It's 132 feet long and weighs 1.2 million pounds, it's call Big Boy, and it lives up to its name. Even if you aren't into trains or train engines, just looking at the thing will impress.
I only wish my camera could capture just how big Big Boy is. As I walked around the train, with a couple hundred other fans, I tried to capture that feeling I felt, but as I look at my pictures afterward, I feel I didn't do it justice.
They made only 25 of these huge engines and none are currently functional. This one is on its way to Wyoming to be brought back to life. I can't imagine trying to put something together in which only 25 were originally made. There's probably a good reason (or many good reasons...) why no one's tried.
I have a friend who's a train nut--he loves them! I sent him a note on Facebook saying I was going to be able to see the big engine up close. He lives in Washington State and replied that they were considering traveling down just to get a look at it. He said they'll wait until it's refurbished.
I hope to one day see this thing again when it can move under its own power. My great grandfather worked on steam engines and at one time, worked in Ogden. He even worked on the steam engines at Lagoon Amusement Park. Maybe that's why I really wanted to see Big Boy today. Whatever the reason, I'm glad I did. It's history, American history, a glimpse of how the country was built and will most likely never return.
In the decades and centuries to come, the importance of steam-driven power, I believe, will be raised in its significance. Without steam engines so much of world history would have changed. Looking at this engine today allowed me to imagine what life was like when these things ruled the world.
Here's more pictures from today: