Oklahomans Line Up To See Union Pacific's Big Boy Steam Engine

Monday, November 18th 2019, 6:07 pm
By: Emory Bryan

A 78-year-old celebrity toured eastern Oklahoma Saturday, Nov. 16 - the Big Boy, the largest steam train ever used by the Union Pacific railroad.

At every stop, thousands of fans turned out to see it.

News On 6 followed the train in to the state from Arkansas. One of the biggest crowds we've seen at the stops was in Fort Gibson.

People lined the tracks, cameras at the ready - in place hours early to get a good view.

They were waiting for the Union Pacific Railroad's Engine 4014, one of the "Big Boys" that in the 1940s was state of the art - and more powerful than anything else.

"I heard about this; it's one of the best," said Harry Farmer.

The sight impressed old men.

The sound overwhelmed more than a few children.

"He wasn't so sure he liked the noise of the train at first, but he's been impressed ever since?" Melissa Parisitto said.

Related Story: Union Pacific 'Big Boy' Steam Engine Heads Through Oklahoma Saturday 

The 600-ton engine stopped briefly in Fort Gibson on a tour marking the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Even on a national tour - there was someone waiting at every crossing, by every bridge, to watch a piece of history that was idled more than 50 years ago. It's now the only steam engine like it not sitting in a museum.

Union Pacific put 4014 back in service this past May. The first national tour is wrapping up.

"Might not ever get to see this again, in my life," said spectator Mickey Igert.

The Big Boy tour made six stops in Oklahoma, passing by countless fans, making lots of memories.

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