'Big Boy,' world's largest steam locomotive, leaves West Chicago

WEST CHICAGO, Ill. (WLS) -- The world's largest steam locomotive, known as Big Boy #4014, left the Chicago area Tuesday morning.

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The steam locomotive "big Boy" continues on its journey, leaving West Chicago Tuesday morning.



Dozens lined up to say goodbye as the train departed from West Chicago and stopped in Rochelle in Ogle County before heading to Iowa.

"It's powerful, it's scintillating," said Ileana Gomez, who came from Oak Park to see Big Boy off.

It was a thrilling sight for 8-year-old Kyle Jones, too, who was lucky enough to climb inside the engineer's cab.

"I got to see the engine in there that boiled the water," he said. "I got to see all the stuff."

Ed Dickens led a Union Pacific team on a two-and-a-half-year restoration project so #4014 could return to the rails. One of just eight "Big Boys" in existence, it originally carried freight in the 1940s and 50s - and is the only one still chugging.

"It's huge. 135 feet long, 7,000 horsepower," Dickens said. "It weighs as much as three conventional diesel locomotives."

The smells, sounds and sights of steam will be making their away across most of the Union Pacific system to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad's completion and reminding us of the wonder we can find by train.

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The world's largest steam locomotive traveled through Chicago to honor the 150 year anniversary of the First Transcontinental Railroad, which forever changed American commerce, travel and communication.



You can track the steam locomotive as it moves through the Midwest by clicking here.
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