Thanks to Griffey for the heads up.
George n L.A.
The story fails to answer an obvious question. HOW are they moving it? Towing? Running on compressed air? Not a word about what's turning the wheels.
In a couple shots it shows a large loader pulling it. All the drive cylinders have been disconnected from the wheels so no compressed air or anything would drive it.
Collective mind over matter. Everybody wants to see it run again. ;-) Good question. In one brief shot there appears to be a front loader pulling 4014 backwards. I can see the shadow of a cable under the front loader leading to the tender rear coupler area. My best guess.
Steve, the other day, I saw a UTube showing them tyring to rock the ol'Boy loose. They were using a big old skiploader. They also removed the driving arms so the wheels wouldn't be held back by the pistons.
Actually the engine is not moving...the loader is holding it still and the earth is rotating under it!
Thanks for the up date. Please keep us posted on the progress.
It's pulled by the front loader shown in the video. They have a few sections of panel track which they connect to move the locomotive and tender onto, and then leapfrog the panels to the rear of the tender and continue across the parking lot. It's about a mile from the nearest railhead.
The pistons were disconnected: they removed the piston rod from the main drivers. Remember, it has four of these with two complete sets drive wheels and valve gear.
If the pistons were not removed from the engine, IF they managed to move it with the pistons still connected, it would bust the cylinders.
The cylinders on the big boy are 23.75" in diameter with a 32" stroke. Huge friction issue especially after sitting dry for a long time. Pistons are lubricated with special cyl oil which is injected into the cylinders with the steam at each stroke. UP[ might have removed the pistons, but I doubt it. I suspect they removed the wrist pin at the end of each piston rod where it connects to the main drive rod. This would isolate the piston from the rest of the rig. The valve gear for each cylinder would also need to be isolated so the large, dry valves could not move as well. They too are lubed by steam oil. The UP crew is well versed in this type of work. #4014 is just a larger version of their #3985, much larger !
Two cylinders right.. One on each side. 14,176 cubic inches!
No four cylinders, TWO on each side. In the video, it does appear that the piston rod has been removed from the cylinders. That would lead me to believe that the pistons had been removed, but since I wasn't there, I cannot say with authority. I'll see if I can get any information from Jim Wrinn.
Add to Bucket list...Got to see this Running after its restored!
UP has estimated it to take upwards of five years for a total rebuild. UP is the only mainline railroad in the United States with the equipment to do a total rebuild of this size. Norfolk Southern sold all of their steam repair equipment at public auction in February 1995.
Don't get me wrong, there are smaller heritage railroads that have some steam rebuilding equipment. Just nothing capable of this magnitude.
If you get the chance, try to see the Challenger UP #3985. It's basically a baby big boy, as it is a 4-6-6-4, whereas a Big Boy is a 4-8-8-4.
In my opinion, a Challenger is more significant than a Big Boy. There's only ONE in existence.
Ok, I just got info from Mr. Wrinn: The pistons were still inside, just removed the piston rods.
There are more Challengers on display, some parts on 3985 were taken from some display challengers to keep her on the road years ago.
Any surviving steam engine is significant these days. Now the Daylight, that's the only one existent (the 4460 is actually a different engine)and the Cab Forward in Sacramento is the only one left of that model--there's one I'd like to see run again!
Add a Pennsy K-4 to that like to see run again list.
Oh to see the Twentieth Century and the Broadway limited race from NYC to Chicago again....
And if you have never seen one of those big NY Central Hudsons taking water on the fly you need to see it.
I went back and looked. I stand corrected: there are 2 of them.