Union Pacific Big Boy #4014 leaves Cheyenne, Wyoming for Denver, Colorado Thursday July 28th. She’ll return to Denver on Saturday July 30th. When she’s out, the question often is, “Where is Big Boy”? Well, YOU CAN TRACK HER MOVEMENTS!
Oops, I was internet shouting there… this is exciting. For those of us who can not be there, and maybe more importantly for those of us who can chase the proud beast, we’ll have an independent real time tracker available via the internet. And it is FREE! First a bit about this quick Big Boy trip.
Union Pacific Railroad announced earlier this year that network capacity issues would mean postponing 4014’s planned Northwest tour. It was a major disappointment for many railfans, including us here at Steam Giants, but UP threw us all a bone with this quick trip to Denver from her home in Cheyenne and back.
What’s this trip all about?
As part of the Union Pacific Museum‘s largest fundraising event of the year, the Big Boy will be traveling from the UP’s steam shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to Union Station in Denver, Colorado, on Thursday, July 28th. The locomotive will be on display in Denver on Friday before turning around to pull the Museum’s annual fundraising trip: An excursion from Denver to Cheyenne.
During her runs between Denver and Cheyenne, the locomotive will make brief stops for appearances in Greenley, Colorado. #4014 will also make a brief appearance at the Cheyenne Depot Museum before returning to the shops.
Where is Big Boy? How Can I Track 4014?
David Burritt, a longtime railfan and operator of a drone service (He has followed 4014 commercially in the past) has set up RailGiantsTracker.com. The idea with this FREE tracking service is to make it functional even in areas with limited cell or no internet service. In other words, some of the rural areas Big Boy travels through.
The web site is not difficult to use, but it is a little clumsy when you first go to sign up. First the tracker URL sends you to the actual tracking sign-up website at rdfo.com – note it is different from the tracker URL. Nothing fishy here, this is just David’s testing website. Then when you go to sign up you’ll get a popup:
You may even get this “registered user” pop up more than once. Just hit cancel…which will bring up a second popup…which you do not want to cancel out of:
You must click ALLOW or the tracker will not work. This is how the tracker can – not track YOU – but can send you information such as how far Big Boy 4014 is from you. So, if you are out in the field, the 4014 tracker can tell you when you better pick up your camera and get into position for that perfect shot!
There are a couple of different ways to use the tracker, including a very basic “low bandwidth” way that David says “allows you to get basic information very quickly and not even take the time to view the map.” If you’re on the go chasing the largest operating steam locomotive in the world – maybe this is exactly what you need! It’s certainly answer your question: Where is Big Boy!
Hungry for more #4014?
Find out more about the Union Pacific Big Boys, and other giants of the rails, here at Steam Giants. Our article on the “Largest Steam Locomotives” is a popular one. Want to see where other surviving Big Boys can be seen? Take a look at “The Last Big Boys & Where To See Them“.
Railfan and model railroader. Writer and consumer of railroad news and information.