Big Boy Is Coming! Latest Info, Parking Details on Steam Train's Epic Visit to West Chicago July 27-29

Big Boy Is Coming! Latest Info, Parking Details on Steam Train’s Epic Visit to West Chicago July 27-29

Thousands of visitors are expected to be coming through Kane County in the next few days to see the Big Boy as it rides through our communities on its way to a three-day event in West Chicago.

The Big Boy, if you haven’t already heard, is steam locomotive No. 4014, and it’s touring the Union Pacific system throughout 2019 to commemorate the transcontinental railroad’s 150th anniversary.

Below is information on parking and shuttle services, as posted on the city of West Chicago website, plus additional information about the train, its history, its cross-nation journey and where to watch as it travels through Kane County.

Recommended Parking and Shuttle Service

Larry S. Provo Training Center,335 Spencer St., West Chicago

Please click here to view an interactive map of the parking lots available for use during this event. (Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari as your browser.)

Please Note: For those traveling from out of town to attend the event, taking Metra is strongly advised. The event is a short walk from the West Chicago Metra station.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

  • Recommended parking available at the West Chicago Metra Depot. Historic rail equipment located approximately 10 minutes walking distance from Depot.
  • ADA-accessible parking is available at the Metra Depot parking lot. ADA-accessible shuttles will also be available to transport event-goers to and from the event site during the public viewing hours.
  • No admission required.
  • 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • In addition to historic rail equipment and traveling museum car, visitors have the opportunity to visit a souvenir tent and displays featuring the Illinois Railway Museum, West Chicago City Museum, Pullman National Monument and the National Parks Foundation, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Safe Kids Worldwide and Operation Lifesaver.
  • Visit www.upsteam.com to learn more about Union Pacific’s Steam program.

Sunday, July 28, 2019

  • Recommended parking available at the West Chicago Metra Depot. Historic rail equipment located approximately 10 minute walking distance from the depot.
  • ADA-accessible parking is available at the Metra Depot parking lot. ADA-accessible shuttles will also be available to transport event-goers to and from the event site during the public viewing hours.
  • No admission required.
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • In addition to historic rail equipment and traveling museum car, visitors have the opportunity to visit a souvenir tent and displays featuring the Illinois Railway Museum, West Chicago City Museum, Pullman National Monument and the National Parks Foundation, Clifford the Big Red Dog and Safe Kids Worldwide and Operation Lifesaver.
  • Visit www.upsteam.com to learn more about Union Pacific’s Steam program.

Monday, July 29, 2019

  • Recommended parking available at the West Chicago Metra Depot. The display is a 10-minute walk away.
  • ADA-accessible parking is available at the Metra Depot parking lot. ADA-accessible shuttles will also be available to transport event-goers to and from the event site during the public viewing hours.
  • No admission required.
  • 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

ADA-accessible parking is available at the Metra Depot parking lot. ADA-accessible shuttles will also be available to transport event-goers to and from the event site during the public viewing hours.

Ride Metra to see Union Pacific’s Big Boy No. 4014 and the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car

Update #2: July 16, 2019 – Public Parking Details

Please Note: For those traveling from out of town to attend the event, taking Metra is strongly advised. The event is a short walk from the West Chicago Metra station.

Public Parking within walking distance of the Union Pacific Larry S. Provo Training Center is available at the following locations:

  • 508 Main St., West Chicago, IL 60185 – Metra Station Parking Lot
    • Handicap parking is located in the Permit Lot, near the train depot.
    • Unmarked spaces are reserved for permit holders Monday through Friday. The permit must be displayed from the inside rear view mirror of the vehicle so that it may be visible from the front of the vehicle.
    • Daily parking at non-permit spaces is $1.75 for a 24-hour period.
    • Multi-day parking at non-permit spaces is $3.50 for two days (48 hours), $5.25 for three days (72 hours – maximum of three consecutive days allowed).
    • The payment machines accept all major credit cards.
    • There is no charge to park at Permit or Daily Commuter Lot locations on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 12 a.m. Saturday through 11:59 p.m. Sunday.
  • 223 Turner Ct, West Chicago, IL 60185 – Triangular Parking lot
  • 101 Main Street, West Chicago, IL 60185 – Republic Bank Parking lot
  • Ann & Joliet Street Parking Lot, just South of Ann across the street from West Chicago Community High School
  • 238 West Stimmel Street, West Chicago, IL 60185 –  Kerr-McGee Parking Lot
  • 122 Fremont Street, West Chicago, IL 60185 – General Parking lot
  • 238 E Hazel St, West Chicago, IL 60185 – Leman Middle School
  • Please click here to view an interactive map of the parking lots available for use during this event. (Please use Chrome, Firefox or Safari as your browser.)

Parking available on Saturday, July 27, & Sunday, July 28, only:

  • 157 W. Washington Street, West Chicago, IL 60185 – District 94 Administrative Building
  • 475 Main Street, West Chicago, IL 60185 – City Hall Parking Lot

Update #1: June 26, 2019 – Fact & Safety Sheet

Specific information about dates and times for the Big Boy On Display and the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car Exhibit may found at upsteam.com.

Big Boy 4014 will be on display in West Chicago July 27 to July 29, 2019.

The 150th anniversary celebration of the transcontinental railroad’s completion isn’t over yet. Union Pacific is just gathering steam following its May 9 ceremony in Ogden, Utah, commemorating the anniversary. The newly restored Big Boy No. 4014, the world’s largest steam locomotive, is returning to the rails for its own “Great Race across the Midwest.”

No. 4014 will leave the Steam Shop in Cheyenne, Wyoming, July 8, making brief whistle-stops in communities along its route through Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Wyoming. It will be on display in the following cities:

  • July 13-14: Omaha, Neb. (paid admission required through Railroad Days)
  • July 18: St. Paul, Minn.
  • July 20: Duluth, Minn.
  • July 23: Altoona, Wis.
  • July 27-29: West Chicago, Ill.
  • Aug. 1: Des Moines, Iowa
  • Aug. 3: Omaha, Neb.
  • Aug. 6: North Platte, Neb.

Twenty-five Big Boys were built exclusively for Union Pacific, the first of which was delivered in 1941 to handle the steep terrain between Cheyenne and Ogden. Of the eight still in existence, No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy. It recently completed its inaugural tour to Ogden for Union Pacific’s 150th anniversary ceremony.

The Big Boy and historic steam locomotive Living Legend No. 844 met nose-to-nose, recreating the iconic image taken May 10, 1869, when the last spike was tapped into place at Promontory Summit, creating America’s first transcontinental railroad.

“The transcontinental railroad forever changed our country, uniting the nation and igniting economic growth that is still evident today,” said Scott Moore, senior vice president – Corporate Relations and chief administrative officer. “There’s no bigger way to honor this milestone than bringing the Big Boy back to life and giving people an opportunity to share this historic moment.”

Union Pacific strongly encourages fans to keep safety top of mind while viewing and photographing No. 4014 on its journey. For everyone’s safety:

  • Remember, trains can’t stop quickly to avoid people or vehicles on the tracks.
  • A train’s distance and speed can be deceiving.
  • The average train overhangs the track by at least three feet – take extra precaution and stand back at least 25 feet.
  • Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and right of way are private property.
  • Never assume tracks are abandoned or inactive – always expect a train.

The Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car, a new, multi-media walk-through exhibition providing a glimpse at the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading, will accompany the Big Boy on its tour.

A comprehensive route map and schedule, including No. 4014’s GPS location tracking information is available at upsteam.com. Due to the dynamic nature of these operations, running times and scheduled stops are subject to change.

About Union Pacific

Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP). One of America’s most recognized companies, Union Pacific Railroad connects 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail, providing a critical link in the global supply chain.

The railroad’s diversified business mix is classified into its Agricultural Products, Energy, Industrial and Premium business groups. Union Pacific serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers, operates from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada’s rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.

Union Pacific provides value to its roughly 10,000 customers by delivering products in a safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible manner.

This press release is courtesy of Union Pacific.

Riding Through Kane County

The following tips are unofficial, contributed by local train buffs.

Q: I’m interested in taking photos of this train when it travels through Kane County later this month. Can you recommend certain areas for good views?

A: Hmmm. First thoughts are Island Park in Geneva, and the Metra Stations in Geneva, La Fox, and Elburn. There will be a lot of people trying to “chase” this as it heads west which, along with the crowds in various locations, could be dangerous.

Any bridge with a sidewalk dedicated for pedestrians would be good too, but there is parking issues associated with those.

Union Pacific: ‘Stay Safe’

We understand these events and railroad equipment, especially historic equipment like Living Legend No. 844 and Big Boy No. 4014, are fascinating, and we want you to enjoy these moments in time with us; but ask that you please do it safely.

When steam locomotives come through your community, it is especially important to remember and emphasize safety. The average train overhangs the track by at least three feet and wider loads can extend even further from the tracks. It is imperative that pedestrians stand back at least 25 feet or more from the tracks to avoid debris and steam or being hit by the train itself.

For everyone’s safety:

  • Remember, trains can’t stop quickly to avoid people or vehicles on the tracks.
  • A train’s distance from you and its speed can be deceiving.
  • The average train overhangs the track by at least three feet – take extra precaution and stand
    back at least 25 feet from all railroad tracks.
  • Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and right of way are private property. Please do not trespass.
  • Never assume tracks are abandoned or inactive – ALWAYS expect a train and assume
    tracks are active.

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