Union Pacific's Big Boys (Softcover)

Item #01311

Get the complete story of the best-known and most-popular steam locomotives ever built, including the history all the way through to the much-anticipated restoration of No. 4014.

Click here for the hardcover version of this book.

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Union Pacific’s Big Boys: The complete story from history to restoration covers the who, what, why, and when of the 25 popular 4-8-8-4 steam locomotives. This book gives the historical background on the early 1940s development, explains why they were built, how they were used, and traces their history until they were retired in the 1950s.

This book also covers the much anticipated and well covered restoration of No. 4014 starting when it was recovered in a park in 2013 all the way through to its restoration and tour across the United States in the summer of 2019.

Everything you need to know about these popular steam locomotives can be found in this 224-page book.

Size: 11" x 8.5
Pages: 224
Photos: 175

In the fall of 1941 the American Locomotive Company of Schenectady, New York built 20 large 133-foot-long 4-8-8-4’s for the Union Pacific Railroad at a cost of $265,174 each, or about $4.2 million in today’s dollars. The 600-ton locomotives were built to run up to 80 miles an hour, take maximum curves of 20 degrees and were able to produce maximum power at 30-40 mph. An additional five more 4-8-8-4’s were produced in 1944. This 224-page, 8 1/2 x 11” book, available in both hard and softcover versions, is brimming with all the superlatives and figures about these beloved behemoths, and especially No. 4014, one of the remaining eight UP 4-8-8-4s still in existence.

In 10 informative and fact-filled chapters and 175 black and white and color illustrations, this artful compilation on the #4014 and its sisters features not only lots of photographic eye candy but an all-inclusive storyline about the Big Boys. Of particular note are the sections which speak to the legend of the Big Boy, an informative two-page spread on the 4-8-8-4's facts, a color map of where the UP locomotives were assigned, a cutaway color drawing depicting highlights of the mammoth locomotive, early photos of the engines in action on the Union Pacific, a section on other significant articulated locomotives of other roads, and how modern super steam technology evolved.  

In addition, the book features the story of how #4014 was acquired as part of UP’s Heritage Fleet, how it was carefully moved 1,300 miles and how it was meticulously rebuilt like new over several years. Large, color photographs of the rebuilding effort in Union Pacific’s Cheyenne, Wyoming shops are crisp and clear, and the break-in run photography is stunning. The large two-page photo spread on pages 180-181 shows the excitement the #4014 has brought to railfans and the general public, while the photo of steamers #814 and #4014 on page 184-185 shows the final results of Big Boy’s extraordinary restoration.

This well-done tribute to the #4014 and its sisters is also a tribute to steam railroading in general; it's a timely and noteworthy book you’ll want in your railroad library.

—Don Heimburger, Heimburger House Publishing Co. 

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