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Big Boy No. 4014 was scheduled to stop in several Nebraska communities this week.

Union Pacific's Big Boy steam engine rolled out of North Platte toward Omaha on Thursday, stopping for the night in Grand Island.

Flooding in south-central Nebraska had halted the steam engine's trip across Nebraska this week. The 1940s-era train engine is the largest working steam engine in the world.

Big Boy traveled the U.P. rail line that runs along the now-flooded U.S. Highway 30. One of its stops was to be Gibbon, Nebraska, a community now in a major flood fight against the Wood River, which has jumped more than 10 feet this week.

"We can't say enough about the work our crews did to get Big Boy going again," U.P. spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza said Thursday. "They were pouring rock ballast to stabilize the line last night."

Big Boy traveled to Lexington and, instead of Gibbon, stopped in Kearney before ending up in Grand Island. It will continue the journey Friday, with stops in Central City, Columbus and Fremont before arriving in Omaha near 12th and Cuming Streets about 5:45 p.m. 

The steam engine is 132 feet long and weighs 1.2 million pounds. It will spend Friday evening through Sunday morning in Omaha as part of Railroad Days and Union Pacific’s 150th anniversary celebration.

To monitor Big Boy’s travel, join the Union Pacific Steam Club on Facebook.

Nancy Gaarder helps cover public safety and weather events as an editor on The World-Herald's breaking news desk. Follow her on Twitter @gaarder. Phone: 402-444-1102.

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