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 Post subject: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:27 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 7:44 am
Posts: 547
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Interesting rumor over on Trainorders- seems like it may have a little more meat to it than most...

"An email went out earlier today, from a pretty well-respected person (Joe Strapac), indicating that (Ed Dickens from UP's steam program) had approached the group that owns the Pomona Big Boy about 'obtaining' it for rebuild. Also mentioned was that UP has evaluated all 7 (actually there are 8) Big Boys, and the implication is they're working down the list to 'obtain' the one in the best shape."

http://www.trainorders.com/discussion/r ... 10,2935508


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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:48 am 

Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 5:17 pm
Posts: 475
Location: Scranton, PA
To my knowledge there has never been an evaluation of the 4012 in Scranton, and it's probably the wetest (climate and asbestos) boiler out of the lot. Of course, being owned by an arm of the government, it's probably the least "available" of the 4000's. Maybe that's where the 7 vs. 8 comes from.

Of course, I don't believe any of this. I could cite the usual reasons why - money, logistics, 3985 being out of service for two years now - but if the UP were ever going to do this, wouldn't it be logical to have it ready befor their 150th birthday, not after?

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:57 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2012 1:04 pm
Posts: 58
This would seem illogical, as 3985 is in their program already and requires work.

Should UP be interested in such a project, they would have sent letters of inquiry to the owners of the engines stating their intent. If the parties agreed, a thorough inspection of each engine would follow. That would require many people involved in such an undertaking in public places (Steamtown, museums, parks, etc.) that would not be held to confidentiality clauses. We would have seen numerous pictures of workers "poking around" these engines all over the Internet and chat rooms.

This sounds like "all publicity is good publicity" for the California group involved and calls attention to their cause. If the UP representative did make such a statement at a public meeting, their officers would have pre-approved such a discussion.


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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:17 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 10:26 am
Posts: 2899
Location: Maine
When I visited the shops last November (2011), I was told the next possible candidate would be 5511, the 2-10-2 in the roundhouse. I was told "U.P. management isn't aboard with operating a Big Boy, but it is not out of the question" - that's a quote. My wife and I went cross country, literally Big Boy to Big Boy, only missing 4017 in Wisconsin. The locomotive in Denver (Forney) is beautiful but indoors. The L.A. Fairplex is nearly perfect. The two poorest in external condition are Cheyenne's own park engine and Steamtown's 4012. Reliable people at Dallas, told me the interior of their locomotive is nearly pristine.

U.P. must really be getting a powerful "bump" from the steam program to put anything into taking on a Big Boy. I think this is merely a rumor, one I'd love to believe, but not quite yet.

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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:20 am 

Joined: Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:00 pm
Posts: 27
The 150 anniversary of the union pacific put a lot of stress on the steam program. To the point of they have not had a chance to work on the 3985. maybe they are planning to replace the 3985 with the 4014. should be same amount of time to get them up and running ( I was told by a up steam employee it would take them 4 years to get the 3985 running again) and from the video pentex big boy collection vol. 3 the big boys were better running locomotives just bigger.


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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:18 pm 

Joined: Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:07 am
Posts: 790
Location: Leicester, MA.
Now, I'm not a subscriber, so I can't get the whole picture, but I see two possibilities;
1) This is legitimate information in circulation and Union Pacific confirmed the initial rumor to Trains Magazine
2) Trains Magazine may have jumped the gun a bit, for which they might just suffer some embarrassment for falling for speculation (which remains to be seen in my eyes. I do sincerely hope that this rumor has some weight behind it)

http://trn.trains.com/en/Railroad%20New ... rvice.aspx

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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 12:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:28 am
Posts: 2042
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
One of the oft-cited reasons as to why restoring a 4000 would be unwise is that the locomotive is so large, that there would be few places on the modern UP system where it could travel, and even turn. Sometimes I think that this is one of those "facts" that doesn't have much real backing, but it is repeated enough that it has become fact.

Anyone more knowledgeable care to chime in?

Also, what about the conversion to oil? UP tried, but with just one burner, and it didn't work well. Are there oil burners out there with a multiple-burner setup?

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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:07 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 24, 2010 5:22 pm
Posts: 81
wilkinsd wrote:
One of the oft-cited reasons as to why restoring a 4000 would be unwise is that the locomotive is so large, that there would be few places on the modern UP system where it could travel, and even turn. Sometimes I think that this is one of those "facts" that doesn't have much real backing, but it is repeated enough that it has become fact.

Anyone more knowledgeable care to chime in?

Also, what about the conversion to oil? UP tried, but with just one burner, and it didn't work well. Are there oil burners out there with a multiple-burner setup?

As far as size, there are videos of the 3985 derailing while attempting to turn it - and it's considerably smaller. The Big Boys require a lot larger radius to turn, and the required wyes just don't exist.
Oil conversion is possible, and likely, but it will require two burners.

CD


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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 6:20 pm
Posts: 1288
Location: San Diego, Ca
This is one of the posts from TO, I left out the poster for their privacy...

Quote:
Subject: UP Steam Bombshell

Gentlemen:

I attended a meeting on Tuesday evening of the Southern California Chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in San Marino.

An outside guest was there for the “informational” side of the meeting, with a proposal for the chapter membership and board to consider.

Ed Dickens; he’s the manager of UP’s Historic Equipment program at Cheyenne. He announced that UP has decided to restore and run a Big Boy as a public relations gesture—and that millions of dollars have been budgeted for the project.

Engineering staff has surveyed all seven surviving Big Boy locomotives and found that the 4014 on display at the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona (owned by the SCC-R&LHS) is the one of the seven in the best condition and therefore the first choice for the UP restoration project.

At the meeting, UP offered to “obtain” the 4014 from the Chapter, move it across the Fair parking lot on snap track to live (Metrolink) rails and then haul it to Cheyenne for a multi-year restoration project. He didn’t say “buy” and he didn’t say “repossess,” and he did leave open the possibility of loaning another steam locomotive to the Chapter to fill the empty space. UP to pay all costs.

At least one Board member is adamantly opposed to accepting UP’s offer. His concern is that the Chapter and Fairplex facility management in Pomona have frequently clashed in the past and that removing the “star” of the R&LHS exhibit would give Fairplex the opportunity to evict the entire rail museum—leaving it homeless. No decision was reached during the meeting. I suspect that the Board will want to poll the entire Chapter membership, but that is just my own opinion. Apparently a Board meeting is scheduled for this weekend.

If a deal is reached, UP wants to make the move by February 2013.

This is not an official announcement and I do not speak for the Chapter or the UP. All I can say is, “watch the media” and check with your sources.

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"...the last survivor has now become the first in locomotive rank for all those for whom the name Roanoke is synonymous with steam's finest and final hour"- D.P.M.


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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:31 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:46 pm
Posts: 1317
Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
I was discussing this with a co-worker and he made a very good point, in that if it's really being planned, maybe it's in conjunction to the explosion in coal imports recently, and maybe 4014 would be a rolling billboard for that, to go along with increased coal traffic. Imagine a Big Boy hauling the first ceremonial coal train out of a new field or launching a new schedule of coal operations.
I had to admit, the theory has merit if indeed UP is really looking into this.
One thing is for sure, at UP right now, they're either laughing at how silly we are over something that is not being planned, or beating fists on tables while demanding how the word got out so early. I'm dying to know which it is!

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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:28 am
Posts: 120
I really enjoy this site...great information...fun facts...and occasional banter...and rarely serious thoughtful discourse.

So here is my response: Why do or would anyone, any company, any museum, or any company "hide" or "keep secret" or "not want anyone to know" about ANY of the engines, excursions, or railroad movements? Don't answer insurance or lawsuits...that doesn't hold water anymore than a leaky boiler. It has become the poster boy answer for everything.

If UP is really going to do this...railfans, customers, and public citizens will all see, smell, and hear it/about it.

You can't hide a Big Boy...


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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:33 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 07, 2005 12:24 am
Posts: 44
Location: Michigan
I'm not saying anything about this because I don't know anything I was just scanning through Facebook a few minutes ago, and put these together- This was posted by "Union Pacific 3985/844 Info" a little after 3pm EST:

Union Pacific 3985/844 Info
We have some interesting and very large news to share soon. Be patient please and trust us when we say, you'll be VERY surprised when you hear it.

For anyone wanting to take a look for themselves, go see their page for yourself:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Union-Pacific-3985844-Info/101121036621755

I don't know if this Facebook page has any actual or official connection with Union Pacific, so take this for what it's worth.

Food for thought- stranger things have happened; Norfolk Southern now has a 21st Century Steam program and ran NKP 765 around Horseshoe Curve. Who would have thought that possible just a few years ago?


Last edited by aswright on Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:41 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 6:20 pm
Posts: 1288
Location: San Diego, Ca
aswright wrote:
For anyone wanting to take a look for themselves, go see their page for yourself:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Union-Pacific-3985844-Info/101121036621755


That is not their official FB. Read some of the fine print on their About page at the bottom.

This is the official FB for UP;

http://www.facebook.com/unionpacific

I'm not down playing any of this, but maybe someone misconstrued what said person in email allegedly said.

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"...the last survivor has now become the first in locomotive rank for all those for whom the name Roanoke is synonymous with steam's finest and final hour"- D.P.M.


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 Post subject: Re: UP to restore a Big Boy?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 7:44 am
Posts: 547
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
TRAINS newswire apparently thinks it's more than just a rumor.

http://trn.trains.com/Railroad%20News/N ... rvice.aspx

Makes me wonder if the repair issues facing #3985 are bigger than we know about.


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 Post subject: UP Big Boy more details
PostPosted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 5:12 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:21 pm
Posts: 133
Location: Wisconsin
We left this NewsWire item open to the public as everyone will be interested in this developing steam story! - Jim

http://trn.trains.com/en/Railroad%20New ... rvice.aspx


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