Here’s a hype train you can get on, if only metaphorically: a restored Big Boy steam train will make a Wednesday morning stop in Manhattan as part of Union Pacific’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad.
The 132-foot-long, 1.2 million pound Big Boy No. 4014, a steam train originally commissioned in 1941, will stop between 9:30 and 10:15 a.m. at the South Manhattan Avenue rail crossing. The train is the only one of eight in existence that is still in operation.
No. 4014, which traveled over 1 million miles in its 20 years in service, underwent a multi-year restoration in 2013 and returned to service in May as part of Union Pacific’s celebration of the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. The 1869 completion of that railroad connected the U.S. rail network at Council Bluffs, Iowa, with the Pacific coast for the first time.
Since May, the steam engine has traveled across the Southwest and will complete a loop to its origin in Cheyenne, Wyoming, later this month.
Officials welcome visitors to see the steam engine, although no public access aboard the train will be available. They caution the public to stand at least 25 feet from the tracks and not trespass on railroad trestles, rail yards or other railroad right-of-way.
The train will travel to Junction City, where it will make a 15-minute stop at 11 a.m. before heading to Abilene.