The world’s largest steam Locomotive, Union Pacific’s “Big Boy”, shows off its size as it rides the rails across Louisiana. The Number 4014 is one of 25 Big Boys built during the early 1940’s for Union Pacific Railroad.
Steam locomotive is huge
This steam locomotive is massive and weighs 1.2 million pounds. And the Big Boy measures 132 feet in length. The locomotive ran the rails for 20 years and retired from service in 1961. The No. 4014 underwent a multi-year restoration before it began a 2021 whistle-stop tour that saw it travel across ten states from Wyoming to Louisiana.
watch the big boy’s journey to new orleans
The Louisiana leg of the 4014’s tour lasted for 7 days. The train entered western Louisiana at Lake Charles and followed the tracks alongside U.S. Highway 190 to the Mississippi River. Then the giant locomotive traveled through towns along the west bank of the river and crossed the Huey P. Long Bridge in Jefferson Parish. The train was on display near the river at Aububon Zoo in New Orleans before its return trip home. The Big Boy will exit northwestern Louisiana near Shreveport.
crossing the mississippi river
Along its Louisiana Journey the steam-powered train made frequent stops to give excited bystanders a chance to view the massive locomotive. You could hear the train’s loud steam whistle more than a mile away as it approached its planned stops. Once the long passenger trail reached New Orleans, it had to maneuver a series of rails and switches so it could back into its display site behind the Audubon Zoo at the Mississippi River.