WOODS CROSS — A million pounds of history cruised through Davis County on Sunday, when one of the largest steam engines ever built headed north on its way to Wyoming.
Big Boy No. 4014, one of 25 large steam locomotives built for Union Pacific, once plied the rails between Ogden and Cheyenne.
It started work in 1941 and carried loads for 20 years before being retired, traveling over a million miles during its service.
It is now on its way from Colton, Calif., to Cheyenne, Wyo., where it will undergo restoration over the next three to five years.
Along the way, it has made stops in major cities for interested residents to view the monster machine closeup.
Its path is outlined on a website, up.com, and updated through Tweets, for those interested in seeing it in motion.
Levi Layton was one of a group of train lovers and photographers to congregate along the track at 1500 South in Woods Cross to see the engine as it was pulled from Salt Lake to Ogden.
“It’s awesome,” said the nine-year old, a big fan of rail transportation.
Levi has plans to work in a switching yard at a train station when he grows up.
He and his parents live near the tracks, and Levi “loves the sounds of train horns,” according to his dad. “It’s his favorite sound.”
Others at the track to see the 132-foot-long engine, which is hinged so it can handle curves on the track, are also fans of trains, or related to fans.
Dallas Stanger and his wife both had family members who were engineers or railroad officials.
Seeing the Big Boy “brought a lot of nostaliga,” he said. “I remember it well as a kid.”
He said the opportunity to see the train reminded him of the days when passengers were traveling in every direction from Ogden’s big depot.
Barbara Hugoe has a brother in England who worked on trains all his life.
“I just couldn’t wait to see that big ole thing,” she said.
Ken, Anne and Sharon Williams were there to take pictures of the locomotive as it passed by, but were also enthused about the train itself.
“They’ve got to do this, they’ve got to refurbish this,” said Ken Williams. “This is history.”