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UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
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   Author  Topic: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy  (Read 443 times)
donniebilson
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Posts: 136
UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
 
« on: Sep 20th, 2009, 8:27pm »
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What are the expenses for restoring the UP 4002 4-8-8-4 big boy to operating condition?

« Last Edit: Sep 20th, 2009, 8:28pm by donniebilson » Logged

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Norm_Anderson
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Re: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
 
« Reply #1 on: Sep 20th, 2009, 10:05pm »
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True story-- when I was in my teens growing up in Southern California, I made the annual pilgrimage to the Los Angeles County Fair, held each September in suburban Pomona.  I couldn't have cared less about the livestock exhibits, or the arts and crafts displays-- what I really went to see were the trains ! !
 
There were three main attractions-- an enormous outdoor layout (don't remember the name); the mind-boggling Citrus Empire "O" Gauge club layout under the grandstands; and the 1:1 equipment collection of the Southern California chapter of the NRHS.  And one of the prizes in their collection was an honest-to-goodness Big Boy.
 
As a star-struck teen, I asked one of the volunteer club members, "What do you think it'd cost to restore this engine to operating condition?"  His off-the-top-of-his-head estimate was $1,000,000 plus.
 
This was in 1967 dollars.
 
And the engine, back then, had had 42 years' less rust and corrosion than it has today.
 
Bottom line-- virtually anything is possible if you throw enough money at it, but my understanding is that an operational Big Boy is universally considered unattainable.
 
UP currently runs Challenger 3985, but I think only UP is up to the task of continuing to maintain her, (considering her, so far, an acceptable PR expense).  But even if you could get a Big Boy under steam, there's no guarantee of being able to afford the ongoing maintenance, or insurance, or even of finding a railroad willing to host it.
 
Lovely dream, though...
 
 
Regards,
 
Norm


« Last Edit: Sep 21st, 2009, 12:10am by Norm_Anderson » Logged
Espee9180
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Posts: 633
Re: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
 
« Reply #2 on: Sep 20th, 2009, 11:12pm »
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on Sep 20th, 2009, 10:05pm, Norm_Anderson wrote:       (Click here for original message)
But even if you could get a Big Boy under steam, there's no guarantee of being able to afford the ongoing maintenance, or insurance, or even of finding a railroad willing to host it.

 
Not only that there are little places to turn the locomotive, wye's and turntable speaking (think there are 2 places within a mile of each other). Plus it would beat the you know what out of the track and roadbed. There is the #3985 and railfans are lucky UP has decided to keep it running.


« Last Edit: Sep 20th, 2009, 11:24pm by Espee9180 » Logged
donniebilson
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Posts: 136
Re: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
 
« Reply #3 on: Sep 21st, 2009, 6:39pm »
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Well lets say if NS or CSX was to run their steam program again couldnt they run the big boy? If UP could run it surely NS or CSX could do it. Could they?

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Re: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
 
« Reply #4 on: Sep 21st, 2009, 7:31pm »
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on Sep 21st, 2009, 6:39pm, donniebilson wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Well lets say if NS or CSX was to run their steam program again couldnt they run the big boy? If UP could run it surely NS or CSX could do it. Could they?

 
First you have to ask, why would they?
 
UP's Steam program uses historical locomotives to UP.
NS's steam program used historical locomotives to NS.
Chessie's Steam Program, used a East coast unit in Chessie paint. (ex- RDG T1).
See a pattern?  
 
The Big Boys, weren't used on the east coast, or any predecessor roads. I have a feeling if NS or CSX ran a steam program again (Lets face it- not likely in this day and age) they would likely use something more historic to there own history instead of a competitors history.
 
Its surprising in itself that UP still has its own steam program, and NS has a few F units running around.  
 
Now if your talking about, say, a group restoring a Big Boy and trying to run it on the East Coast, I wish them the best getting through the red tape and money barrier in this day and age.
 


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donniebilson
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Posts: 136
Re: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
 
« Reply #5 on: Sep 25th, 2009, 11:03am »
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Well lets say if the railroad museum holding the 4002 was to get a big donation from someone to restore the 4002 to operating condition, couldnt they restore it and have UP run it once in a while so as not to damage the rails and run up the maintenance costs? based from what Espee 9180 said.


« Last Edit: Sep 25th, 2009, 11:05am by donniebilson » Logged

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CHESSIEMIKE
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Re: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
 
« Reply #6 on: Sep 26th, 2009, 11:06pm »
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on Sep 25th, 2009, 11:03am, donniebilson wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Well lets say if the railroad museum holding the 4002 was to get a big donation from someone to restore the 4002 to operating condition, couldnt they restore it and have UP run it once in a while so as not to damage the rails and run up the maintenance costs? based from what Espee 9180 said.
Who has #4002? To my knowledge that one is gone.
CHESSIEMIKE


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donniebilson
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Re: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
 
« Reply #7 on: Dec 5th, 2009, 3:32pm »
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I think #4002 is at steam town.

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martinm1218
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Re: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
  UP_4012.jpg - 44563 Bytes
« Reply #8 on: Dec 5th, 2009, 3:50pm »
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on Dec 5th, 2009, 3:32pm, donniebilson wrote:       (Click here for original message)
I think #4002 is at steam town.

 
 
Actually, the Big Boy at Steamtown is #4012.


http://Forums.Railfan.net/Images/UP/UP_4012.jpg
Click Image to Resize

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Pennsy
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Re: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
 
« Reply #9 on: Dec 5th, 2009, 4:09pm »
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Big Boy 4014 is at the Fairplex, Pomona, California. It is probably the one that is best preserved, and in best shape.

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CapnHawk
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Re: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
 
« Reply #10 on: Mar 23rd, 2011, 3:31am »
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I agree, the 4014 is in remarkable shape. Interesting to note that a Big Boy never operated in the Golden State, yet has one on display.

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KingCoal
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Re: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
 
« Reply #11 on: Mar 24th, 2011, 5:56pm »
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It probably will not happen for all the reasons stated above but it is nice to dream,
isn't it? Same goes for GG-1s under their own power or the return of the Brill bullet cars.
Once upon a time all three were as common as flies in the summer time...........


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CALZEPHYR
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Re: UP 4-8-8-4 big boy
 
« Reply #12 on: Mar 30th, 2011, 11:23am »
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on Sep 25th, 2009, 11:03am, donniebilson wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Well lets say if the railroad museum holding the 4002 was to get a big donation from someone to restore the 4002 to operating condition, couldnt they restore it and have UP run it once in a while so as not to damage the rails and run up the maintenance costs? based from what Espee 9180 said.

The 4002 was scrapped in 1962 era!
 The eight that are preserved are great to see in person and pictures of them in action is all that remains to be seen of them in action.


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