Locomotives bring Spike 150 to Summit County
Big Boy No. 4014 and Living Legend No. 844 will make some noise in Summit County when the two steam engine locomotives make a scheduled morning stop in Echo on Wednesday, May 8.
The stop is part of the Spike 150 Celebration, a year-long series of events designed to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the driving of the last spike of the Transcontinental Railroad at Promontory Summit, said Travis English, events manager for Summit County.
“(The) Transcontinental Railroad was a big game changer for the west and the nation itself,” he said.
Wednesday’s event, dubbed the Echo Whistle Stop, will start with breakfast via food truck at 8 a.m. at 3525 S. Echo Rd. and continue with a presentation at 9 a.m. that will culminate with the arrival of the engines, which will be connected together, English said.
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“The presentation will feature speeches by Summit County Council Chairman Roger Armstrong, who will give a welcome, and provide a brief history of Echo, the train and introduce other county council members,” English said.
Council member Chris Robinson will also speak.
Robinson sits on the Spike 150 Commission, which has partnered with Summit County and Union Pacific for the event, English said.
“This is great, because we are the first stop in the state of Utah,” English said.
The train is scheduled to leave Evanston, Wyoming, at 8 a.m. and will arrive in Echo around 9:25 a.m., he said.
“It will then make a stop in Morgan County, before heading to Ogden,” English said.
The whistle stop will also mark the first time in two years Big Boy has been on a Utah track, according to English.
“Union Pacific spent several million dollars resorting the engine for the celebration,” he said.
No. 4014 is the world’s only working Big Boy engine, according to the Union Pacific. Seven other engines are displayed around the country in important crossroads like Cheyenne, Wyoming, Denver and St. Louis.
Union Pacific built 25 Big Boy engines that measured 132 feet long and weighed in at 1.2 million pounds.
“The wheel diameter is 80 inches alone, so it is pretty tall,” English said.
Living Legend 844 was the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific, and was known for excursion runs through Sherman Hill between Cheyenne and Laramie in Wyoming, according to Union Pacific.
The Echo Whistle Stop will be short, so attendees won’t be able to board the train, and the passengers won’t exit, English said.
“For safety precautions, since the track is a working track, we are also asking people to stay at least 25 feet back from the trains,” he said.
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