Cheyenne residents are familiar with the old Big Boy steam engine that sits on display in Holiday Park. Regular visitors to the park might have noticed the numbers and letter spray painted all over its massive frame. That is not graffiti. Those markings are there to label the sections they were painted on during renovation, which will begin in February.

Parked next to the engine is a caboose which will be used as an office during the renovation. The caboose might be added to the back of the engine at the end of the project. That is still under consideration.

Mike Pannell of Wasatch Railroad Contractors was kind enough to come to the KGAB studios and explain what was going on, and how he and his crew were approached by police as they spray painted the engine. "They thought we were covering it in graffiti," Mike said.

He explained that the caboose is owned by High Plains Railroad Restoration. It was found east of town and was actually used as a small home for about five years.

Wasatch Railroad Contractors (WRC) are taking on the project. They have been in business in business for 16 years building and refurbishing steam engines. When asked if the world is still asking for steam locomotives the answer was yes. They are currently building one for Sweden. Smaller model steam engines for amusement parks are also common projects for the company.

WRC is headquartered in Cheyenne and welcome folks to come take a tour of their operation.

When the facelift is complete on the Big Boy there might be a few improvements other than a nice new coat of paint. WRC wants to light it up, inside and out, and perhaps add a set of stairs and a walkway to folks visiting the old boy can see the engineers compartment.

Listen to the interview above or here.