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CHEYENNE - The Big Boy steam locomotive, more than 50 years old, had been sitting idle at a California museum until it began a 1,300 mile journey that ended Thursday in Cheyenne.

"Steam locomotives are magic machines. They're almost alive," said Ed Dickens with Union Pacific.

He says the last time Big Boy operated was 1959, but now the locomotive is returning to Cheyenne to be repaired. It will eventually work as good as new – which would have been all the way back in 1941.

"Union Pacific has been working on this for years, and seeing it arrive today is nothing but phenomenal," Cheyenne Mayor Rick Kaysen said.

Only 25 Big Boys were ever made, and eight of the steam engines still exist.

Union Pacific officials say the locomotive now in Cheyenne is in the best condition and will serve as an ambassador for the railroad.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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