Amber and I went to Green Bay to visit the National Railroad Museum
. I've loved trains since I was a little kid, and this museum has one of the largest steam engines ever produced: Union Pacific's 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy"
. Weighting in at over 760,000 pounds and producing 6,000 horse power, this locomotive was so long (85 feet) it had to be articulated
to make turns. There is really no way to appreciate the size of this train until you stand next to it. In the picture to the left, Amber is standing in the cab looking out the window while I am standing a little more than half way to the end. The steam pipes going to the drive cylinder must be 8 inches in diameter. Look at the size of the crank shaft and connecting rods between to those 68" drive wheels—massive! Despite it's size, this behemoth could reach speeds of 80 MPH. It was also able to pull 4,040 tons up a 1.77 percent grade (steep in railroad terms) and doing so could burn over 22 tons of coal and consume over 12,000 gallons of water in a single hour. The coal car
held 28 tons of coal and 25,000 gallons of water. Awesome machine and it was privilege to stand next to this marvel of engineering.