The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad May 10, 1869, is recognized as one of our country’s biggest achievements and one of mankind’s biggest accomplishments. It’s been compared to the Apollo 11 moon landing in terms of the vision, dedication, innovation and collaboration needed to connect the country with a ribbon of rail.
Union Pacific steam locomotive No. 4014, the Big Boy, is in one piece again nearly two years after the behemoth was disassembled to begin its restoration.
With completion of steam giant No. 4014’s massive front engine restoration looming, the UP Steam Team has rebuilt and installed a cushion to cradle all that heavy metal: a brand new coil and leaf-spring suspension system.
Done. A single word telegraphed around the nation triggered champagne toasts, cannon booms from coast to coast, fireworks and the ringing of The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. It was a celebration of the country’s greatest achievement – completion of the transcontinental railroad – and the joining of East and West. Reporters, politicians and workers heralded the completion as the Eighth Wonder of the World on May 10, 1869.
Union Pacific’s Steam Team has a new boring process that is anything but boring. Used to restore steam locomotive No. 4014’s main cylinders, Ed Dickens compares the 1930s-era “boring bar” to a spider.
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