Rail fans and train lovers will have a chance to say goodbye to Big Boy No. 4014, one of the biggest steam locomotives ever built, when it hits the rails early Sunday for the first time in more than half a century.
Modern locomotives will tow the vintage train as it begins the journey from the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds in Pomona to Cheyenne, Wyo.
Big Boy, which earned its name as a freight-hauling giant at 1.2-million pounds, will begin its more than 1,200-mile journey to Union Pacific's Heritage Fleet Operations in Cheyenne. The plan is to stop at the Covina Metrolink Station at 600 N. Citrus Ave. from 7 to 8 a.m. Sunday where visitors can snap photos.
Fans will have another opportunity to see the train before it chugs out of state. Big Boy will be on display from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 1 and 2 and Feb. 8 and 9 at the Union Pacific site referred to as the Colton rail yard at 19100 Slover Ave. in Bloomington.
The train retired in 1959 and had been on display at the RailGiants Train Museum at the fairgrounds before being sold to Union Pacific Railroad. The railroad plans to take it to Wyoming and restore it to running condition.
The only hitch in all this: The initial journey from Pomona is on Metrolink tracks, which means disruptions in commuter rail service between L.A. and San Bernardino. Metrolink says the last two trains on Saturday night and the first four trains Sunday morning will be affected. Metrolink plans to resume regular service at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.