(Beaver Dam) When Big Boy, the world’s largest operating steam-powered engine, came through the region this week, it was a once-in-a-life opportunity for many train enthusiasts. That was not necessarily the case for Bob Wyman of Beaver Dam who on Thursday in Friesland saw the 132-foot locomotive rolling down the tracks for the second time in his life.
“I saw one of these way back in the 1940’s in Wyoming when I was a kid,” Wyman says adding, “I’m that old.”
As camera-equipped drone helicopters swirled overhead on Thursday, he told us that it was a different time during his first experience with the locomotive.
“We were traveling west heading to Idaho to see my father’s brother,” Wyman recalled, “We just stopped and I took picture of it coming right at me.”
We asked Wyman what it is like to come full circle and see the million-pound train riding the rails for a second time.
“There are several of these around in museums,” he says, “but there aren’t too many of them with steam coming out, in fact this is the only one, and there aren’t many steam locomotives anyplace anymore.”
Big Boy started and will be ending its journey in Wyoming as the recently remodeled train traverses middle America once again, this time in celebration of 150 years of the transcontinental railroad.
Pictured left to right: Toni and Bob Wyman
For more about the historic stop in Friesland click here: