Historic ‘Big Boy’ locomotive rolls into Shreveport

Local

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A piece of history rolled into town Monday night.

Big Boy, the world’s largest operating steam locomotive, stopped at the Union Pacific Railroad Hollywood Yard in Shreveport.

It was the last stop in Louisiana on Big Boy’s 10 state tour.

The 7,000 horsepower, 17-feet tall, 610-ton locomotive brought out train enthusiasts, who stood in awe of its massive size.

“I have model trains at home and I always wanted a Big Boy model train,” said Porter Newton, 11-year-old train enthusiast. “So I thought when I heard it was coming here to Shreveport, Hollywood Yard, why not come down? Why not give it a try? I’ve just been fascinated by it.”

The train was retired by Union Pacific in 1961. Only eight of the trains remain intact, the other seven are in museums.

“That’s why everyone is so fascinated, because you can go see the Big Boys in museums across the country and that helps capture the imagination,” said Ed Dickens, manager of Heritage Operations.

According to Dickens, it took two and a half years to turn Big Boy from a coal to diesel burner.

Big Boy has traveled about 2,300 of the roughly 4,000 miles on its trip. It now continues on its journey to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

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