Last chance to see Union Pacific's 'Big Boy' locomotive in Houston

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Friday, November 8, 2019
Largest steam locomotive comes to Houston
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ABC13 anchor emeritus Dave Ward recalls his childhood years and the times when the "Big Boy" locomotive came through Houston.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- All aboard!

Houston, Friday's the last day to see the Union Pacific Big Boy train tour in our city. Big Boy will be departing at 10 a.m.

Big Boy No. 4014 locomotive arrived on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. at the Houston Amtrak Station on 902 Washington Avenue.

The pit stop comes with the chance to go inside and experience the Union Pacific Rail Car, which is a multi-media walk-through exhibition that provides a glimpse at the past, according to a press release.

"It's almost the size of a Boeing airplane, and it is strong enough to pull 16 Statues of Liberty uphill," said Kristin South, director of communications for Union Pacific. "It's 1.2 million pounds and 133 feet long."

Called a Big Boy locomotive, it was one of 25 steam engine vehicles built by Union Pacific in the 1940s. Only eight still exist today, and many thought they'd never see a Big Boy in operation again.

WATCH: Big Boy gearing up for 10 a.m. departure

"The last time a Big Boy locomotive operated was 60 years ago, back in 1959," South said in a phone interview. "And, as you can imagine, you don't go to a hardware store or a car parts store and pick up pieces for a locomotive of this size. So the team had to build this locomotive. In many of the cases, many parts are made from scratch again."

The pit stop in Houston is part of its tour across the southwest to commemorate the transcontinental railroad's 150th anniversary.

If you want a chance to see Big Boy, it will be passing by these following locations:

Spring at 11:15 a.m. on Elm Street Crossing.

Navasota at 1:15 p.m. on E. McAlpine Street and S. Railroad St.

And the final stop will be at Bryan/College Station at 4:30 p.m. on F and B Rd & Wellborn Rd.

For more information on its tour, click here.


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