BOONE, Iowa -- The Union Pacific Railroad is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad in America.
To celebrate, the railroad is touring its newly restored “Big Boy” locomotive, which is the largest model steam locomotive ever built. It was one of 25 built for the Union Pacific to handle steep climbs around Cheyenne and Provo.
The locomotive, the coal-car, passenger cars and a museum car are touring the Midwest. On Monday, the train stopped in Denison, Carroll and Boone. It will head to Nevada and Mason City on Tuesday.
"The transcontinental railroad forever changed our country, uniting the nation and igniting economic growth that is still evident today," said Scott Moore, senior vice president of corporate relations and chief administrative officer. "There's no bigger way to honor this milestone than bringing the Big Boy back to life and giving people an opportunity to share this historic moment."
People turned out by the hundreds to see the train along the Union Pacific route in western Iowa.
“We’re pretty excited to see it. I’m just here with the rest of my family. We actually got to chase it a little on the road," said Nathan Masters from Kiron.
Paul Hackett came up from Missouri with his dad to watch this locomotive.
“I like all the noise. I grew up watching trains with my dad. Still interested in doing that,” said Hackett.
The train will be in Iowa two days and will return to eastern Iowa later this month with a stop in Des Moines on July 31 and August 1.
For more information on this tour, click here.