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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Big Boy selection?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:53 am 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
Posts: 723
SteamEnthusiast4000 wrote:

I volunteer at the Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood, MO. Yes, we do have a direct connection with Union Pacific (former Missouri Pacific) tracks, and, yes, UP #4006 is out in the open, but it still wouldn't be easy to get Big Boy out of the museum.

I have heard a few stories from volunteers and St. Louis County Park employees that over the time we have had Big Boy 4006, he has been derailed a couple of times. Big Boy (the locomotive) has never really been a problem, but his tender is a different story.


There are ways to handle that.

The point is that 4006 is sitting less than 100 yards from the UP main line, on trackage connected to the main line. It's not sitting on panel track, 20 feet below the surrounding elevation, and across a 4-lane highway from any track, like 4004 is. And it wouldn't require laying track panels and leap-frogging them for almost a mile to get to any trackage, as is the case with 4014.


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Big Boy selection?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 1:44 pm 

Joined: Thu Apr 14, 2005 9:34 pm
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Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
In the video, the UP rep remarks that Pomona folks regularly lubricated 4014. How many other museums continue this maintenance on "static" displays?

Hats off to them for thinking "never say never" and keeping up the hope that their display engines might yet see operation again.

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Big Boy selection?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:18 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:40 pm
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Somewhere it has been stated that 4014 has the lowest total accumulated mileage of the 8 extant locomotives. That is not the case, per Kratville's book, "Big Boy."

Of the 8, 4023 has by far the lowest mileage, at 829,295. That is only to be expected, since it is 3 years newer than the other 7. Highest mileage is the 4006, with 1,064,625. 4014 is number 3, at 1,031,205.

Per other statements of "fact," 4004 still has it's lagging and jacket from the 1950's. 4023 and 4014 do not have lagging, though 4023 does have a jacket. 4023's lagging was removed in early 1985; the jacket it has now was installed over spacers. I'm unsure about the other 6, but I suspect only 1 or 2 still have the lagging.

Those who think 4004 should have been chosen are apparently unaware of where it sits and what an enormous and expensive undertaking it would be to get it back to anywhere close to any trackage. Only 4023 would be more expensive and difficult to do.

There is much gnashing of teeth about cut piston rods. Today, having new ones made is simply not that big of a deal. It's nothing that a good machine shop, given the drawings (which still exist) and the correct material (still available) could not turn out in a couple of days or even less if they have a CNC machining center.

There is also a lot of chatter about inspecting and evaluating the 8. A good boiler inspection can't be done without pulling the flues and getting down and dirty inside.
Yes, a good UT, done with a good machine by a qualified tester, is a good start and is better than nothing. I'm not talking here about Bubba and a Harbor Freight Tools thickness tester; I'm talking about a graphing machine that can show the difference between paint, scale, rust, and steel. Still, it won't find cracks or overheated areas.

I doubt any of the 8 are in very poor condition. The boiler has to be stripped no matter which one they choose, so it comes down to running gear, appliances, and relative ease of getting it back to live trackage, not to mention the willingness of the owner to part with it.


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Big Boy selection?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:11 pm 
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Location: Pac NW, via North Florida
I still don't get all the discussion on which locomotive has the best merit.
UP has chosen the locomotive already, anything further is a waste of bandwidth.
Besides, as I pointed out earlier, just because a locomotive still exists, it doesn't mean the current owners would allow the UP to take it back for an indefinite (or possibly permanent) timeframe. I'd bet some (if not many) of the current 4000 owners would tell UP to go get lost.

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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Big Boy selection?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 27, 2013 7:49 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1197
Location: Chicago USA
In 1995 IRM & RJ Corman did a major panel track leapfrogging operation to get ATSF 2903 to live rails from Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.

First some shots showing how it got there:
http://www.irm.org/railwire/rw154.html? ... =154#2903a

And how it was moved out thirty years later (via the same route):
http://www.irm.org/railwire/issues/rw156.html

My own account (small photos from the dial-up era):
http://home.earthlink.net/~stevekraus/santafe.html

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: U.P. Big Boy selection?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 28, 2013 3:21 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA - Land of Coffee
softwerkslex wrote:
In the video, the UP rep remarks that Pomona folks regularly lubricated 4014. How many other museums continue this maintenance on "static" displays?


It has been discussed on this forum that VMT has regularly moved the 611, which would logically include lubrication. One more point in her favor for the planned restoration, as it is with the 4014.

p51 wrote:
This reminds me of all the comments I've read over the years as to why 4449 was picked for the Freedom Train in the 70s, because someone (probably more than one guy, I'd bet) lubbed it and the 700 all the time they sat in that park near where they reside today in much better condition.


What Jack Holst did for those 3 locomotives during their display years at Oaks Park was a positive factor in the restoration of both the Daylight and the 700, as well as the ongoing restoration of the 197.

p51 wrote:
Besides, as I pointed out earlier, just because a locomotive still exists, it doesn't mean the current owners would allow the UP to take it back for an indefinite (or possibly permanent) timeframe. I'd bet some (if not many) of the current 4000 owners would tell UP to go get lost.


Even after the initial announcement at the end of last year that there was a proposal to restore the 4014, the Southern California Chapter spent a number of months in continued talks with the UP and with their membership regarding whether or not the 4014 would indeed be moved for restoration. If Uncle Pete or this mysterious benefactor (if they exist) approached any other museum, this would also have led to a discussion among the controlling members whether or not they would allow their locomotive to be moved for restoration.

In short, in order for any 1 of the other 7 locomotives to be a candidate for the Cheyenne roundhouse, there would had to have been a proposal brought before those museums. It appears that only the Sou. CA Chapter was approached, which is why the 4014 is the 1 and only candidate. In addition, the fact that the 7 other museums stated that the UP had not conducted inspections of their locomotives seems to confirm that they were not approached in the first place.

We do not know all the factors/variables which contributed to the UP approaching the Sou. CA Chapter with this proposal, and we'll probably not know the full story for some time to come.

The best of luck to the UP steam staff in their endeavour. I think we can all honestly say we're looking forward to seeing a Big Boy conquer Sherman Hill once again.

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