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Union Pacific's Big Boy steam locomotive to make public stops in Gila Bend and Tucson

Union Pacific Big Boy train
Posted at 2:00 PM, Oct 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 17:00:52-04

TUCSON, AZ — All aboard!

One of Union Pacific's iconic steam-powered locomotives is scheduled to make public stops in Mohawk, Gila Bend, and Tucson this week, part of a commemorative tour across the southwestern United States.

Three of the stops are fairly short -- less than 30 minutes -- where people will be able to briefly see the train on Oct. 16, while the third stop and the best opportunity for the public to see and go inside one of the train cars, will take place on Friday, Oct. 18 in Tucson (we have bolded that stop below for emphasis).

Here is the train's schedule:

Oct. 16: 10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. in Mohawk, Arizona at the Interstate 8 eastbound rest area. Mohawk is between Dateland and Yuma.
Oct. 16: 12:30 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. at Martin Avenue Crossing in Gila Bend, Arizona
Oct. 17: 10:10 a.m. - 10:40 a.m. at Tucson Historic Train Depot, 400 N. Toole Avenue
Oct. 18: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. at Silverlake Road and Fairland Stravenue in Tucson.

According to a news release from Union Pacific, the Big Boy locomotive was built specifically for Union Pacific to help its trains "handle the steep terrain between Cheyenne, Wyoming and Odgen, Utah."

Big Boy No. 4014, the train that people will be able to see, is the only operating train of its kind in the world, and the only one still owned by Union Pacific, according to the news release.

At the Oct. 18 stop, people will be able to see the train up close and go into one of its rail cars, which has been turned into a mini-exhibition about the history of trains and the railroad, the future of railroading, and even a chance to test one's skills at being a conductor.

Visit Union Pacific's website for more information.