Photo: The 'Big Boy' Trains

Why these immense steam locomotives made their mark on history and how they continue to inspire.

It's hard not to notice the "Big Boy" steam locomotive at 600 tons and 7,000 horse power.

Okay, so we never saw the beast in person but the power of the engineering wonder caught our eye on Facebook.

The says the following of the "Big Boy:"

The ultimate in articulated steam locomotive design was reached with the aptly named 4-8-8-4 “Big Boy.” This was a 1941 design also from Alco. During the next three years, 25 of these immense locomotives were constructed, and they were the ...largest successful conventional type steam locomotives ever built. At more than 130 feet in length, and over 16 – ½ feet in height, and along with the tender weighed in at 600 tons, and developing no less than 7,000 hp, the “Big Boy” was an express freight locomotive designed to run up to 80 mph and at the same time pulling 100 car trains up and over “Sherman Hill.” The “Big Boy” cost $265,174 dollars each to build and it was the ultimate in awe-inspiring size and power.

One commenter on the Museum of Transportation's Facebook page fondly remembers the engineering marvel:

Some of my happiest childhood memories were about climbing on this locomotive. It's absolutely magnificent, and I thank you sincerely for keeping her alive and well. I hope to visit her again someday soon.

Fans of the photo called the "Big Boy" awe-inspiring and awesome. Do you agree?


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