Transcontinental RR 150th Anniversary

MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,666 ✭✭✭✭✭
Wednesday May 10th marks 150 years of our country being joined together by rail. Back in 1869, the golden spike was driven in Promontory Point, Utah offically completing our nation's first Transcontinental railroad. 

To celebrate, the Union Pacific Railroad (one of the two original companies that constructed that line) has spent four years resurrecting Big Boy - the largest steam locomotive ever built. She will depart Cheyenne, Wyoming Saturday the 4th on her first run since 1958 heading westbound to Ogden. Any of you out west between these two points might like to venture out and witness this historic event. Unfortunately a trip of that magnitude is not in the budget for me. 

Here's a pic of 4014 being towed into the shops 4 years ago. You can see why the Union Pacific nicknamed these behemoths Big Boy:


“Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns

Comments

  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,571 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 30
    Interestingly, this is the most notable U.S. accomplishment that illustrates that Government and Private Industry both do their best when they work together.  Couldn't have been accomplished without both being on the same team.

    Proving Rush Limbaugh wrong, again, even before he was born.
    WARNING:  The above post may contain thoughts or ideas known to the State of Caliphornia to cause seething rage, confusion, distemper, nausea, perspiration, sphincter release, or cranial implosion to persons who implicitly trust only one news source, or find themselves at either the left or right political extreme.  Proceed at your own risk.  
  • silvermousesilvermouse Cape CodPosts: 6,119 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • Sleddog46Sleddog46 Quinton, N.J.Posts: 646 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Did anyone watch the series Hell on Wheels? It told of the building of the railroad and all the backstabbing and greed that took place. Probably as true to the truth as it gets. JMO
    You can't dispel Ignorance if you retain Arrogance!
  • YaksterYakster La Zona State of Mind when I haven't forgotten the coffee filtersPosts: 8,063 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Interesting documentary on Gandy Dancing here:

    http://www.folkstreams.net/film-detail.php?id=101
    I'll gladly bomb you Tuesday for an Opus today.

                 Join me on the Android vHerf (from link in Evernote on Android) or iOS vHerf Link -Chris
  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,666 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 1
    Irish and Chinese played a monumental role in building that line. Theres some awesome photos on the web of Chinese hanging off rock faces 300 feet plus high in wicker baskets to set dynamite charges. I'll post a few up later this evening. 

    On the Irish side, a record 10 miles of track was HAND LAID in one single day, April 28th, 1869. Still a record to this day not even overtaken by machine. 

    Big Boy has yet to move under his own power. They did have him fired up earlier this week to blow 60 years of junk out of the cylinders though. We're coming in very close for a scheduled Saturday departure. Video below of the test fire. 


    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,666 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I couldn't find the image I was talking about, but I did find a couple illustrations. They were called powder monkeys, which is an old term used by artillery divisions for the persons responsible for transporting black powder charges from supply line to canons. 





    This is what it would look like when work was close to complete:



    And after laying track

    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,666 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sleddog46 said:
    Did anyone watch the series Hell on Wheels? It told of the building of the railroad and all the backstabbing and greed that took place. Probably as true to the truth as it gets. JMO
    I did watch a few episodes of that show, Doug. However I found it to be overly dramatic. There was some historical accuracy woven in. The 1931 movie Union Pacific is a bit more my speed, although it also portrails an entirely fictitious tale of sabatodge and love. 
    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • MartelMartel Somewhere in PAPosts: 3,238 ✭✭✭✭
    Yakster said:
    Interesting documentary on Gandy Dancing here:

    http://www.folkstreams.net/film-detail.php?id=101
    I'm 99.9% sure this is shown in the Indianapolis Children's Museum in the All Aboard! exhibit in one of the cars attached to the Reuben Wells.
    Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.

    I like Oliva and Quesada (including Regius) a lot.  I will smoke anything, though.
  • dirtdudedirtdude AZPosts: 4,894 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Is this "Big Boy" ready to roll @Markwell? Guessing this bad boy is fired with coal but may be wrong, had other alternatives by late '50's.
    A little dirt never hurt
  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,666 ✭✭✭✭✭
    dirtdude said:
    Is this "Big Boy" ready to roll @Markwell? Guessing this bad boy is fired with coal but may be wrong, had other alternatives by late '50's.
    Got busy again lol. Big Boy made a successful test trip on May 2 and left Cheyenne Saturday morning for Utah, double heading with her cousin #844. 

    Here's a pic from yesterday morning, big boy in the lead. 



    Tons of videos out there on YouTube if you search UP 4014. I stayed up watching some live feeds of the test run until about 4am ladt week. Wish I could have made that trip. 

    Big boy was originally coal fired, but the UP converted her into an oil burner during the restoration. Much cleaner and more readily available these days. Fun fact: she operates at 300psi boiler pressure. 
    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,666 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Tons of people chasing this train, causing major traffic issues. Many states along the route to Utah are running police road blocks and major radar to keep things under control. 

    We call these chasers "foamers" because they foam at the mouth over choo choos. I am guilty of foaming at times lol. Here's a pic of the chase convoy.




    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,666 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Happy Trans-Con day fellas. 150 years ago today the golden spike was driven at Ogden, Utah just outside of Promontory Summit after 6 hard years of work. 



    Fast forward to today, after 5 years of hard work we have the world's largest steam locomotive running once again to commemorate this event. Her and cousin 844 of the Union Pacific Railroad, the only steam locomotive never retired, met pilot to pilot after a successful five day maiden voyage from Cheyenne. 


    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • silvermousesilvermouse Cape CodPosts: 6,119 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would have loved to have seen that.
  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,666 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I would have loved to have seen that.
    Same. Hoping I'll still be around for the 200th.
    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • Poopy_JonesPoopy_Jones Posts: 440 ✭✭✭
    Cool stuff. Thanks for the pics!!
  • MarkwellMarkwell Central PAPosts: 1,666 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Glad a few of you guys enjoyed it. Pretty big deal amongst our RR community. 
    “Happiness? A good cigar, a good meal, a good cigar and a good woman – or a bad woman; it depends on how much happiness you can handle.” – George Burns
  • dirtdudedirtdude AZPosts: 4,894 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Appreciate you sharing @Markwell, nothing gives me a chubby like big engines turning. Those are some big engines.
    A little dirt never hurt
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