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 Post subject: Re: The Big Boy Restoration Rumors Abound
PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
Well, he sounds pretty reasonable, emphasizing in several places that this may or may not happen (and that can make you wonder why he bothered with this clip at all).

The one thing that sounds strange to me is the prospect of some apparently wealthy sponsor for this. That sounds about as rare as the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot. I'll agree with the video poster and say I'll believe it when one of these beasts is in the shop at Cheyenne.


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Boy Restoration Rumors Abound
PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:43 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
Posts: 1025
There was a five-page discussion about UP 4014 (the "Big Boy" in Pomona, CA at the LA County Fairgrounds) in Trainorders.com that reminded me of Bette Midler's classic line, "Mud will be flung tonight!" So far, everything in the way of news about this engine or any of the other surviving 4-8-8-4s seems to be in the "sandhouse gossip" or the "what have you been smoking lately?" categories.

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Boy Restoration Rumors Abound
PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:15 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 1:51 pm
Posts: 8355
Location: Baltimore, MD
J3a-614 wrote:
The one thing that sounds strange to me is the prospect of some apparently wealthy sponsor for this. That sounds about as rare as the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot. I'll agree with the video poster and say I'll believe it when one of these beasts is in the shop at Cheyenne.


Among other side interests of mine, I collect books on "cryptozoology," the "study" (or whatever one wants to call it) of mysterious, semi-documented or speculative animal forms such as the Loch Ness Monster and other lake creatures (about 25 such books over there on that shelf), Bigfoot, the Jersey Devil, "big cats" in Britain, etc. This overlaps quite well with other "mystery" fields such as the "Bermuda Triangle," UFOs, etc.

One thing you learn quite easily after long enough in this field:
Books and articles that state that the phenomenon in question is a hoax, misunderstood or misinterpreted sightings, being presented without all data or context, can't exist as postulated, etc. and thus attempting to "prove a negative," sell rather poorly.
Books/articles that involve runaway speculation, extraordinary claims, and attempts to justify outrageous conclusions can easily make the best-seller list--especially if the possibility of a choice "conspiracy" feeding the prejudices of its buyers can be suggested.

Keep that in mind when weighing any "Big Boy May Steam" speculation.

"Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, and one by one." -- Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Boy Restoration Rumors Abound
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:05 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 8:28 am
Posts: 2438
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Absence of evidence of a Big Boy restoration IS evidence of a Big Boy restoration!

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"They Love Him for the Enemies He Has Made!"


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Boy Restoration Rumors Abound
PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2013 5:26 pm 

Joined: Thu May 09, 2013 3:26 pm
Posts: 5
Plain and simple: I'll believe it when I see it. :) (I say that in the nicest of ways) The chances of a Union Pacific Big Boy ever being operated, let alone restored, are about as slim as the Northfolk and Western 1218 ever being put back into service, or CSX letting steam (NKP 765) back onto its lines for the New River Train excursions in West Virginia again. Something very drastic such as overwhelming support from the national Union Pacific fan public, hundreds of volunteers, and an exponential amount of money would be required in order for there to be any hope of it happening. I do not mean to be negative, but restoring another 4-8-4 or any other smaller 4000 to 5000 horsepower steam locomotive for excursion service would be a more realistic, acheivable, and economical goal. UP has even pushed the limits a little bit by operating Challenger 3985, and even routine maintinance on her is no small task. Also, if something goes terribly wrong with an excursion trip behind a Big Boy, there would be serious consequences as far as insurance and liability for people's health and safety on board the train, even if it happened on Union Pacific's own lines. Anyway, I hope this explaination helps, and God Bless! -Jer


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Boy Restoration Rumors Abound
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 8:50 pm 

Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:58 pm
Posts: 1195
Location: Chicago USA
Never say never to anything.

1218 may have its boiler barely tacked together but it does have the advantage of being a known situation. I don't know if running gear work was planned for its overhaul but again, there's probably someone who knows exactly what's needed. So if someone did want to tackle 1218 they'd be able to plan and budget for whatever needs to be done. whatever parts need to be replaced or fabricated and probably have few if any surprises crop up. Few park or museum engines can promise no surprises.

CSX can change overnight if leadership changes or a major investor buys a big stake in the company and wonders why steam is seen on other big systems and not this one.

I'm not saying any of these things are likely but they are within the realm of possibility. And since UP expressed official interest in running a 4000, that's possible too.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Boy Restoration Rumors Abound
PostPosted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 11:26 am
Posts: 3731
Location: Maine
A friend of mine, intimately connected to the 1218 during the last rebuild, has assured me her essential pieces are all there. It only requires money and the go ahead.
Regarding a Big Boy, Union Pacific has the shop, the equipment, the capital to invest. With a complete tear down likely required for any of them, any one made available could be a candidate. I'm very surprised Cheyenne's park locomotive wasn't the immediate choice. Could the floods that surrounded her really have damaged her that much? Perhaps her cylinders and valves? Her bearings?

Whether the powers in Omaha will sanction such an undertaking is the question. Reviving one of the largest steam locomotives ever built would be a positive image for one of the most successful and heritaqe wise railroads in the world. Three huge steam examples lined up on parallel tracks. What a sight and image of power.

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 Post subject: Re: The Big Boy Restoration Rumors Abound
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 8:11 am 

Joined: Thu May 09, 2013 3:26 pm
Posts: 5
Thanks for the encouraging words. I have been very hopeful about all these things as well. Its just that I have been told time and time again by other railfans and railroaders that this stuff has absolutely no chance in heck of happening, and that I am stupid and crazy in my thinking and logic about these things. I very much DO wish, actually, that a Big Boy could be restored, or N&W 1218 could pound the rails again, or that steam could return to the New River Gorge for excursions someday.

I am already overjoyed about the possibility of N&W 611 returning to operating condition again. The Virginia Museum of Transportation put together a committee of experts to conduct a feasability study on whether 611 can be restored and operated or not. Their informative website is: http://www.fireup611.org
In case nobody on this forum knows about this, GO TO THE WEBSITE, TELL EVERY FELLOW HUMAN BEING YOU KNOW ABOUT THEIR EFFORTS, DONATE SOME MONEY TO THE CAUSE (if you can), AND STAY UPDATED THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA. This may be the only opportunity railfans nationwide have to help make this happen. (Meaning, this is ONCE IN A LIFETIME) Northfolk Southern and VMT made it crystal clear at the time when 611 retired from excursion service in 1994, that she and 1218 would NEVER, EVER RUN AGAIN. Yet, these people with the "Fire Up 611" crew are giving us some glimmer of hope to hold onto, even if the study possesses unfavorable results.

All that being said, I certainly hope that 1218 would possibly have a chance, too. Having 611 alone is fine, but the original NS steam program was never the same once they took away 1218 and aborted her 1992 overhaul. The 611 needs a partner. :)


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Boy Restoration Rumors Abound
PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:08 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
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Location: S.F. Bay Area
http://www.flickr.com/photos/creativepd/2574323638/


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Boy Restoration Rumors Abound
PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 9:05 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 3:41 am
Posts: 3032
Location: Inwood, W.Va.
robertmacdowell wrote:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/creativepd/2574323638/


Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho!!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: The Big Boy Restoration Rumors Abound
PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 9:11 pm 

Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:25 am
Posts: 1025
Oh yes, "Bob's Big Boy", a fallen flag of food. There's at least one left--in the Burbank area here in Southern California. The chain started around 1935 in nearby Glendale, and there used to be dozens of Big Boys. They even licensed their product and trademark to other restaurateurs around the country. I remember having a Big Boy near the terminal of one of the Shaker Heights (Ohio) Rapid Transit lines back in 1977. A railroad connection: The Big Boy in East Pasadena was a block from the Santa Fe 2nd District. The local freight would go "into the hole" for the Super Chief, and walk down to the restaurant for "beans". I conjured up a vision of a spur track running to the "car service" area and a "car hop" hanging drive-in trays in the windows of the caboose and the locomotive. (this would be a great idea for a model with a good sense of whimsy)

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