In 2021, Union Pacific’s legendary restored steam locomotive, BigBoy 4014, traveled five weeks, through ten states. Having filmed it in 2019 as it rolled through Illinois, Skip wanted to see more of it. When he mentioned he wanted to “chase the train” through Kansas, I was apprehensive. But it was a road trip, and I don’t pass up road trips. The experience turned out to be lots of fun, filming and photographing the train as it traveled from Kansas City, Missouri, to Salina, Kansas.
We captured our story in this video:
How to Safely Chase a Train
- Plan your route in advance. Use good maps (online or paper) that show the railroad tracks and the roads that parallel them. We used the a Kansas Gazetteer to plan our route and kept it with us in the car in case we had to make any last-minute route changes due to road closures, etc.
- Obey the speed limit and keep your eyes on the road. During these events, many cars will be pulled off the road with people milling about.
- If you pull off the road, do so only in areas where it is legally to do so, and make sure your vehicle is completely off the road. Before opening your door, double-check to ensure the roadway is clear.
- Stand back at least 25 feet from the tracks.
- Train whistles are loud, so be sure to use hearing protection.
BigBoy 4014 Headed to Denver
The BigBoy 4014 west coast tour that was scheduled for 2022 has been postponed. Instead, it’s leaving Cheyenne, Wyoming, on July 28 for Denver. It’ll be on display in Denver on Friday, July 29. If you visit, you’ll be able to go through the Experience the Union Pacific rail car. This is a brand new, multi-media exhibition that covers both the past and today’s railroading story. Visit the Union Pacific website for the detailed Cheyenne-to-Denver schedule.