One of the most popular Train Simulator add-ons of all time has to be the Union Pacific Big Boy. The Big Boy is one of the largest steam locomotives in the world, boasting a 4-8-8-4 wheel arrangement: it is the epitome of heavy freight haulage in the United States.
Still, the current model (released in 2012) is a bit long in the tooth. Now, though, renowned Train Sim 2021 developer Smokebox has created a brand new model of the loco, so you can prepare to throw your original Big Boy in the bin.
A brief history of the Big Boy
Big Boy locos were designed to haul as much as 4,000-tons on their own across fearsome routes in the United States, such as the Wasatch Mountains between Ogden and Evanston in Utah and Wyoming.
The Big Boy was one of the largest locomotives ever produced in the world, with a 300 PSI boiler pressure and a total tractive effort of 135,375, which equates to roughly 6,290 horsepower.
In service, they were fantastic, called good riders and able to handle whatever Union Pacific threw at them. In total, eight Big Boys of the 25 built are preserved.
Set to be Smokebox’s most advanced model
The upcoming Smokebox model of the Big Boy is set to be one of the most advanced and detailed steam loco add-ons ever created for Train Sim.
A wide range of liveries is included, with clean, weathered, and pristine silver trim all included. There’ll also be a representation of Big Boy No.4014, the only Big Boy currently able to steam, included.
Scenarios will also be provided, which will be for the Wasatch Grade: Ogden-Evanston route that’s also available to purchase for Train Simulator 2021.
Advanced by name, accessible by nature
Advanced features are part of the game with any Smokebox add-on, and this will also be the case with the Big Boy. Advanced braking simulation is included, as is an as realistic a driving and firing experience as possible. Still, the addition of an auto fireman and auto engineer will allow players to use the add-on at a more leisurely pace.
Custom sounds are also included to create as vivid a representation of the Big Boy’s unique soundtrack as possible. You will also be able to drive the locomotive manually from the cab with all of the assists off, which will have you keeping your eye on your water levels and boiler pressure.
Living up to the usual Smokebox standard
Smokebox has created several iconic Train Sim add-ons, such as the Union Pacific FEF-3 4-8-4 passenger locomotive, and the simply stunning Union Pacific and Central Pacific locomotive packs from the 1860s – including the Wild West Cheyenne route from 1869.
All of those are advanced, highly detailed, and accurate add-ons, and it would appear as though the Big Boy is set to be their most advanced and detailed to date.
Smokebox’s upcoming Big Boy model for Train Sim is certainly something to keep an eye on, but at the time of writing, its release date is still set as “coming soon.”
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