North Platte Nebraska, Our reason for visiting was to tour the Golden Spike Tower and the Bailey Train Yard. The tower gives you a panoramic view of the worlds largest train yard. The tower was opened in 2008. It is eight floors up to a large enclosed observation room. The 7th floor has a open observation deck. We had a wonderful retired employee give us information about the train yard. He answered all our questions with ease. Linda and I were the only two visitors, at the moment, as we arrived just as the tower opened. Soon other guest arrived and we had to share him with the others. There are 23 flags in a semi circle around the tower, one for each state the Union Pacific serves. Buffalo Bill Cody Scout Rest Park is near by as it was easy access to the railroad for his show to travel. The tower has a live web cam, see www.goldenspiketower.com. Our photo's don't show the vastness of the train yard.
The Bailey Train yard covers over 2800 acres. Each day 10,000 rail cars are handled, and over 300 engines are used into making new trains. Locomotive crews are change here. Over 3,500 engines can be repaired each month. The yard employees over 2,500 people. I'm just jotting down facts as fast as I can remember them. The yard operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Oh, almost forgot there is over 8 miles of track in the yard. Oh a second Oh, the tower is free.
The great host telling us about the yard made for a super visit with so much information. We never knew how much work goes into the trains you see passing by. So now when we wait at a rail crossing, and waiting for that arm to go up, we have some knowledge of what went into making up that train.
This is the second time in the passed two years we came upon information about the "Orphan Train" . The last time was in Louisiana
This is the "hump" were cars are pushed up and uncoupled, then roll down, and switch to different tracks to make up new trains going in different directions.