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The Return of Big Boy


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https://www.up.com/heritage/steam/schedule/index.htm

Union Pacific Steam Schedule

We know you missed seeing our steam locomotives last year nearly as much as the UP Steam Team missed operating No. 844 and Big Boy No. 4014. We have great news, the Steam Team is busy planning an excursion for No. 4014, likely kicking off August.

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On 6/26/2021 at 4:20 PM, R10 2952 said:

I still find it odd they went with oil-firing.  You would think with all the coal they have access to out there in the west, they would've just gone with coal.

The reason for the conversion to oil is because coal is a fire hazard in the western climate.

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Also, just because they have access to coal, doesn't mean it's the correct grade to burn in a locomotive firebox. Oil as a fuel is MUCH easier to utilize, since the infrastructure of the steam era no longer exists. With oil, they can just drive a tanker up to the ROW and refuel. With coal, they'd most likely need to drag around several gondolas worth as part of the train, and also bring with them an excavator to transfer the coal from the gons to the tender. Oil just provides a level of flexibility that makes sense for the types of operations that the UP does with their steam program. Had they kept the 4014 a coal burner, it would never have left the Sherman Hill area, and we would never be able to see shots like the ones I was able to record from this last tour.

 

Edited by Fan Railer
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Going to have to disagree with you on those points.  There are regular heritage steam operations elsewhere (England, Germany, even Poland) and they have no problems with access to usable coal.  Likewise, they don't attach diesel locomotives to the train, not for braking, not for anything.  In other places, it's a non-issue.

Only in America do people hem and haw about this stuff.  The heritage railroading scene in this country is a joke compared to Europe.  The fact that nobody in the government has had the nuts to challenge CSX on their steam ban is case-in-point to me.

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8 hours ago, R10 2952 said:

Going to have to disagree with you on those points.  There are regular heritage steam operations elsewhere (England, Germany, even Poland) and they have no problems with access to usable coal.  Likewise, they don't attach diesel locomotives to the train, not for braking, not for anything.  In other places, it's a non-issue.

Only in America do people hem and haw about this stuff.  The heritage railroading scene in this country is a joke compared to Europe.  The fact that nobody in the government has had the nuts to challenge CSX on their steam ban is case-in-point to me.

Ok, you're free to disagree. But we're in America, not Europe, so you're working with a completely different set of logistical factors. You can't compare apples and oranges as if they're on the same level playing field.

Ultimately, it comes down to cost. If you want to sit here and complain about silly shit that you think isn't right, then pony up the $$$ so that they can run the operation the way you want them to. Otherwise, the most cost effective route is the one that's going to be taken.

Edited by Fan Railer
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  • 5 months later...
On 10/29/2021 at 12:56 AM, Fan Railer said:

Ok, you're free to disagree. But we're in America, not Europe, so you're working with a completely different set of logistical factors. You can't compare apples and oranges as if they're on the same level playing field.

Ultimately, it comes down to cost. If you want to sit here and complain about silly shit that you think isn't right, then pony up the $$$ so that they can run the operation the way you want them to. Otherwise, the most cost effective route is the one that's going to be taken.

Well, everything in general is going up in prices so you point almost seems moot now doesn't it? 

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