Altoona (WQOW) – The Big Boy is coming to town and Altoona leaders are putting the final touches on prep work to make your experience one to remember.
The historic Big Boy Locomotive will arrive in Altoona at 1 p.m. on Tuesday. It will be the only extended stop the train makes in Wisconsin.
So, where should you go to watch?
Altoona City Administrator Mike Golat said the best place is by Woodman’s. He said there will be a designated parking area near Woodman’s and a trail that will lead you to the tracks. The train will be moving from west to east.
Once you have watched the locomotive go by, you can head to the corner of Spooner Avenue and Division Street where you will get an up-close look at Big Boy and tour an ‘experience car’ from 2-5 p.m. Golat said Johnsonville will have the world’s largest grill there too.
Golat said he expects 1,000-5,000 people in town to see the train on Tuesday, so it is important to take your time and have patience.
“The railroad is Altoona’s heritage, so it’s something that we really want to celebrate as a community. We’ve been getting calls from all over the Midwest, people that recognize that this would be a great place to see it. We wanted to make sure we could provide a safe environment for people to access the train,” Golat said.
There will be also be handicapped parking. Go to the Eau Claire County building at the corner of Lynn Avenue and 1st Street W. There will be parking attendants to help guide.
Big Boy is scheduled to leave Altoona at 8 a.m. on Wednesday which will provide another photo opportunity. Golat said you can park at the new elementary school east of town and the bridge over the tracks will be closed so pedestrians can watch.
A few safety tips – You need to stay back at least 25 feet from the tracks. Railroad tracks, trestles, yards and right-of-way are private property.
You can track Big Boy’s movement here.
Train Photo Credit: Union Pacific