The display coincides with Union Pacific’s celebratory event marking the transcontinental railroad’s 150th anniversary. The festivities include recreating the iconic photo taken May 10, 1869, when the last spike was tapped into place at Promontory Summit, creating America’s first transcontinental railroad.
Union Pacific no longer has tracks near Promontory Summit. They were removed to support the scrap metal projects during World War II.
“Completing the transcontinental railroad was a major feat that united America and laid the foundation for the country’s growth, economic progress and improved the way of life,” Scott Moore, senior vice president-corporate relations and chief administrative officer, said in a news release. “The restored steam engines are rolling pieces of history that take us back in time as we celebrate this momentous anniversary.”
No. 844, a 4-8-4 steamer (Northern), will leave Cheyenne, Wyoming, April 27. It will make several brief stops called whistle-stops in communities along its route, arriving in Ogden on April 28; the railroad will display the steamer at Ogden Union Station through May 11.
The Big Boy’s return follows more than two years of restoration. Of the eight Big Boys in existence, No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy locomotive; another is on display at the Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco, Texas.
It will leave Cheyenne on May 4 following a christening ceremony at the historic Cheyenne Depot and arrive in Ogden for the May 9 celebratory event at Ogden Union Station. The Big Boy also will make several whistle-stops in communities along its route.