Union Pacific had some of the largest steam power ever built, and the two biggest engines were the 4-8-8-4 “Big Boy”, and the 4-6-6-4 Challenger type. Enjoy both types of Challengers, the 3800 and 3900 series, as well as plenty of coverage of the famous Big Boys, including over half of the 25 that were built. This video has been years in the making, as we have attempted to accumulate enough footage to justify such a release. We have 8mm footage by Warren Scholl, shot in 1954, but the majority of footage is 16mm color footage, including film shot by Perry Becker who made more than one trip to the area. Locations shown are North Platte, Cheyenne, Laramie, Rawlins, and of course action on Sherman Hill between Cheyenne and Laramie.
You will see interesting things such as “Big Boy” number 4006 on fire as it exits Hermosa Tunnel, with its stack hood still on as well. Also see a Gas Turbine leading a Big Boy in 3 different scenes. You will see engine service areas, and see some of the dead engine lines late in the steam era. This footage is all shot silent of course, and we have added music and informative narration. However, there is a segment with some 16mm sound footage on Sherman Hill which includes several doubleheaders, such as 5500 series 2-10-2’s with Challengers and Big Boys. There are also a couple of Big Boy scenes by Everett Rohrer, and some film he shot of the first test run, and first excursions in 1982, when Challenger 3985 first operated.