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Independent Voice

Legendary Locomotive Makes 19 Whistle Stops

Jun 28, 2024 02:53PM ● By MPG Staff

Big Boy No. 4014 will stop in Roseville for two days and Oroville for 30 minutes.  The public is invited to check out this historical icon. Photo courtesy of Union Pacific

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA REGION (MPG) - Union Pacific's legendary Big Boy No. 4014, the world’s largest operating steam locomotive built to conquer mountains, will make 19 whistle-stops in five states this summer during its 2024 Westward Bound Tour from Wyoming to California.

In addition, this mighty steam locomotive will be on public display for two days in Roseville (nearby Placer County) from July 12 to July 13. The display days offer an up-close look at the 1.2-million-pound marvel along with the "Experience the Union Pacific" rail car, a captivating walk-through exhibition that provides a unique glimpse into the rich history of railroading.

Northern California residents will also be able to see the steam locomotive in Oroville during a whistle stop on July 11, tentatively scheduled from 2:15 to 2:45 p.m. at Old Depot, 2181 High St., Oroville. (Check to make sure the train is on time.)

Big Boy history

Twenty-five Big Boy locomotives were built for Union Pacific to haul freight over the steep grade of the Wasatch Mountain Range in Utah during World War II. Eight were preserved after the locomotives were retired six decades ago, but only Big Boy No. 4014 is still in operation.

During World War II Union Pacific operated some of the most modern and powerful steam locomotives ever built. Among them were the famous "Big Boys," the largest steam locomotives in the world. Working with them were the "800-class" high-speed passenger locomotives, as well as hundreds of older class steam engines. Union Pacific's steam legacy continues today with the preservation and operation of its historic fleet – No. 844 and No. 4014.

Today, Union Pacific delivers goods in 23 western states. More information about Union Pacific is available at

See the locomotive for free in Roseville

City of Roseville officials are excited to provide area residents with a historical opportunity to see Big Boy No. 4014, the world’s largest steam locomotive, on July 12 and July 13 in downtown Roseville.

To honor Union Pacific’s railroad legacy and celebrate the railroad’s employees and communities it serves, the city of Roseville will offer additional festivities at Vernon Street Town Square, 311 Vernon St., from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 13. Festivities for all ages will include live music, food trucks, Old West performances from the Black Flag Gang, Vernon Street Town Square Spray Ground, Vernon Street Town Square Spray Ground and a Farmer’s Market with a kids’ zone.

The Carnegie Museum at 557 Lincoln St., Roseville will also be open July 13 with an exhibit featuring the history of the Big Boy and a kids’ railroad activity.

“With the Roseville railyard being the largest rail facility on the West Coast, handling 98% of all rail traffic coming into Northern California, we are all excited to view and experience this rolling museum of rail history in Downtown Roseville," said Roseville City Councilmember Scott Alvord.

Alvord and his wife, Karen, previously owned a restaurant on Vernon Street, parallel to the Roseville train tracks, for 12 years. “The railroad has always given Roseville character,” he said, which is why they chose that restaurant location.

"I am excited for the many new families who moved to Roseville in recent years because they get to experience some of fun railroad history that Roseville was built on," added Karen Alvord, now a Roseville City Council candidate.

About the 2024 Westward Bound Tour 

Union Pacific reminds all rail fans to keep safety top of mind and stay 25 feet back from the tracks when taking a picture or viewing this mammoth machine. That means never take a picture or video standing on the track or the ballast and never climb on the locomotive or equipment.

A steam tracking map showing No. 4014's location and route will be available at

Big Boy left its home base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, on June 30, traveling across Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and California. On its return trip to Wyoming, it will travel for a short stretch across southeast Idaho.

Scheduled whistle-stops:

June 30 – Laramie, Wyoming

July 1 – Wamsutter, Wyoming

July 3 – Green River, Wyoming

July 4 – Morgan, Utah

July 6 – Wells, Nevada

July 8 – Carlin and Battle Mountain, Nevada

July 9 – Gerlach, Nevada

July 11 – Oroville, California

July 14 – Colfax and Truckee, California

July 16 – Lovelock, Nevada

July 17 – Carlin, Nevada

July 19 – Montello, Nevada

July 22 – Brigham City, Utah, and Soda Springs, Idaho

July 23 – Kemmerer, Wyoming

July 25 – Point of Rocks, Wyoming

July 26 – Medicine Bow, Wyoming