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Historic steam engine returning to Navasota

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    The historic Big Boy 4014, a Union Pacific historic steam engine that was retired and believed to never travel the tracks again, was restored and chugged the tracks in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad’s Completion in 2019. On Nov. 9, 2019 the epic steam engine made a scheduled stop at historic Railroad Street in Navasota and is scheduled to return Monday, Aug. 16.
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The historic Big Boy 4014, a Union Pacific historic steam engine that was retired and believed to never travel the tracks again, was restored and chugged the tracks in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad’s Completion in 2019. On Nov. 9, 2019 the epic steam engine made a scheduled stop at historic Railroad Street in Navasota and is scheduled to return Monday, Aug. 16.

Big Boy No. 4014 will depart Cheyenne, Wyoming, Thursday, Aug. 5, traveling through Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas and Wyoming. The steam engine is scheduled to arrive on the 100 and 200 block of Railroad Street in Navasota near the McAlpine Street Crossing Monday, Aug. 16, at 10:25 a.m. and depart at 11:10 a.m.

Railroad Street from Washington Avenue to Johnson Street will be closed to vehicle traffic that day from 8 a.m. until noon to allow for pedestrian traffic and viewing. McAlpine Street will be closed from the Prosperity Bank drive thru entrance to the alleyway east of Railroad Street. Washington Avenue will be closed from 10:10 a.m. till 11:20 a.m. from Farquar to Tenth Street.

Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific Railroad, the first of which was delivered in 1941. Big Boy 4014 was delivered to Union Pacific in December 1941 and retired in December 1961 after traveling 1,031,205 miles during its 20-years of service.

The Big Boy’s return to the rails is a result of a meticulous restoration project that took over two years. Big Boy 4041 is the only operable Big Boy locomotive in the world.

Union Pacific reacquired Big Boy 4014 from the RailGiants Train Museum in Ponoma, California in 2013, and relocated it back to Cheyenne to begin the multiyear restoration process. It returned to service in May 2019 ready for the 150th celebration on the Transcontinental Railroad’s Completion.

The massive Big Boy 4014 is 133-feet long and 17-feet tall. It has 14-wheels and a 25,000-gallon water capacity. The fire box is 235 and 1/32 inches by 96 and 3/16 inches. Its boiler has a diameter of 106 and 9/16 inches with 30 pounds of pressure. It operates on coal and has a 56,000-pound capacity.

Due to the dynamic nature of these operations, Union Pacific reminds the public running times and scheduled stops are subject to change. For the most accurate and up to date schedule visit up.com.

Important safety tips to adhere to when coming to view the locomotives in person are to stand back 25-feet from all railroad tracks; railroad tracks, trestles, yards and right of way are private property-please don’t trespass; Never assume tracks are abandoned or inactive-always expect a train.