Last week, I went out to get pictures of the Union Pacific 4014 “Big Boy” in Columbus, TX and Richmond, TX. I shot the locomotive as it crossed the Colorado and Brazos rivers, but i was not able to get the shots that I really wanted from those locations.
Yesterday morning, I woke up at 3:30am and drove to Palestine, TX in order to try shooting the “Big Boy” again. This time, I had the right locations mapped out.
For those who have never been near a large steam engine like this, it is something that you should do at least once in your life. The sound of the pistons, the steam whistle and the bell made me feel like a kid. I wanted so badly to be the one who was driving that massive moving piece of history down the tracks.
As the engine passed, the smell of the steam reminded me of the steam from the catapult of an aircraft carrier. If you have never smelled that, then I am not sure what to compare it to. It is a very distinct smell that very few things in this world can produce and it is fantastic!
I raced to Neches, TX to get a couple more shots of this beautiful machine before driving home. Needless to say, the experience was something that I will always remember. Hopefully Union Pacific will decide to bring this engine back again on another tour.