Hundreds gather to see Union Pacific 'Big Boy' depart from Houston

HOUSTON – It was a day of magic.

Hundreds lined up to witness history in motion as Union Pacific’s iconic steam locomotive Big Boy No. 4014 departed Houston on Friday morning. 

“This is a traveling artifact of history. It's great to be out here,” attendee David Doiron said. 

In 1941, Big Boy was among the 25 locomotive trains built exclusively for Union Pacific to handle steep terrain out west. To this date, only eight still exit, and No. 4014 is the world's only operating Big Boy.

After more than two years of restorations, Union Pacific launched a tour of the train throughout parts of the country to celebrate its 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad's completion.

Big Boy led President George H.W. Bush's funeral train through Houston’s Amtrak station, then made a quick stop in Spring. 

Its next stop is Navasota and then on to College Station.

The train's next stop will be in Hearne on Saturday. Big Boy’s final destination will be Cheyenne, Wyoming on Nov. 27.