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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, a little over a year ago, I posted this thread:

https://gl1800riders.com/forums/7-rides-trips-events/429689-train-geeks-out-there.html

about that Big Boy that was resuscitated and went on a short trip to Utah. I watched that...pretty cool.

https://kwthom.blogspot.com/2019/05/big-boy-returns-to-rails.html

Well, it made a trip earlier this summer back to the upper midwest, now it's time for it to wander around some of the old UP/SP areas:

https://www.up.com/heritage/steam/schedule/index.htm

Saturday, the 19th will be chaotic - but it's also fun. Train will roll from T-town all the way out to Lordsburg. Sunday takes it from Lordsburg out to El Paso.

I'll probably only chase it out to Bowie (maybe), but then haul a&& back home. If you're even thinking about wanting to chase it for more than a day and you're thinking about getting a place to stay - a tip.

Reserve a room - NOW. The rail-fans that will be chasing this thing is nearly as fun and crazy as watching the train itself.

So, this thread is for local discussion on this event.
 

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Interesting.

I doubt I’ll do any chasing but I did add it to my calendar in case I want to go see it in the Tucson rail yard or wherever it will be displayed while it’s here.

I’ll also enjoy photography a little and will likely start scoping out a location I can set and wait for it to cross a bridge or something. I’m maybe thinking the Cienega Creek crossing east of vail. This area is in the Cieniga Creek nature preserve that requires a hiking permit to be in there. They limit the permits on a daily basis. It would make for a good location I think for some photographs.

Thanks for the info.
 

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I guess I'll be going to Provo or Caliente, NV.

If I go to Caliente then a side ride to https://www.dreamlandresort.com/
and maybe get a new sticker or see how many died storming Area 51 later in Sept.

No, Pooch not that other Area 51 that you have made so Famous. :grin2:
 
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
"I’m maybe thinking the Cienega Creek crossing east of vail."

You'll be joined by 1500 others, I'd bet. Everyone local is gonna want to get that shot. The issue I see is that if that trestle can't support the weight of that locomotive, it will take the original track along Cienega Creek.

Then, you're all going to have to crawl along Marsh Station Rd. in order to escape.
 

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Ahh, The Big Boy

This summer when it was on its turn around from Chicago to Cheyenne I was waiting for it east of Rochelle, IL. At a rural road crossing I bet there was 100+ people waiting. It was glorious as it passed by with the engineer injecting oil to make a marvelous plume of black smoke.

Knowing it was going to stop a bit in Rochelle, I, on my Wing, sped ahead and was lucky as I approached Dixon, IL on IL 26. There was a small crowd on the Hwy 26 UPRR overpass. I immediately pulled over, parked and hurried back. Within 10 minutes here it came! Wow!

From there I jumped back on the Wing and headed west on IL 40 and then US 30. At one point I looked over to my left to the UP roadbed paralleling US30 and there it was blasting ahead at the same 50 mph I was running. Dang, oh to have a video of that! Looking at my GPS I saw that US 30 was going to make a curve to the north and cross over the UP. I was even pointing to the train so that people in a pickup behind me could see the same historical view I was seeing.

As the US 30 overpass came into view I was able to see I was ahead of The Big Boy a bit. I sped up, came to a stop just as it arrived and caught it on phone video as it headed west from under the overpass.

This was an event I will never forget. I hope yours is just as memorable, kwthom!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Note that some station stops are for maintenance purposes. These are some of the 'no public access' locations and times. In some cases, the traveling crew actually needs time off, so again, no access to the equipment or even the facility. Federal limitations on duty hours and so forth.

The Union Pacific also has their 'Special Agents' out in force as well. They're mainly looking out for those that are trespassing on their right-of-way while the train is under way. I'd suspect that local and state agencies may also become involved while the transit happens (no parking and waiting along Interstate highways - Wyoming was pretty hard-a** about that back in May) so be on the watch for that as things get closer.
 

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A buddy of mine is a retired train engineer and will be part of a chase team following the train from Yuma to Tucson spending the night in Casa Grande. I’ve asked him if he can identify the track that will be used on the way to Benson. He’s thinking it will go down the number 1 main track which has less curves that will put it on the bridge at Marsh station road. He’ll check into it. Either way I plan on being somewhere. I’ll probably visit it also when it’s in Tucson. It does have limited visitation hours on the layover here.
 

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I'm into trains. Probably because I'm a retired Electro Motive employee. My job classification there was "Locomotive Tester" and yes I got to drive these everyday. The Chicago Tribune did an article on us one day and said these guys actually get paid for playing with life size toys. When I was there, 90% of the locomotives in the world came out of that plant just outside of Chicago. Best Job I ever had. Just for info, GM shut it down and moved the entire operation to Canada. :frown2:
 

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The event has been cancelled, moved to LV.:smile2:
http://www.rachel-nevada.com/alienstock.html

East side or West side of area 51 is OK with me. Just don't want some guy looking at me through a scope.


Edit; I read your link. Was not planning to go to any of it, just wanted to stop and get a new sticker. And hear about what happened on storming the gates. So I see it has been canceled like you said. But still need a new sticker, and that Dreamland Resort is an easy zip from Caliente. Again thanks Randy for the info, as now there might not be as many people around.
 
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I don't think everybody thinks this has moved.


Visitors descending on the remote Nevada desert for "Storm Area 51" are from Earth, not outer space. No one knows what to expect, but the two tiny towns of Rachel and Hiko near the once-secret military research site are preparing for an influx of people over the next few days. "It's happening. We already have people from all over the world," a local motel proprietor tells the AP. Neighbors, elected officials, and event organizers said the craze sparked by an internet joke inviting people to "see them aliens" might become a cultural marker, a monumental dud, or something in between. Area 51's secrecy has long fueled fascination about extraterrestrial life, UFOs, and conspiracy theories.
Some neighbors and officials in two counties near Area 51 are nervous. Elected officials signed emergency declarations after millions of people responded to the Facebook post this summer. Hundreds of law enforcement officers and medics will be on hand, along with the Nevada National Guard; the FAA closed nearby airspace this week. Officials expect cellular service to be overwhelmed. "We really didn't ask for this," says Varlin Higbee, a Lincoln County commissioner. Although warnings have been made to stay away, it doesn't look like that's totally working. "People desire to be part of something," a University of Nevada sociologist says. "When you tell people they can't do something, they just want to do it more."
 

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Visitors descending on the remote Nevada desert for "Storm Area 51" are from Earth, not outer space. No one knows what to expect, ................ Hundreds of law enforcement officers and medics will be on hand, along with the Nevada National Guard; the FAA closed nearby airspace this week. Officials expect cellular service to be overwhelmed. "We really didn't ask for this," says Varlin Higbee, a Lincoln County commissioner. Although warnings have been made to stay away, it doesn't look like that's totally working. "People desire to be part of something," a University of Nevada sociologist says. "When you tell people they can't do something, they just want to do it more."
Sounds exactly like the US Mexico border problem where I live. ....

Oh..... just to stay on topic, that train is super cool. I can’t wait to see it.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
"Business owner George Harris said he expected a crowd of 5,000, but Lee said the audience and nearby campers appeared to number in the hundreds."

::chuckle::
 

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I guess I'll be going to Provo or Caliente, NV.

If I go to Caliente then a side ride to https://www.dreamlandresort.com/
and maybe get a new sticker or see how many died storming Area 51 later in Sept.

No, Pooch not that other Area 51 that you have made so Famous. :grin2:
Just seen this, Skeered, are ya??:joke:
 
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Discussion Starter #18
For those chasing the train in southeastern Arizona on Saturday...a couple of spots I'm going to try and get to:

Vail AZ at the crossing. Expect it will be up to speed as it rolls thru there, so I plan on staying on the south side of the tracks.

I do NOT plan on getting onto Marsh Station Rd. There are few places to pull off the road to see it (especially at Cienega Creek), and you're rather trapped in the canyon. You *do* have the exit at Marsh Station Rd. exit 291 and Mescal Rd exit 297. Mescal Rd is about 3 miles north of the freeway, though - again, boxed in a bit with potential traffic. Similar configuration at Pomerene Rd.

Railroad crossing at Dragoon Rd., but you're boxed in a bit right there, so another spot is going to be Cochise, AZ. From there, back onto I-10 to meet it at Willcox, AZ

Along I-10 east of Willcox, it will be challenging to keep up with the train as it moves east, as it will be quite easy to outrun the train should you choose to do so.


There will be two types of lookie-loos...

Ones that want to catch it while moving along with it (pacing the train...) which is a lot easier to do with a passenger on two wheels. You are trying to keep from getting hurt, while the pillion rider is capturing the images.

The other is those that are stationary catching the train as it passes you. That is the easier shot to get, if you plan on staying there 'till it passes.

Should be a fun day!
 

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I’m meeting some friends and plan on chasing the train into town from around Eloy Thursday morning.

Friday I plan on visiting it during the public visitation hours here in town.

Then I plan on being out in some position to take some photos Saturday as it rolls out of town. Probably out in the Cienega conservation area in vail. I have a hiking permit for that day and will have access to the restricted area.

That will be it for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Since they've already derailed that engine at least once (in Rawlins, on the return trip from Odgen), you can bet they will move very slowly thru the yards.

Nearly 3 and a half hours to get to Tucson from Casa Grande, 70 miles away. I suspect the last hour will be manipulating that beast thru the switching to get to the train station. From there, more switching to get to the staging point for Friday's display.
 
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