North Platte…A Second Look!

I-80 Lakeside Campground

This morning I woke early, as usual and worked on downloading and selecting photos for the blogs. It takes me better than an hour to choose, edit, download and insert photos. This works better if I have WiFi to upload to WordPress.com

The Golden Spike Tower

We were not rushing out-of-town today. The plan was to fuel up, get propane and go visit the Golden Spike Tower over at the Bailey Railroad Yard.

Engine Repair Shop.jpg

Engine Repair Shop

Switching Yard.jpg

The Switching Yard

Small Cross Section.jpg

Cross Section ~ Coal train in middle is 10,000 feet long

Eastend Yard.jpg

East End Yard

The Bailey Railroad Yard

The Bailey Railroad Yard is the largest yard in the world. I just have to give you some facts before describing our visit.

  • Between 12 to 15 thousands railroad cars pass through the yard a day. I had seen a sign that said 10 thousand cars pass through a day, but that has been upgraded.
  • The yard is 8 miles long and has 400 miles of track
  • The yard has 354 track switches.
  • The engine repair shop is three football fields wide.
  • They refuel 350 locomotives a day.
  • 66% of the traffic comes through at night.

After plugging in the coordinates, we drove left and right through North Platte for several minutes. Finally, we got out of the residential neighborhoods and there was the Golden Spike Tower! Eight stories high, with closed and open balconies. This is not on railroad property, but one can see in every direction. The first floor has a lot of railroad stuff and memorabilia. A ticket is needed to ride the elevator to the 7th and 8th floors. On the 8th floor, as we got off the elevator, we couldn’t help notice the display of pictures and a video running about the Orphan Trains. Thousands and thousands of kids were transported from New York City to the mid-western states. For example, Illinois received 9172 children, Indiana 5956 and so on. Those kids were orphan in the big cities and with no adoption laws, people could pick them out like fruit in a grocery store. One guy, 19 years old, pickup a 9-year-old. It is nearly unbelievable in today’s world. I wonder how many were abused?

On the top floor of the tower, I started taking photos in every direction. I was like a kid with a giant toy train set. What was really neat was this old-timer who was the yard manager and worked in this yard, in the 1940’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. Did he have stories to tell! He was there with his granddaughter and company. Ironically, another guy, a former engineer was also visiting and he augmented the stories. I like the one about the older guy getting orders to get troupes over to the west coast as fast as they could. The train was going over a hundred miles per hour.

We had lunch in the camper, went to Wal-Mart for more groceries before heading out-of-town. We drove a short way into Colorado. We are in Sterling, CO tonight and staying at a city owned rest area. We have WiFi and the lady at the Visitor Center gave us tips on were to eat and what to do tonight.

We are in Sterling, CO (City of Living Trees and Sculptures) this late afternoon looking at these marvelous tree carvings/sculptures all over town. Some were inside the library, some were at a Community College and some were in city parks. A good pastime for us.

Tree Sculpture Sterling, CO.JPG

First of many Tree Scupltures in Sterling, CO

Wooden Tree Carving.JPG

One Tree Scuplture by Bradford Rhea

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Very Creative!

That is what we saw and did

 

July 27, 2017 ~ 116 miles today

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