Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Heat, delays don’t stop train fans

By Staff, 08/26/21 10:20 AM

PRESCOTT – A derailment in Texarkana earlier in the day Wednesday resulted in delays for the Union Pacific’s Big Boy steam locomotive getting to Prescott.

The derailment damaged tracks in Texarkana which had to be replaced. Train buffs who’d come to Prescott from all over the area, were given updates periodically, most, though, were wrong. While the train was supposed to arrive at 3:30 p.m., early reports said it would be in Prescott around 4, that changed to five, then six and finally seven, when it did arrive. Those who came to see the train were given water, provided by the Nevada County Depot Museum. Several, upon learning about the extended delays, opted to go somewhere for dinner. Quite a few visited Sonic for a quick bite.

Traffic on Hwy. 67 was slowed considerably with foot traffic crossing the highway, and cars parked along the side of the road. Officers with the Prescott Police Department were on hand to keep people off the tracks and watch for any problems.

The museum had a small tent set up where the water was kept. It also had wooden train whistles for sale at $2 each. The whistles proved to be a popular item as parents bought them for their children and grandparents bough them for their grandchildren. Inside the museum, the penny candy store proved to be popular, as did the air conditioning, with people buying candy to enjoy while they waited.

People came from Oklahoma, Louisiana, Magnolia, Benton, Bryant and Nashville to see the Big Boy 4014, the world’s largest steam locomotive on its 2021 tour. The engine tips the scale at 1.2 million pounds. Originally, 25 of these engines were ordered, with the first delivered in 1941. However, the Big Boy is the last in existence. It stayed overnight in Prescott, leaving at 8 a.m. Thursday.

Train buffs braved, and endured, the heat, with the heat index staying steady at 104 degrees. Around 5 o’clock clouds formed, bringing lower temperatures and a cooling breeze. A brief rain shower, though, only resulted in it getting steamier. None of that mattered when the first glimpse of steam could be seen as fans crowded toward the tracks to see the rolling antique.