Big Boy No. 4014 comes to town


Jared Treece | @bisalo

Hundreds of spectators get up close with Big Boy No. 4014 makes a stop in Chester. The steam locomotives were built in the early 1940s on Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021 in Illinois.

On a hot and humid Saturday afternoon, hundreds of spectators flocked to get a glimpse of Union Pacific’s steam locomotive Big Boy No. 4014 as it stopped in Chester, Illinois.

The steam locomotive, owned and operated by the Union Pacific, was built in 1941 by the American Locomotive Company. Big Boy No. 4014.

After a 20 year career, the locomotive was retired in 1961. In 2013, Union Pacific began a multi-year plan to restore the locomotive. On August 5, the locomotive made its way from Cheyenne, Wyoming and will tour thought ten states before making its way back to Wyoming on September 7


“There’s a lot of nostalgia around the steam locomotives and the Big Boy is something that captured the hearts and minds and the imagination of so many people,” said Ed Dickens, head of Union Pacific’s steam team.

Barb Catell a resident of Chester Illinois said the town of Chester doubled in size for the event.

“This is wonderful to have it stop, we were amazed at the number of young kids. We watched a young man walk by us that was like 16-years old. He’s got his phone and his tripod. And we thought, look how old this train is and he’s interested. We got lots of little kids in these cars and up there on the hill. That’s amazing to see the little ones here to see it. That’s wonderful,” Catell  said.   

The stop in Chester was the only stop in Illinois, before it made its way to St. Louis. 

Staff Photographer Jared Treece can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JaredtMedia. 

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