Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Where's Harry When We Needed Him?

North Platte, Nebraska
Holiday RV Park

It was a long drive today--from Casper to North Platte.  The road wasn't in as bad a condition as it was on the western side of Casper.  Bill drove the entire way and we finished our audio book about 5 miles from the RV park.  Sometimes the books are at a point where you don't want to stop listening to them.  We've been over these roads before and have seen all the interesting places and historic markers.  

We lost an hour today since we are in central time zone now.  Bill wanted to fuel up the truck and I wanted to check out the Golden Spike Tower.  

I didn't figure it would be much, just a tower to look around.  We viewed a very interesting video about the railroad before taking the elevator up 100 feet.

The seventh floor has an open observation deck. There are benches and stationary binoculars to use.

There's no way you can show the world's largest rail yard in a photo which is 8 miles in length and covers 2,380 acres.  

The diesel shop repairs over 750 locomotives per month.

If the tracks were laid end to end they would stretch 315 miles.
There are two humps--the eastbound hump is 34 feet and the westbound hump is 20 feet tall.  3,000 cars are humped every day.  The video we saw, explained and demonstrated how they hump cars.  
I remember Harry telling us how much diesel a locomotive uses, but can you imagine 14 million gallons of diesel per month is used at this rail yard.  An average of 155 trains a day pass through here.  

Here's another interesting fact--there are 985 switches. 10,000 rail cars are handled every day.

I was surprised that in 1865 when this rail yard began, North Platte wasn't a town.  The name of the place was "Hell on Wheels".  Does this bring a TV show to mind?

There was an exhibit about the Canteen.  Miss Rae Wilson a local native, began the Canteen on December 17, 1941 using an unused lunchroom of the Union Pacific Railroad Depot.  Nearly 10,000 troops  were given free food in a day. 

There was also an exhibit on the orphan train.  I recently saw a show about this on PBS.

All in all, it was very entertaining.  There was a docent on the eighth floor that was very knowledgable and answered many questions but we would have preferred to have Harry explain things.  We miss Harry and Carlena and also Boo who came to say good morning every day.  

This is also the town where Buffalo Bill Cody resided.  We've been here before so didn't want to revisit it.

Turtle Safely.......


  1. Hard to believe how busy a place that really is.
    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  2. We stopped here last year and what an interesting stop. Lynn Cross

  3. As members of the Golden Spike Chapter of FMCA and kids of RR engineers, we love the Bailey Yard. We could watch those cars making up trains all day. The local museum had a good display on the cantine.

  4. I am not a railway buff but that was interesting.

  5. What a wonderful place to tour,m an awesome sight to see for sure. Thanks for the info.


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