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From Far Afield: 4-8-8-4 miniature steam locomotive enters service

Click on each image for a closer look!

As a regular reader of the TRHA News you will be well aware of our owning and operating a fairly large live steam locomotive on our miniature railway. However, others elsewhere do operate locomotives significantly larger than ours.

The Diamond Valley Railway in Melbourne, Australia has just such a new locomotive. This is a 7-1/4" gauge railway (same gauge as ours) carrying 100,000 passengers a year. The locomotive is a model of a Union Pacific "Big Boy" 4-8-8-4 Mallet articulated steam engine, one of the largest steam locomotives produced in significant quantity in the world. It is not the only model of this locomotive in existence in this scale as there are at least two in the U.S.

8 of the 25 full size Big Boys originally built by Alco between 1941 and 1944 for the Union Pacific have been preserved at various location around the U.S. None are operational. The engine at the lower left is preserved in Pomona, California. The backhead shown at the lower right belongs to another one of these locomotives preserved in Green Bay, Wisconsin. These images are from an article on these massive engines in Wikipedia. I have been fortunate to have visited the Big Boys preserved in Denver and St. Louis and they certainly are awesome engineering marvels.

Posting by Russ Milland

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