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Buy a ticket to ride inside The Big Boy UP steam engine...But you have to PAY for it!

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JUGHNE
JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,108
edited June 2023 in THE MAIN WALL
Get a cab ride in the UP 4014 locomotive.
The largest working steam powered locomotive in the world.

Coming to Omaha in June/July.

It is a 4-8-8-4 wheel set up.

Just at 1 million pounds, 68" driving wheels, designed to run 7000 HP at 70 MPH.

Built 25 in 1941, as coal burners, used in the war effort to get supplies to the west coast.

This one has just over a million miles on it.

IIUC the unit can articulate to go thru turns of the mountains.

We viewed this the last trip across NE. Just standing next to it the heat shut down my I-pad. This thing is a beast.

So there is an auction to get the 90 minute ride in WY, July 3rd.

You must to be able to stand for most of the trip, climb the ladder to get in and able to stand the inside temp which can get to 140 or more.

Bidding closes Sunday at 8 am.

Present bid is $17,100.00 :o

It will go up, proceeds to the UP museum in Omaha.
PC7060WMno57Mad Dog_2CLambMaxMercy

Comments

  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,919
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    JUGHNE said:

    Get a cab ride in the UP 4014 locomotive.
    The largest working steam powered locomotive in the world.

    Coming to Omaha in June/July.

    It is a 4-8-8-4 wheel set up.

    Just at 1 million pounds, 68" driving wheels, designed to run 7000 HP at 70 MPH.

    Built 25 in 1941, as coal burners, used in the war effort to get supplies to the west coast.

    This one has just over a million miles on it.

    IIUC the unit can articulate to go thru turns of the mountains.

    We viewed this the last trip across NE. Just standing next to it the heat shut down my I-pad. This thing is a beast.

    So there is an auction to get the 90 minute ride in WY, July 3rd.

    You must to be able to stand for most of the trip, climb the ladder to get in and able to stand the inside temp which can get to 140 or more.

    Bidding closes Sunday at 8 am.

    Present bid is $17,100.00 :o

    It will go up, proceeds to the UP museum in Omaha.


    140F?
    Considering what an attic feels like in the summer.......I'm highly doubting that number, especially if windows are open and it's moving.

    I would find it hard to believe anyone would be able to survive 140F for hours and hours while operating a steam locomotive.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    mattmia2Mad Dog_2
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,108
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    I just report what I read.

    This stops at least every 90 minutes for water and to grease the drive train.

    These things require serious and frequent lube stops, also water.

    When we viewed the stopping and lubing, the engineers look pretty glad to be outside.

    This was one of the reasons steam engines were phased out.

    You could raise and win the bid, fly to WY and take the ride with your thermometer. ;)
    GGross
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,408
    edited June 2023
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    Photo of number 4017 which is on static display in Green Bay, WI. I saw 4014 under steam in the western Chicago burbs on it's 2019 excursion. AWESOME, a must see. Here is this summer's schedule:
    "The Big Boy will leave Cheyenne, Wyoming, on June 7, en route to Omaha. It will make whistle-stops in Wyoming and Nebraska, before returning to its home base in Cheyenne on July 3. During its Omaha display at Union Pacific's Home Plate, next to Charles Schwab Field, the public will be allowed to see the locomotive up close between June 15-21 and June 24-25 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m."
    https://www.up.com/heritage/steam/schedule/index.htm
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,959
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    Add water and lubricate every hour and a half? Is it really that bad or are they being very cautious? It still beats the alternatives and I know the maintenance was why they got replaced with diesels almost as soon as they became available but I didn't think it was quite that bad.
    CLamb
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,008
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    This lube schedule makes sense when you consider how powerful these locomotives were, the state of metallurgy at that time, how much weight they pulled and in the Big Boy's case, the mountains they pulled their trains over.

    As an example- here's the Big Boys' little brother, UP #844, pushing the rear of a freight train on which one of its three diesels had died:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RU9uEwSGp9M
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
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    CLambreggittekushan_3
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,167
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    I think I'm gonna be sad. I think it's today

    Because I don't have a TICKET TO RIDE!

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

    Mad Dog_2
  • JeffM
    JeffM Member Posts: 182
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    That would be awesome, but I think I'll save the $ and just watch it go by. Saw 4014 on it's last trip through CO a year or two ago, and 844 maybe 12 years ago in Wichita KS. If you can't take the heat, the Forney Museum in Denver CO has another Big Boy on static display inside which you can stand right next to. Those things are just plain massive!
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 669
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    I too saw 4014 when it stopped in West Chicago in 2019. Even got a couple T shirts.

    One thing strange I noticed about that locomotive was on each side of the boiler, just below the foot boards and above the drivers (IIRC) there was an unguarded roller chain driven mechanism with rather large sprockets, and maybe a couple feet between the sprocket centers.

    I've never seen anything like that on a steam locomotive before, and doesn't appear on pictures of other Big Boys I've seen.

    Does anybody know what these mechanisms might be for? I'm thinking lubricator drives of some sort, but I'm still wondering.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 1,105
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    @Pumpguy
    For a little under 20 grand you could ask the guys yourself while riding on the tracks!
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,959
    edited June 2023
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    Pumpguy said:

    I too saw 4014 when it stopped in West Chicago in 2019. Even got a couple T shirts.

    One thing strange I noticed about that locomotive was on each side of the boiler, just below the foot boards and above the drivers (IIRC) there was an unguarded roller chain driven mechanism with rather large sprockets, and maybe a couple feet between the sprocket centers.

    I've never seen anything like that on a steam locomotive before, and doesn't appear on pictures of other Big Boys I've seen.

    Does anybody know what these mechanisms might be for? I'm thinking lubricator drives of some sort, but I'm still wondering.

    This?


    hmm, not showing up for some reason. it is here:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_Pacific_4014#/media/File:Union_Pacific_X4014_(49097041782).jpg

  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 669
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    Yeah, I could have asked the guy standing in 4014's cab back in 2019, but it was a hot day, there were mobs of people there, and, well, I just didn't.

    I've been wondering about that ever since.
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,959
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    And here is the answer:
    https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?10,4641250

    It was a lubricator. It usually has a guard over it. It was a retrofit of an original rod driven system that tended to break.
    GGross
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,108
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    We saw the "Big Boy" in Columbus NE, it had just left Fremont Ne where it spent the night.

    That is about 50 miles, we watched them grease things with a pneumatic gun that sounded like a machine gun. This took quite awhile.

    From reading trivia, they use high dollar grease for the critical joints and a lesser grease for minor items.

    Years ago, they towed this locomotive to WY, for restoration, by having it sandwiched between 2 diesels.

    Special permission was required as they could not have that much weight transported without proper brakes. (IIRC)

    In the Columbus train they had 1 or 2 diesels connected behind it. I assume for electric power and air for the the entire train. This train had a long string of high end sleeper/diner/observation cars as it was carrying VIP's of UP and others who probably donated (paid) more then the current fee for the cab ride this July.

    Other readings indicate that they needed the HP for the mountains.
    The height and width size was limited by the existing tunnels.

    With those limitations and to get more HP under the hood the locomotive was made longer and is why it had to articulate for the curves.

    As the RR's crossed the plains of Nebraska in the 1800's a water stop was needed every 10 miles.

    This put a town every 10 miles. Up here some have blown away and some hung on as we did.

    Water was pumped with windmills to a standing tower tank.

    Our now abandoned RR was last known as the C&NW, a long stretch of it, 332 miles, was converted to "The Cowboy Trail". A walking and biking trail.....no horses allowed on the "Cowboy" trail BTW... ;) , hooves would cut up the surface too much.

    In 1882 this track passed thru and established our town, they stayed close enough to the river to get shallow water wells.

    25' would easily get you to water. Go a few miles north and it would be 100-200'.

    I often think of the "dead men" who surveyed this line across any part of the country in the 1800's.

    A long trek on horse back, but probably mostly on foot dragging chains for measurement.
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,240
    edited June 2023
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    @JUGHNE The Cowboy Trail is really well maintained.  Better than the road in many areas.
    My favorite part is all the bridges, large and small!


    JUGHNE
  • Pumpguy
    Pumpguy Member Posts: 669
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    mattmia2 said:

    And here is the answer:
    https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?10,4641250

    It was a lubricator. It usually has a guard over it. It was a retrofit of an original rod driven system that tended to break.

    AHAH! Suspicions confirmed, and with more information than the guy in the cab would have offered. I wouldn't have thought about the rocking vs rotary motion. Thanks guys
    Dennis Pataki. Former Service Manager and Heating Pump Product Manager for Nash Engineering Company. Phone: 1-888 853 9963
    Website: www.nashjenningspumps.com

    The first step in solving any problem is TO IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,108
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    Watching the bit of video I have, that chain just is a rocker. If it went the full speed of the wheels it wouldn't last.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,245
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    Real cool Steamer...I'm not sure what an average human can sustain and for how long, but I have buds that were in Desert Storm in the Air Force and Marines the said it would get up to 115-120 during the day and the had to work in it. I didn't have a thermometer on me but,  we used to DIE way up in the ceilings of Rock Center brazing lines on our bellies 12" from the ceiling with the Steam Mains blazing away for good measure.  You HAD to wear a Heavy Denim shirt 👕 or you got all kinds of burns.  The Oxy-acetylene torch burned up all your oxygen too.  You had to come down every 40 minutes or so to BREATHE...Soaking Wet..  I was like working in an oven...Mad Dog 🐕 
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 930
    edited June 2023
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    I had to replace a control above the boilers at the Altoona hospital in Altoona, Pa. in the summer. Of course the boilers were firing. We had a thermometer that only went to 180F so the temperature was above that. I wore a heavy long sleeve shirt just in case I touched something with my arms. Boy was it hot. I also replaced a tweyre block on the burner manifold of an old Auburn burner at the Mount Union , Pa High School that had been shut down just an hour before. We put boards on top of the fire brick floor so my shoes would not be ruined. The wood caught fire so I am glad it didn't take too long. Now, that is hot. Back then I was young and stupid.

    @chrisj; It took about 1 hour. I had to do it in shifts since 15-20 minutes was about all I could take. You can hardly breathe at that temp.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,919
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    I had to replace a control above the boilers at the Altoona hospital in Altoona, Pa. in the summer. Of course the boilers were firing. We had a thermometer that only went to 180F so the temperature was above that. I wore a heavy long sleeve shirt just in case I touched something with my arms. Boy was it hot. I also replaced a tweyre block on the burner manifold of an old Auburn burner at the Mount Union , Pa High School that had been shut down just an hour before. We put boards on top of the fire brick floor so my shoes would not be ruined. The wood caught fire so I am glad it didn't take too long. Now, that is hot. Back then I was young and stupid.


    How long were you in this......180+F air?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,108
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    Up to $17,600 after 72 bids.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,919
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    JUGHNE said:

    Up to $17,600 after 72 bids.


    Did you bid yet?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • retiredguy
    retiredguy Member Posts: 930
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    @ Steamhead; that UP844 was pushing hard and giving it all it had.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,108
    edited June 2023
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    ChrisJ, I was going to run the bid up, but it would mean a 400+ mile one way drive.

    Gas is just too expensive west of where I am....can't afford that, now can I? ;)
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,919
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    JUGHNE said:

    ChrisJ, I was going to run the bid up, but it would mean a 400+ mile one way drive.

    Gas is just too expensive west of where I am....can't afford that, now can I?


    If you can afford that bid, then absolutely you can afford gas for 1000 miles. That'd cost me roughly $80 in gas.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    mattmia2JUGHNE
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,408
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    See the Big Boy and some International Harvester tractors.
    This years Red Power Roundup is in Grand Island, Nebraska June 15-17.
    https://rpru2023.com/

    PC7060
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,919
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    It's interesting how many on HH like steam locomotives and yet tuning an oil or gas burner by eye is unthinkable.




    That 844 looked like she was running a bit rich to me..........even by eye.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 17,008
    edited June 2023
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    Well, they didn't have digital combustion analyzers in those days. During the early electronic age, some stationary coal-fired boilers were fitted with photoelectric monitoring devices that would alert the operators if they were making smoke, but these weren't used on locomotives.

    Also, if you're not familiar, there is a steam nozzle in the smokestack which takes some of the exhaust steam and uses it to force the draft in the boiler so they can fire it at a higher rate. But this is not constant, so if the boiler draft level drops at that higher burn rate it'll make smoke.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    Consulting
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,919
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    Steamhead said:

    Well, they didn't have digital combustion analyzers in those days. During the early electronic age, some stationary coal-fired boilers were fitted with photoelectric monitoring devices that would alert the operators if they were making smoke, but these weren't used on locomotives.

    Also, if you're not familiar, there is a steam nozzle in the smokestack which takes some of the exhaust steam and uses it to force the draft in the boiler so they can fire it at a higher rate. But this is not constant, so if the boiler draft level drops at that higher burn rate it'll make smoke.


    Yessir, I'm familiar with how they pull draft through the boiler.
    Please realize, I've been a huge fan of steam engines for a very very long time. I've been working on a design for one for a few years now, on and off....... Though I want to build a high rpm triple expansion one with variable intake valve timing, and my friend wants to build a slow running simple one with a huge bore and huge stroke.

    I suppose the point of my post wasn't that these engines are bad.
    It's that not everything has to be absolutely perfect to be more than acceptable.

    These engines were far from perfect but they were, and still are impressive and got the job done.


    Though I never thought of it before, I'm curious if they ever tried a steam powered blower to keep a constant draft vs just blowing the waste steam up a venturi? Or if it was just not practical to have such a high volume blower. From what I recall, fuel efficiency was a huge concern back then.




    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,108
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    The biding ended this morning at $21,100.00 with 88 bids.

    Someone has a ticket to ride!
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,919
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    JUGHNE said:

    The biding ended this morning at $21,100.00 with 88 bids.

    Someone has a ticket to ride!

    @Steamhead is going to have a good time!
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    mattmia2JUGHNE
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,108
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    21,100/90 minutes is $234.44 per minute.....and you may not get a chair!
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,108
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    So it turn out the winning bidder couldn't come up with the $21,100.....he thought the auction was a "joke" and wasn't aware that they were playing with real money.

    So 2 tickets were sold for $9,500 each, first come first serve. You had to be quick.
    mattmia2
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,919
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    JUGHNE said:

    So it turn out the winning bidder couldn't come up with the $21,100.....he thought the auction was a "joke" and wasn't aware that they were playing with real money.

    So 2 tickets were sold for $9,500 each, first come first serve. You had to be quick.


    I know a few people including my self that would love the experience.

    But not for that money.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • KC_Jones
    KC_Jones Member Posts: 5,750
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    ChrisJ said:

    JUGHNE said:

    So it turn out the winning bidder couldn't come up with the $21,100.....he thought the auction was a "joke" and wasn't aware that they were playing with real money.

    So 2 tickets were sold for $9,500 each, first come first serve. You had to be quick.


    I know a few people including my self that would love the experience.

    But not for that money.

    You should look into this then.

    https://www.strasburgrailroad.com/behind-the-scenes-tours/hostling-tour/

    While it doesn't explicitly say you get a cab ride, I've always gotten one at the end. It's short, but still enjoyable. The whole tour is actually quite cool.

    They also have this tour which is just as cool.
    https://www.strasburgrailroad.com/shop-tour/

    I've been there more times than I can count and done pretty much everything they offer. By far one of the most well run, nicest excursion railroads I've ever been to. It is well worth a trip.
    2014 Weil Mclain EG-40
    EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Boiler Control
    Boiler pictures updated 2/21/15