Historical steam engines Big Boy No. 4014 and Living Legend No. 844 are returning to Laramie this weekend, this time staying for two nights in downtown.
According to the Union Pacific website, Big Boy and Living Legend are expected to arrive in Laramie around 12:45 p.m. today and leave around 8 a.m. Sunday.
While the extended stay leaves enthusiasts with time for additional photos and different vantage points, Laramie Historic Railroad Depot rental coordinator Charles Van Heule warned that the historic trains will be under tight security during their stay, with Union Pacific police keeping watch over the multi-million-dollar engines “at all hours.”
“Union Pacific will be setting up spotlights and flood lights to protect the train,” Van Heule said. “People like to spray paint railroad cars, and they don’t really want people doing that.”
While the Union Pacific website says the trains will be “closed to the public,” Van Heule clarified it just means the steam engines won’t be available for tours or touching, but those interested can still come downtown to view them.
However, unlike when the train first came through town May 4, the Laramie Historic Railroad Depot will not be hosting any public events, as it is rented for private parties coinciding with the University of Wyoming’s graduation the same day. Van Heule said great views of the train can be found at Depot Park, where the engines will be “almost parallel with the snow train,” located in the park. Van Heule said the Big Boy will be in front, with the Living Legend on the track just next to it.
He added another great vantage point would be from the pedestrian footbridge, which will be directly over the passenger cars.
In addition to the thousands of people who visited Laramie on May 4 to see the historical trains, Van Heule said the depot’s webcams, which were installed late last year, saw around 8,100 viewers. He expects the webcam to be popular this weekend as well, especially with its ability to zoom in on the train.
With the train staying two nights this time, he said the crowd might spread out a little.
“I was shocked at the volume we had two weekends ago — I don’t know how many to anticipate this time,” Van Heule said.
For the train’s schedule, go to the Union Pacific website www.upsteam.com.