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All aboard: Big Boy train stops in Jefferson City

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Hundreds gathered in the capital city Monday evening for a glimpse at Union Pacific’s Big Boy, the largest steam locomotive in the world, which made an overnight stop this week. 

The whistle announced the train’s arrival near the Millbottom around 3:30 Monday afternoon, but crowds had already gathered to watch the behemoth roll into town. Hundreds of curious Missourians and their families made the trek to take pictures with the train despite a brief storm rolling into town Monday evening. The train departed for Kansas City the next morning. 

The massive train was built in 1942 and retired in 1962 after traveling more than 1 million miles. It made its first venture across the country in 2019 after an extensive renovation but remained in the depot through 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While 25 Big Boy trains were built, No. 4014 is the only one still riding the rails; the other seven that remain are housed in museums. 

It is making its way across the south-central states as part of the five-week and Big Boy 2021 tour. It was displayed in St. Louis over the weekend and will travel to Union Station in Kansas City before returning to its home in Cheyenne, Wyo., on Sept. 7. Stops were scheduled across 10 states, with several brief “whistle stops” planned in more than 90 communities. 

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