So we clocked 313.6 miles today… the longest road trip we’ve made in a while! But when a nearly-eighty-year-old locomotive that also happens to be the largest operating steam locomotive in the world is going to be only an hour east of home, you do what you have to do.
Union Pacific 4014 is a 4-8-8-4 articulated steam locomotive built in 1941 and retired in 1961. Only twenty-five of these monsters were produced, and only a few escaped being scrapped. This one was on display for years until 2017, when Union Pacific began the process of restoring it to operating condition.
We caught up with it a few miles north of Hearne on US 79. I haven’t seen an operating steam locomotive since 2015 when I left Chattanooga for Texas!
Next time I’m going to speak with the folks at Union Pacific and see if they can come through when the light is a little better and there are some clouds in the sky.