Union Pacific’s Big Boy No. 4014 Locomotive will chug through Carroll Friday — its second stop here. The first took place on July 15. Several Carroll residents recently spent a day on the train as it traveled from Omaha to Boone.
Union Pacific’s Big Boy No. 4014 Locomotive will chug through Carroll Friday — its second stop here. The first took place on July 15. Several Carroll residents recently spent a day on the train as it traveled from Omaha to Boone.

July 31, 2019

Local residents Dr. Martin Halbur and Wayne Seaman checked an item off their bucket lists on July 15 as they spent the day together on Union Pacific’s Big Boy No. 4014 Locomotive.

To commemorate the 150-year anniversary of the transcontinental railroad’s completion, No. 4014 left Cheyenne, Wyoming on July 8 in a “Great Race across the Midwest” that also would take it through Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Wisconsin. The Big Boy No. 4014 is the largest steam locomotive in the world. There originally were 25 Big Boys built for Union Pacific, with the first delivered in 1941, and of the eight still in existence today, No. 4014 is the only one operating, according to a press release.

The Carroll pair boarded the historic restored train in Omaha and rode it through Boone. They sat on the left side of the train, perfecting their out-the-window waves, and a bus picked them up in Boone and drove them back to Omaha to complete their day.

“It’s one of these bucket list things I’ve wanted to do, and it was worth every minute spent on it,” Halbur said. “Just such an eye-opener.”

While Halbur said he was amazed at the restoration of the train, he also said it was incredible to view Iowa out the window throughout the ride.

“I saw a part of Carroll that I’d never seen before,” he said.

The Big Boy drew a large crowd when it stopped in Carroll. Halbur said that from towns to small farm roads, the amount of people he saw come out to see the train was astounding.

“Every intersection all the way from Omaha to Boone, even country road intersections, had people out,” Halbur said. “I didn’t know there was that many railroad buffs.”

But viewers of the train were not limited to those just standing by the tracks. Drivers on the nearby highway also took their time in order to get a good look at the locomotive.

“We traveled along Highway 30, and if we would go 35 miles an hour, so would the traffic on Highway 30,” Seaman said. “If we would speed up to 40, they would speed up to 40.”

One of Seaman’s favorite parts of the experience was meeting the other railroad buffs on the train. He said he learned a lot about the Big Boy itself, the locomotive’s cars and railroading in general from the other riders.

“The train ride was one thing,” he said. “The learning experience about railroading was a benefit that we had not expected, that we really much appreciated.”

Now, the locomotive will return to Carroll on Friday at the Carroll Chamber of Commerce office, formerly the Chicago and North Western Depot, located at 407 W. 5th St. The train will arrive at 12:30 p.m. and stay for 45 minutes, departing at 1:15 p.m. Members of the public once again are welcome to come view the train during its stop. The train will be spending longer at the depot than it did on its first stop in Carroll on July 15.

The Big Boy locomotive will return back to Cheyenne, Wyoming on Aug. 8, a month after it left from the same destination.