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Big Boy

Union Pacific's 'Big Boy' Steam Locomotive No. 4014 rolls through Mason City on Tuesday.

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Union Pacific Railroad for the one-night layover recently of the restored Big Boy Steam Locomotive No. 4014. It was a unique experience to see one of these Big Boy engines up close, knowing that this one is the only remaining operational Big Boy engine in the country.

I enjoyed hearing its distinctive whistle blow and seeing the steam shooting out from its sides and black smoke billowing in the air as it made its way down the railroad tracks on the morning of its departure. It was great to see so many people turn out to see this train, which is making the rounds in honor of the 150-year anniversary of the completion of the Trans-Continental Railroad. Having the train stay overnight in Mason City allowed people to see it in the afternoon of the 16th through the following morning when it left around 8:00. I went down to see the train 3 times and there was always a crowd of people enthusiastically taking pictures and videos of the engine.

I also want to thank the Globe Gazette for running an article about the Big Boy in its Sunday paper July 14th to alert people to this coming attraction. My father worked for the Chicago Northwestern RR for 37 years before he died and I know he would have loved to see this Big Boy locomotive.

Again, a big thanks to the Union Pacific!

Meda Ostlund, Mason City

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