How to see world's largest steam locomotive "Big Boy" as it visits Houston, Spring, and Navasota

Wednesday evening, as the sun sets, Houstonians will line the train tracks near I-10 and Memorial. They want to catch a glimpse of the world's largest steam train. He's called Big Boy.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this steam engine 4014 Big Boy," said train lover Olga Lucia Diaz.

Union Pacific’s historic steam locomotive No. 4014 is stopping in Houston as part of its tour of the Union Pacific system to commemorate the transcontinental railroad's 150th anniversary. 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.

The world's largest steam locomotive is visiting the Houston are Wednesday through Friday as part of a special tour.

All the steam and chugging sounds took many train lovers back in time.

"I love these old trains because I remember riding them when I was a little boy," John Burch said.

Big Boy will be on display to the public on Thursday from 9 a.m. till 3 a.m. Onlookers are encouraged to use the Theater District parking garages and make their way to the Amtrak Station. 

Big Boy's return to the rails follows more than two years of meticulous restoration work by the Union Pacific Steam Team.

On Friday, Big Boy will depart Houston around 10 a.m. He'll make a stop in Spring around 11:15 a.m., then depart again 15 minutes later for Navasota, arriving there at 1:15 p.m. After a half-hour stop, he'll continue on to Bryan/College Station where he'll be on display to the public from 4:30 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Going to try to catch it as it rolls down the tracks? A few safety reminders from Union Pacific:

  • Hearing protection is recommended.
  • Remember, trains can’t stop quickly. Do not go on the tracks, even if the train is not near yet.
  • A train’s distance from you and its speed can be deceiving.
  • Stand back at least 25 feet. The average train overhangs the track by at least three feet and can fling rocks and debris as it rolls by.
  • Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and right-of-way are private property – please do not trespass.
  • Never assume tracks are abandoned or inactive – ALWAYS expect a train and assume tracks are active.

Learn more about Big Boy's route by clicking here.

Union Pacific's "Big Boy" makes its way on a 150th-anniversary tour for the railway. (FOX 26 Houston)