For the second time in two weeks, locals and visitors came to downtown Laramie to greet historical steam engines Big Boy No. 4014 and Living Legend No. 844 as they rolled into the city just after 2:52 p.m. Friday.
The locomotives and 12 passenger cars are now expected to stay in the Gem City outside of the Laramie Historic Railroad Depot until they depart at 8 a.m. Sunday.
They came after a bit of a delay as the world-famous Big Boy locomotive was derailed on Thursday afternoon entering the Rawlins yard.
Chugging its way back eastward from an otherwise sound, roundtrip journey between Cheyenne to Ogden, Utah, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike — as well its restoration — axle complications derailed the 600-ton Union Pacific Steam locomotive about 2:15 p.m. Thursday, according to Trains.com.
According to Trains.com, “Driver axles Nos. 2 and 3 on the second engine of the articulated locomotive fell into the gauge as the engine entered the yard at the Washington Street underpass.”
The article went on to explain that the “engine was moving slowly when the drivers came off the rails. The front engine, front truck, rear truck, and driver axles Nos. 1 and 4 all remained on the rails. The UP steam crew worked with local track forces to fix the track under the engine and bring the locomotive’s 68-inch drivers back onto the rails, which they accomplished about 5:20 p.m.”
While the extended stay leaves enthusiasts with time for additional photos and different vantage points, Laramie Historic Railroad Depot rental coordinator Charles Van Heule warned that the historic trains will be under tight security during their stay, with Union Pacific police keeping watch over the multi-million-dollar engines “at all hours.”
Van Heule said great views of the train can be found at Depot Park, where the engines will be “almost parallel with the snow train,” located in the park. Van Heule said the Big Boy will be in front, with the Living Legend on the track just next to it.