Explore the cab of the recently restored Union Pacific “Big Boy” No. 4012!
No. 4012 is among a unique class of 25 articulated steam locomotives with a 4-8-8-4 wheel set built solely for the Union Pacific Railroad by the American Locomotive Works (ALCO). Most were constructed in 1941 (including No. 4012) on the eve of United States’ entry into World War II. As such, their ability to haul heavy loads unassisted subsequently played a critical role in America’s home front war effort. An engineering marvel that is perhaps the high point to steam locomotion technology, the “Big Boys” nonetheless became obsolete as more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective diesel-electric locomotive technology was refined during the 1950s. The last Union Pacific “Big Boy” revenue run occurred in 1959.
Only eight “Big Boys” survived the scrapper’s torch, with Steamtown NHS’s No. 4012 the only one to be found on exhibit in the U.S.’s eastern time zone.