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The Big Boy, the world’s largest operating steam locomotive, chugs through St. Louis area this weekend

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The world’s largest operating steam locomotive is traveling through the St. Louis region starting this weekend, and you can get a good look at it Sunday downtown.

Union Pacific’s Big Boy No. 4014 rolled into Poplar Bluff, Missouri, at 4:30 p.m. Friday. It left at 8 a.m. Saturday for Scott City, Missouri, then was off to Chester, Illinois.

It arrives in St. Louis at 7:45 p.m. Saturday, but there will be no public access at that point.

It will be on display 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at Poplar and South 16th streets downtown, near the St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center, or the train station. There, visitors can have the opportunity to buy souvenirs and visit the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car, a multimedia, walk-through experience about the Big Boy and railroading history. 

The Big Boy then travels west, arriving at the train station in Kirkwood at 9 a.m. Monday and staying there until 9:30 a.m.

It continues west with stops in Pacific at 10:15 a.m., Washington, Missouri, at 11:30 a.m., Hermann, Missouri, at 1:15 p.m., and Jefferson City at 3:30 p.m.

It makes its way across Missouri and stops in Kansas City on Tuesday evening.

The stop here is part of a 10-state tour that started earlier this month in Texas and ends in Wyoming in early September.

The locomotive is more than 130 feet long at weighs 560 tons. Big Boys are known as the largest steam locomotives built anywhere.

The American Locomotive Co. built 25 Big Boys in the 1940s to haul freight, and only eight remain. The others are in museums, including one, No. 4006, at the National Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood. Visitors to the museum that day can come to see Big Boy No. 4014 pass by the museum, and even buy a raffle ticket for a spot on a private viewing platform and breakfast in the cab of No. 4006. Visitors can buy a reserved parking space for $40.14.

The Big Boy’s travels have gained quite a following on social media and can be tracked on Twitter at @UP_Steam. For more information about the schedule, visit up.com/heritage/steam/schedule/index.htm

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