Schenectady in Schenectady County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
ALCo's Mighty 4-8-8-4
For most of this route, the maximum grade is .82%, but a stretch of it reaches a 1.14% grade and required two large locomotives coupled together (double-headers) to pull a 3900-ton train through the range. Big Boys were designed to haul even heavier trains with a single locomotive.
The Union Pacific design team working with ALCO came up with the solution: a 4-8-8-4 wheel arrangement.
Four leading wheels (trucks) were followed by two separate sets of eight driving wheels and a set of four trailing wheels for stability. With twenty-four wheels in all, the design was the largest, most powerful coal-fired locomotive ever built. A Big Boy could haul a 7900-ton freight train through the Wasatch at over 60 mph.
Erected 2018 by Schenectady County Legislature.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1941.
Location. 42° 49.601′ N, 73° 55.907′ W. Marker is in Schenectady, New York, in Schenectady County. Marker is on Harborside Drive, on the right when traveling south. The "Big Boy" marker is beside the sidewalk along Harborside Drive, and behind the Courtyard by Marriot, and at the north end of the Riverhouse waterfront apartment complex. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Schenectady NY 12305, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. World War II (within shouting distance of this marker); The American Locomotive Company (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); ALCo's Legacy (about 700 feet away); Casey Jones (approx. 0.2 miles away); Streamliners (approx. 0.2 miles away); Schenectady (approx. 0.2 miles away); "Jupiter" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Dewitt Clinton (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Schenectady.
Related markers.list of markers that are related to this marker. Other Big Boy Markers
Also see . . .
1. Alco Series 4000 Locomotive (Big Boy). (Submitted on October 27, 2018, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
2. 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy" Locomotives. (Submitted on October 27, 2018, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
3. Union Pacific "Big Boy" 4014. (Submitted on October 27, 2018, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 1, 2018. It was originally submitted on October 26, 2018, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 151 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 26, 2018, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. 3. submitted on October 27, 2018, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.