Notes on 4014

Locomotive 4014 galloped across the Marfa Plateau. 6 pm, it reached Paisano Pass and the town of Alpine, Texas, a steam engine on a class I railroad, a locomotive living up to the name Big Boy. It brought a glimpse of another era. It crossed a western landscape with a plume of billowing steam, and when the rolling stock went out of view, it became a gray cloud moving across the horizon. Video footage failed to convey its decibels: the whistle, the thud of pistons, and the hiss of steam. Nothing matched seeing it first hand.