpse of the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading through sounds, images, and interactive technology.
- Interactive Booths and Tents – There will be several exhibits set up where participants can learn more about model railroading and acquire a souvenirs.
On Sunday, Aug. 22, Big Boy will leave New Orleans and make two return whistle-stops to Donaldsonville and Luling, before heading north to Shreveport:
- 10:55 a.m. CDT – Luling, Gassen St. Crossing
- 12:55 p.m. CDT – Donaldsonville, Railroad Ave. and Division St.
This is the first time Big Boy has gone on tour since its post-restoration debut in 2019 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad’s completion. It is returning in 2021 with a tour that includes whistle-stops in more than 90 communities and one-day public display events in five major cities: Fort Worth and Houston, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; St. Louis, Missouri; and Denver, Colorado.
Big Boy No. 4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December of 1941. This powerful machine was built to cross the Wasatch Mountain Range east of Ogden, Utah. It was retired in 1961 after traveling a little over a million miles, reacquired by Union Pacific in 2013 and restored to service in 2019.
A complete schedule of Big Boy’s 2021 multi-city tour, along with a map tracking its journey, can be found at http://upsteam.com. The public can also follow along with Big Boy’s adventure on Twitter at http://twitter.com/UP_Steam #BigBoy2021.
Fans can share their photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and use the #BigBoy2021 hash tag for a chance to win a Big Boy T-shirt. Fifty winners will be selected throughout the tour. Union Pacific reminds all participants to be safe and stay 25 feet back from the tracks when taking a picture.