The Great Race Across the Midwest: Big Boy No. 4014 Locomotive To Cross Rock River In Wisconsin and Illinois


Something BIG & Historic is going to cross the Rock River in WI and IL!

The Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4014 Steam Locomotive will cross the Rock River on Thursday, July 25 near Ashipun, WI as part of the “Great Race across the Midwest” tour to celebrate the 150th anniversary Of The Transcontinental Railroad’s completion. It will then cross in Dixon & Rock Falls and Sterling, IL on July 30, offering multiple places for excellent viewing and photos!

Links and maps can be found below if you want to plan your biking, paddling or driving route to see this historic train.

The full tour is an homage to the Great Race to Promontory — during which the Central Pacific Railroad of California and the Union Pacific Railroad Company built rail east and west respectively to eventually meet and form a continuous line across the United States. The tracks met at Promontory Summit, Utah.

The Big Boy’s return to the rails is the product of more than two years of meticulous restoration work by the Union Pacific Steam Team. No. 4014 is the world’s only operating Big Boy locomotive and has the longest engine body of any reciprocating steam locomotive, longer than two buses. It was likely the heaviest steam locomotive ever built: the 772,250-lb engine and 436,500-lb tender together outweighed a Boeing 747!


WI Crossings - July 25IL Crossings - July 30

Map of Rock River Crossing area on July 25

Interested in paddling in that area?

Horicon to Watertown

Big Boy # 4014 Route Through Dodge and Jefferson County

Map of Rock River Crossings on July 30

Interested in Paddling In This Area?

Oregon to Rock Falls

Dixon Crossing

Sterling & Rock Falls Crossings