Starting in 1941, Alco Locomotive Works built 25
of the biggest locomotives that ever lived. The main reason being
the Wasatch Mountains, particularly Sherman Hill. This was a stretch
of the Union Pacific Railroad's mainline characterized by a continuous,
steep 1.55% grade. In order to keep the tonnage moving over the
hill, a helper service was a necessity. This was costly. The class
4000s put an end to that. At 6PM on September 5, 1941, the first
BigBoy, #4000, was delivered to Omaha. That historical event would
be forever engraved in the minds of train BUFFs around the country.
From that point on, the biggest and most powerful was achieved.
Use the above links to study information on the life of BigBoy,
in addition, view many photos of the marvelous locomotive. The
photos of #4005, #4012 and #4017 were taken by myself. The Historical
Picture Archive is made up of original photos of BigBoys in action
back in the 1940s and 1950s. It is well worth the time to take
this trip back in history to the days when BigBoy rode the high