I love big tinplate trains particularly big tinplate steam engines!  The new Standard Gauge Challenger and Hudson steam locomotives made by Jim Waterman are great examples of what I like.   

Image result for harmon challenger standard gauge

That said, there is nothing like the real thing, i.e., REAL BIG STEAM LOCOMOTIVES.  Fortunately for me and all other BIG STEAM lovers, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Trans Continental Railroad, Union Pacific has on tour right now one of the biggest steam locomotives ever built, their Big Boy #4014 locomotive.  I have seen Big Boy locomotives in action in movies but never up close.   Therefore, not wanting to miss this possibly once in a lifetime opportunity,  I planning to go see it when it is "on display" in North Little Rock, AR.  Please join me there or consider seeing it when it pulls into a railroad station near you!

Below is a link to the 2019 tour schedule for Union Pacific's Big Boy #4014.

https://www.up.com/heritage/steAam/schedule/index.htm

Bob Nelson

Original Post

If only they could just have the diesel "shadow" the steam-only consist as a "protect" engine in case of a major mechanical issue. Since they already have a diesel crew, it would be no additional expense. Is the Big Boy not capable of adequste braking capacity allbeit NOT the dynamic regenerative sort? Do the insurers actually stipulate the presence of a diesel for braking purposes? The aesthetics of a pure steam powered consist are apparently outweighed by the liability considerations of the UP's legal department.

vita sine litteris mors est  (Seneca)

I planning to go see it when it is "on display" in North Little Rock, AR.  Please join me there or consider seeing it when it pulls into a railroad station near you!

Bob, Thanks for the schedule reminder. I also plan to see it in North Little Rock.  Regards, Pat B.

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Rich Melvin posted:

I hope you enjoy the trip, but be prepared to be underwhelmed.

The diesel in the consist does a great job of shoving the Big Boy around.  

Not sure why you are saying that.  I was track side as she went up a grade last week and she was very clearly the one pulling the train up the grade.  Yes, there are time when the diesel does some pushing to help conserve fuel, but that is not the norm on this trip.

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