NORTH PLATTE (Neb.) - Full steam ahead. The finale for North Platte Rail Days arrived on schedule.
People from across the country are expected to be in the North Platte to see Union Pacific locomotive number 4014. The steam engine is criss-crossing the Midwest as part of the railroad's 150th anniversary of the completion of the Trans-Continental Railroad.
Train enthusiasts were doing everything they could to get pictures of Big Boy. The Union Pacific refurbished locomotive steam engine chugged into North Platte Monday afternoon and parked along Front Street.
The train and crew were greeted with a Canteen-style welcome. Monday marked the second time North Platte could witness the operating Big Boy, running at 610 tons and 7,000 horsepower. Steam Locomotive Engineer Ed Dickens worked on Big Boy's restoration. He calls it history in the making.
"This represents the biggest steam locomotives in the world, the biggest that the Union Pacific had," Dickens said.
Dickens said, "at one time steam locomotives traveled through North Platte, Nebraska. The last time a Big Boy was here was in the 1950s before they retired this class of locomotives."