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February 9, 2012 Farewell Tribute

As mentioned in an earlier post I made a decision to downsize my locomotive inventory.  In downsizing one of my locomotives that is going away is my Bowser Union Pacific Big Boy.  I purchased in kit form in 1963 from Bowser.  Bowser didn't make a tender for the Big Boy, they supplied a Monogram Plastic Kit Big Boy.  It was a non powered static kit for display only.  As I remember it sold for about $6 at hobby shops in the mid 60s.  Bowser supplied a power conversion kit for the Monogram tender for their Big Boy to supply power to the motor.  More on that later.

Before I could let this monster go I had to give it one last trip on my layout.  The picture above shows it returning from the mountains.  It glides along the code 83 track without any problems, my sharpest radius on my Mainline is 28" and it looks really good running along at a scale 30 MPH.
The beast won't negotiate a #4 turnout without derailing, my entire yard has #4 turnouts.  So because the Big Boy was specific to the Union Pacific and because I'm an SP guy and also because of my 13 #4 turnouts I picked it to go on the first batch.  I will miss it very much but I really need to thin out my locomotive inventory.

This beautiful locomotive sat in a display case in a window of my office for over 20 years, it was a great conversation piece, when anyone would visit me my Big Boy would always be one of the topics of discussion.
On this last run it really brought tears to my eyes knowing it was going away.  For almost 50 years it has been a big part of my model railroading.  I never thought about the possibility of getting rid of any of my trains, next to my family it's been my life.  When I listed my Big Boy on E-Bay on February 8th it was a real empty feeling.
This is truly a great locomotive, it's heavy and very powerful!  It will pull over 100 cars on level track, I took it down to the local club one evening in the early 90s and it towed every car that they had.
After I cleaned it up and did a bit of paint touch up it looks as good as it did in 1963.
The Picture below shows the Bowser power pickup kit on the bottom of the Monogram Tender.
I think that I will run it a bit more before I mail it off to it's new home, this has been kinda tough.

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