CASA GRANDE — Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4014 is on a multistate heritage tour of the Southwest, and Casa Grande is one of its stops.

The historic train will visit Casa Grande on Wednesday, Oct. 16. It will be parked at West First Street and West Wilson Street beginning at 2:45 p.m.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad. The heritage tour is part of the celebration.

“The Big Boy’s return to the rails is the product of more than two years of meticulous restoration work by the Union Pacific Steam Team,” a press release on Union Pacific’s website reads.

While the schedule could change, the Big Boy is expected to begin its tour with several stops in Wyoming Sept. 27 through Oct. 1. It will also visit Utah, Nevada, California, New Mexico and Texas.

In Arizona, it will stop in Yuma, Mohawk, Gila Bend, Tucson, Benson, Willcox and Bowie.

The Casa Grande stop is scheduled as an overnight visit. It will arrive at the stop at 2:45 p.m. on Oct. 16 and depart the next morning at 8 a.m.

When it’s in town, people may visit the train and take photos but for safety reasons, pedestrians must stand about 25 feet or more from the tracks.

Those wishing to photograph the train using drones must adhere to UP’s drone safety policy, which includes, among others, the following rules:

  • Do not operate a drone in a manner that could distract or endanger Union Pacific employees, equipment or the public.
  • All drone pilots must operate in compliance with applicable Federal Aviation Administration regulations and safety guidelines.
  • Drones may not take off from or land on Union Pacific property unless the pilot is authorized to do so in writing by a specific agreement with Union Pacific.

Twenty-five Big Boy steam locomotives — named for their size of 132-feet in length and about 1.2 million pounds — were made for Union Pacific in the 1940s and ’50s.

“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,” UP’s website says.

Locomotive No. 4014 is the only operating Big Boy. It was delivered to Union Pacific in 1941 and was retired in 1961 after traveling more than 1 million miles, according to the railroad’s website.

It underwent a multimillion-dollar restoration in 2013 and was returned to service to celebrate the company’s 150-year anniversary.

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