Historic steam engine on tour with local stop
The Union Pacific is bringing a rolling piece of history through Independence later this summer.
The railroad's No. 4014 steam engine is making a monthlong goodwill tour through 10 states. The engine, originally in service from 1941 to 1961, is distinctive in that it’s 132 feet long – half again as long as today’s diesels – with articulated wheels to negotiate curves.
Big Boys were built exclusively for the UP, which had 25 of them. No. 4014 was retired after more than 1 million miles of service. The railroad acquired it from a California museum in 2013 and restored it to working order, a process that took years.
On Aug. 31, it is scheduled to stop at Lee's Summit depot downtown from 3:20 to 3:50 p.m. and then the Truman Depot in Independence 4:20 to 4:50 p.m.
In all, it is making more than 100 stops from Aug. 5 to Sept. 7, sometimes for 20 or 30 minutes and sometimes a day or two in generally larger cities. It will pass through Kansas City twice, giving train enthusiasts ample opportunities to see it.
Highlights of the tour:
• Big Boy leaves its base in Cheyenne, Wyo., on Aug. 5, making stops in Nebraska and northeast Kansas.
• Arrives at Union Station in Kansas City at 7 p.m. Aug. 9 and is on display Aug. 10
• Departs Union Station at 8 a.m. Aug. 11 for Paola, Kan., and points south. It runs through Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas before coming back to Missouri Aug, 27. It stops for the night in Poplar Bluff in southeast Missouri.
• Departs Poplar Bluff Aug. 28, with stops in Scott City, Mo., and Chester, Ill., before arriving in St. Louis. It’s on display there Aug. 29.
• Departs St. Louis Aug. 30 for a two-day trip across Missouri. Stops in Kirkwood, Pacific, Washinton and Hermann. Overnight in Jefferson City.
• Departs Jefferson City Aug. 31, continuing with 30- and 45-minute stops along the way: California, Sedalia, Warrensburg, Pleasant Hill, Lee's Summit and Independence. It arrives for the night at Union Station in Kansas City.
• On display at Union Station Sept. 1.
• Departs Union Station Sept. 1 for Lawrence, Topeka and points west. Back in Cheyenne Sept. 7.