PHOTOS: Big Boy 4014 Tours Lake Charles, Iowa, and Kinder
The Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 made its way through Texas and into Louisiana. I told my dad about it a few weeks ago, and I think he was more excited than I was to catch a peek at this giant beast on rails. I won't bore you with the story of the train, we have already done that plenty of times with the article about it coming. Instead, I will tell you the story about seeing the train yesterday.
Our original plan was to actually see the train at the Lake Charles train station. It's located at 100 North Ryan. I figured we needed to get there a bit early to catch a spot, but who was really coming to see this train? It couldn't have been that many people, right? Boy were we incredibly wrong! As we got under the I-10 overpass on Ryan street, we could see police directing traffic and cars packed all along Ryan street. They were stacked up on both sides of the road and people were high-stepping on their way to the station. I heard my dad chuckle under his breath.
I have no intentions of parking and walking that far in this heat.
Like father like son, I didn't want to either. I had the idea to run under the I-10 bridge. The tracks that run behind the radio station, are the ones that stretch over the large bridge and the smaller one right next to the boat launch. Plus, we could stand in the shade under the bridge while we waited. As we pulled up to the boat launch, we realized everyone else might have had the same idea! We grabbed some shade and waited. Train fans were out setting tripods up, listening to 2-way radios to hear the conductors, and one even showed me an app that could track the 4014 live with its GPS.
As we waited and watched the GPS creep closer, you could hear a distinct sound. Like in the movies, it was the giant steam whistle. The goosebumps crept all over me. I have heard steam whistles on the riverboat in New Orleans, but never in the middle of Lake Charles, let alone from a train! I looked at Dad and he had the same grin on his face. Everyone started making their way closer to the tracks as we could see a glimpse of it come through the clearing.
It was a giant. Nothing like I have ever seen before in my entire life. They ended up slowing down as they crossed the tracks and got closer to us, as they blew the whistle at a low roar for us. You could hear camera shutters firing off left and right. It truly was an amazing experience. We posted on Facebook yesterday for listeners to submit photos from their view of the train. Enjoy the gallery! Also thank you to Killer Photography for allowing us to use their photos as aways!