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Schenectady in Schenectady County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

“Big Boy”

ALCo's Mighty 4-8-8-4

 
 
"Big Boy" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 20, 2018
1. "Big Boy" Marker
Inscription.  "Big Boy” was a lot of rolling steel - a whopping 1,250,000 pounds, or 612.5 tons of it with its tender included. The American Locomotive Company built 25 of these mammoth locomotives for the Union Pacific Railroad between the years 1941 and 1944. They were designed to pull mile-long freight trains through the Wasatch Range from Ogden, Utah, to Wyoming's Green River.

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.

As the
"Big Boy" Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 20, 2018
2. "Big Boy" Marker Detail
era of steam locomotives gave way to diesel in the early 1950s, the Big Boys' days were numbered. Its last commercial run was made on July 21 1959. To this day, the Big Boy built in Schenectady is the largest locomotive that the world has ever known.
 
Erected 2018 by Schenectady County Legislature.
 
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. ALCo's Legacy (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Casey Jones (approx. 0.2 miles away); Seeley House (approx. 0.3 miles away); ALCo Site (approx. 0.4 miles away); a different marker also named ALCo's Legacy (approx. 0.4 miles away); Second Ward Second World War Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Nott Memorial (approx. 0.7 miles away); Whipple Bowstring Truss (approx. 0.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Schenectady.
 
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to
"Big Boy" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, October 20, 2018
3. "Big Boy" Marker
The "Big Boy" marker is at the north end of the Riverhouse waterfront apartment complex along Harborside Drive.
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.)
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 

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Credits. This page was last revised on November 1, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 26, 2018, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 74 times since then and 48 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.
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