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UTCzech III

UP Big Boy 4014 coming to Texas next month

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Probably should go in Hobbies, but eff it, no traffic there (or mods move it if you need to).  For all you other train nuts, Big Boy 4014 will be coming through Texas starting on Oct . 21, it'll be in El Paso until Nov. 1 but no public access the week before (maintenance I assume).  Then traveling from El Paso to Houston over the next few days, then up to Hearne and northward on the way back to Wyoming.  I'll probably drive up to Palestine and see it since that's a Saturday (usually UP brings their steamers through Taylor so I get a close up view but not this time, I has a sad...).  Link to schedule is below.

UP Steam Schedule

 

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Very cool to see one in person. Several years ago one was dragged out of Fair Park in Dallas and moved to Frisco. It was not under it's own power but neat to see regardless. Some special track had to be laid in several turns so the engine could negotiate the route without messing up the existing track.

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What a fucking monster. It's astounding to me that people once designed stuff like that with not much more than a pencil and paper.

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Posted (edited)

It blew me away as a kid, and still does, that all the power in those locomotives is generated in the (comparatively) little box in front of the wheels.  The rest of it is just a giant water heater.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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2 hours ago, CHEF DIESEL said:

Very cool to see one in person. Several years ago one was dragged out of Fair Park in Dallas and moved to Frisco. It was not under it's own power but neat to see regardless. Some special track had to be laid in several turns so the engine could negotiate the route without messing up the existing track.

I remember that.  Pretty neat.  

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Damn, closest it gets to me is Palestine. Got to see a UP 4-8-4 go right behind my place several years ago. Impressive.

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Posted (edited)

When they dragged the ones out of Fair Park (probably my favorite part of the Fair when I was a kid), did they use regular diesel locomotives?  Switchers?  Something else?

Furk, should have known to check youtube.

Edited by TwiceHorn

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9 minutes ago, TwiceHorn said:

Does BNSF have any big steam locos?  I guess those are more likely to be on North Texas tracks.

According to their Wiki page, no

Quote

Although it does not have a steam program like the Union Pacific, the BNSF has allowed for the Southern Pacific 4449, St. Louis–San Francisco 1522, Santa Fe 3751, Spokane, Portland and Seattle 700 and Milwaukee Road 261 steam locomotives to operate excursions over their rails.

 

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Posted (edited)
50 minutes ago, RPM said:

Damn, closest it gets to me is Palestine. Got to see a UP 4-8-4 go right behind my place several years ago. Impressive.

Yeah, that UP 844 used to come down through Texas every two or three years, I've got some pics somewhere when it stopped in Taylor on the bridge over Hwy79/4th Street, 2012 I believe.  The last time it came down, something happened with the diesel they had helping out, brakes failed I think and kept pushing the 844 after it stopped, ground down the wheels where they had to take a week or two to get them replaced.  Never did make it back down through Taylor, turned around and went back home, I was pissed.

Edited by UTCzech III

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Interesting.  I spend hours and hours and hours around trains and train yards doing photography.  Mostly the graffiti, but also the engines, workers, etc.  But I still am not what they call a "foamer" in the sense that I know all the types of locomotives.  But if this passes through Houston at a time I can get over to the yard or the main line, I would like to photograph it.  Thanks for the heads up.

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Man I got the rails in my blood. Great grandfather worked for the D&H when they were floating coal down the Hudson, grandfather started out stacking trains with 3x5 cards before working his way up to VP of operations, cousin drives trains for the CP, uncle retired as a big wig at the FRA a few years ago.

 

D&H ‘only’ had Challengers so no 4-8-8-4 action but came close, pimpin those 4-6-6-4 mofos back in the glory days of steam, soot and sweat. Will always cherish my last time train spotting with grandpa, up in the foothills of the Adirondacks...hairs went up on the back of my neck when the grade crossing bells started chiming and hearing that distinct hiss sound as a diesel set + 100 cars bent the steel rails. Managed to catch a circus train that day.

 

Grandpa Choo Choo is too old to railfan anymore, but I’m told he still gathers such a huge crowd at Bridgeline Society meetings that the line snakes out the door, just to hear the man speak about his radio telephone and the logistics needed to keep the head units full of coal, water and sand.

 

I’m thinking I may need to take a road trip out to see a Big Boy. Thanks for posting that.

 

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15 hours ago, BabaYaga said:

I remember that.  Pretty neat.  

There must have been a few hundred train buffs following it through Soufh Dallas that day.

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1 hour ago, CHEF DIESEL said:

There must have been a few hundred train buffs following it through Soufh Dallas that day.

Only trains I've been on was the one in Grapevine and the one in Durango through Silverton. 

*I have, however, discovered that discarded RR tie-plates make EXCELLENT pistol & long-range rifle targets when spray painted white and hung up!

plates.JPG

 

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So if I take my kids to see this thing, would it be cooler to do it when it's on display (I assume you can walk right up to it and touch it) or the next day when it's actually moving? Leaning toward the former.

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Forgot to mention, their twitter feed (LINK) does a good job of updating locations in real time, and they also have a page where you can track via GPS (GPS LINK)

 

So it will go over the Pecos. That is a hell of a shot to get of it. Especially if using a drone. Too bad it is so damn far. It will pass through the Eureka tower here in Houston. That is one of the spots I like to bench trains. It can be somewhat photogenic if you shoot south and get some of the galleria skyline in the shot. Like this:

 

 

25976124817_cb0c07e4da_o.jpg

 

But then it will head north from Tower 27 in the 5th Ward where a shot like this would be good. The skyline and old water tower.

 

 

39090666124_29feee2325_o.jpg

 

I didn’t look at the timeline, but maybe I will get to check it out.

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Well, it looks like after it is on display November 7th, it will head out of Houston in November 8th which happens to be my Friday off. I might try to get shots of it heading north (that black and white shot). Also maybe some drone shots. The foamer will be out in full force. I want a clean shot of it. Not with a bunch of dorks crowding the tracks and my frame.

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I remember that.  Pretty neat.  

067b552b28d89f456c3d6e04be2b596b.jpg
#4018 in Frisco.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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A buddy is planning a road trip to Luling for BBQ and train watching when it comes through. I may try to go with him.

My mom's grandfather was a supervisor for UP back in the day and worked on the Pecos bridge, (the first one). When my mom was little, her grandparents lived in a boxcar on a siding in Lexington and whenever it was time for a job, they'd just hook up and off they'd go.The tracks and boxcar are long gone, but my little brother and I used to go hunt railroad spikes when we were little on the old track ROW.

 

/csb

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On 10/1/2019 at 3:01 PM, UTCzech III said:

 The last time it came down, something happened with the diesel they had helping out, brakes failed I think and kept pushing the 844 after it stopped, ground down the wheels where they had to take a week or two to get them replaced.  

Actually, the steam train engineer , who had remote control of the diesels, neglected to turn down the power on the diesels.

Same guy will be running the Big Boy.

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That's it, thanks for the clarification.

Forgot to mention, if you click on that link above for the GPS tracking, it has a map of the entire trek laid out, and you can zoom in to see exactly every town it will go through.  Really helps if you are planning to go check it out.

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RFD-TV has a show called Trains & Locomotives that has footage of old trains and refurbished steam on excursion runs. It's addictive to listen to the old engines puff and strain.

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2 hours ago, RPM said:

RFD-TV has a show called Trains & Locomotives that has footage of old trains and refurbished steam on excursion runs. It's addictive to listen to the old engines puff and strain.

Yeah, when I had Dish I used to DVR that show all the time.  

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Yes, there's something magical about steam engines.

Carson & Colorado #18* was sitting in the park just off of  Hwy. 395  at Independence, California. I had driven past it hundreds of times as I drove up to the Sierras, to go skiing, fishing or biking in my stomping grounds. Every 5 years or so, another coat of paint was added.  Then walls, of sorts, appeared around the loco, as well as a fund raising sign. Then it dissappeared.

3 to 4 years later it was steamed up. I was incredulous. Having no track to run it on, they hauled it up 395 to the Laws railroad museum, just out side of Bishop. They had a bit of track there, and they let it stretch it's legs, a bit. Back to Independence it went, to sit in it's metal shed.

Then a coal fired loco of the Durango & Silverton  sparked a fire in Colorado. Despite how much cash the local tourist railroad contributed to the local economy,  there was rumblings of shutting the railroad down. The railroad committed to converting some of the coal burners to oil burners,  which don't spew the cinders that are associated with the coal burners.

C&C 18 was trucked to Colorado so the Durango & Silverton engineers could learn the ways of a oil burning locomotive. Spent the summer there, but it's back in Independence now.

Never thought it would run again, much less on the D&S.

Sorry for the OT. I'll probably head out to the desert, spend the night in Afton canyon, and  watch Big Boy chug through the next day.

* The Carson & Colorado was purchased by the Southern Pacific, and #18 is lettered for that railroad.

 

 

 

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Note: The above ramble was composed while watching the Dodgers whoop on the Nats whilst consuming suds and brown water.

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Just a reminder that Big Boy is now in Texas, currently at Sunset Station in San Antonio, and traveling from SA to Houston tomorrow.  I'm gonna chase it from Hearne up to Palestine on Saturday.  Big Iron!

 

 

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It's making local news about the Houston stop on Wed. Thought about taking the boy, but it would be a bit too much of a PITA and he's not old enough to really remember it. 

Edited by SydneyCarton

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Thanks for posting. Would be cool to see this beast.

Growing up in Michigan we would go to the tracks and grab iron ore pellets that had fallen off the cars. Wicked slingshot ammo.

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I got my spot picked out for some shots. Chances are there will he a dozen foamers that want to stand in front of me and block my shots.

I saw a drone video of exactly what I was talking about with it crossing the Pecos. Unfortunately, he was in a bad spot that didn’t capture it really crossing the bridge. I wish I could have driven out there.

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Also, I posted it up-thread, but use THIS LINK, it shows you the exact route Big Boy is taking (you can zoom in all the way to street level), and also shows where Big Boy is in real time.

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The bridge at the Colorado would be a pretty cool shot as well. Other bridges are the crossings over Lake McQueeney, the San Marcos River, and the Brazos.

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There’s a big boy at the transportation museum in Denver. 
 

this engine is IMMENSE. Weighs literally a million pounds. Guy at the museum said that when the museum changed locations, they moved it 1000 feet at a time, then city engineers evaluated the integrity of the next thousand feet. 

Edited by Pato del Muerto

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10 hours ago, UnivTex34 said:

I'm pretty sure @Anton Chigurh got some pics of it out west. At least I think it was him that posted about it on Insta.

Sho'nuff. Those were quick phone edits, but I got around to actually processing them tonight. 

Hope this ain't too many. This is the thread for them, after-all. 

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Edited by Anton Chigurh

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Great pix, friendo.

Couple of sort of engineering notes that some of you may find interesting.  I always wondered why steamsmoke? came out the smokestack at the front and top, when all the steam action takes place down at the bottom near the wheels (little white steam jets come out there too, as you might expect).  The pistons and expansion cylinders, where the work of turning the wheels is done, are to the left of each of the two engineers in Chigurh's fourth and sixth pics.  There are two on each side, each driving a set of wheels, which is a characteristic of this locomotive:  it's two joined together in the middle.

And I also wondered why the boiler part of the engine was so long and large when a steamship, for example, got away with much more compact boilers (considering the volume of steam expansion is much, much larger, generally).

The boiler is a fire tube boiler.  So you have tubes the length of the boiler, roughly, that carry heat from the firebox in the rear to heat water in the giant cylinder. The steam rises and is collected in the bumps or lumps on top of the giant cylinder and piped down to the pistons near the wheels for expansion.  A 20th century ship's boiler, generally, is a water tube boiler, meaning the opposite so that effectively the fire is in the cylinder and the water/steam in the tubes.  A steam turbine requires much higher pressure steam than a piston expansion engine, and the water tube boiler is more efficient for high pressure steam and also more expensive to build.

Some steam is vented through/past the tube exits to create draft or suction to pull heated combustion gas from the firebox through the tubes.  The steam mixes with the smoke from the combustion gas, so what comes out of the smokestack is a mixture of smoke and steam and why at high output it really blows as in the seventh and eighth pics.  At idle or low output, it's just smoke as in the 10th pic.  Steamships typically vent only smoke or combustion products through their funnels.  They used forced draft, but it's a blower system, not a steam venturi.

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Bad. Ass. Pics. There is nothing more memorizing than watching a big steam locomotive running at speed. All the heavy metal spinning and working together... it's just amazing.

I was out in the pasture one day a few years ago working on the fence when this came rolling past. I thought I was either having a stroke or an acid flashback, but it was real. Had no idea it was scheduled to be coming and just pure luck I was standing there. Had I known, I'd have had cameras set up.

871SM.jpg

UP 844 is a beast. Designed to pull passenger trains at 120 mph. 

Edited by RPM

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Anton chigurh what is your pinche Instagram? I thought for sure we followed each other but I didn’t see these pics. Awesome! Where were you at? Also, if you were near pecos and didn’t try to go get shots of it on the bridge, I am going to make you flip a quarter.

 

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Anton chigurh what is your pinche Instagram? I thought for sure we followed each other but I didn’t see these pics. Awesome! Where were you at? Also, if you were near pecos and didn’t try to go get shots of it on the bridge, I am going to make you flip a quarter.

 

 

You commented on my damn post! I only posted three there I think, not all of them. They were just quick jpg imports to my phone from my camera. May have been slightly different from these, I don’t remember.

 

I was in Alpine. I caught it on the way in (well, it arrived early, was there when I got there), when it left the next morning, and then once more East of town. There were SO MANY people there for it. I didn’t expect that many, honestly. Everyone was going slow on US90 trying to follow it.

 

Here’s a quick video on the crowd in the evening:

 

https://streamable.com/apai3

 

I live in DFW or else I’d have probably tried to catch it in Langtry/near the Pecos, too.

 

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5 hours ago, RPM said:

Bad. Ass. Pics. There is nothing more memorizing than watching a big steam locomotive running at speed. All the heavy metal spinning and working together... it's just amazing.

I was out in the pasture one day a few years ago working on the fence when this came rolling past. I thought I was either having a stroke or an acid flashback, but it was real. Had no idea it was scheduled to be coming and just pure luck I was standing there. Had I known, I'd have had cameras set up.

871SM.jpg

UP 844 is a beast. Designed to pull passenger trains at 120 mph. 

And that locomotive is approximately one-half of a "big boy."

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16 hours ago, UTCzech III said:

Also, I posted it up-thread, but use THIS LINK, it shows you the exact route Big Boy is taking (you can zoom in all the way to street level), and also shows where Big Boy is in real time.

Scroll up to KC and check out the maneuver they will go through to turn and go west. It looks like they have to do some fancy driving in Houston and Little Rock as well. I will follow it as it makes it's way across Kansas. Damn shame that I don't have any photography chops.

I'm pretty sure it was BigBoy that came through my hometown 20 years or so ago and stopped right outside my office for a couple of hours. The crowd brought our little town to a standstill. It amazes me how many people are active railfans.

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