Day 6: The Golden Spike Tower

A small section of the Bailey Railroad Yard and its massive repair facilities.

A small section of the Bailey Railroad Yard and its massive repair facilities.

The further west we went, the drier it became – fewer trees and cornfields were seen, as fields filled with bales and rolls of hay, and more and more cattle could be seen.

We stopped at North Platte to visit the Golden Spike Tower, a viewing platform that looks out on one of the largest railroad yards in the country, if not the world, the Bailey Yard. This is Union Pacific’s main hub of activities. Repair buildings miles of track laden with hundreds of cars and trains awaiting their journey could be seen from the lofty perch of the tower, along with the vast flatness of these lands.

The unique bowl-like terrain led the railroad to put the yard here, as the slight slope to the otherwise flat terrain helped them move the rolling stock around. To the west of the tower you can see the repair shops where engines are repaired and rolling stock can be checked out. And down below, there are some 300 plus miles of track where trains are assembled to go east or west to connect the country together. Even if you are not a railroad fan, it is a sight to behold.

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