Our last day in North Platte was a whirlwind. After our outing to see the cranes by bus, we went to the Golden Spike Tower. Some of you have seen the signs for this attraction. I know because you tweeted this to me. You also tweeted that you’ve never been. Go! I am here to tell you that it’s not just for train geeks.
The Golden Spike Tower & Visitor Center looks down on the largest rail yard in the world. Billed as a one-of-a-kind attraction, it really is. There are so many train cars and engines here that it’s overwhelming.
Plus, things are happening. Trains are coming and going and being taken apart and set on routes for various places around the country. Live commerce is happening! It’s all rather dizzying and can be seen from the tower, high above the rail yard.
That’s what the tower is, a place to come and watch the trains below. At 83 feet up, they look like miniatures, but they are very real. It’s not surprising that Union Pacific is one of the three top employers in North Platte, the other being a Walmart Distribution Center and the hospital.
Trains stop here because this is the middle of the country. This stop is used for many things including to separate the train cars and send them all around the county to deliver their goods. My post about the North Platte Canteen explains how carloads of soldiers came through the town each year. This is a train town.
RELATED: The North Platte Canteen
Here in Colorado, I associate trains with coal, but they carry so much more. Trains come to North Platte carrying everything from toilet paper to building materials.
The tower isn’t just a cool place to watch trains, you can learn about trains here too. There are exhibits inside the tower that will help you gain an understanding of the industry. Of course, I like the dining car replica. Too bad we don’t have that kind of dining on planes.
By the way, the tower doesn’t only provide an excellent view of the rail yard, we saw Sandhill Cranes and cows from there too. And in fact, visitors to the tower that morning were treated to the sight of a newly born calf in the field below (we were in Nebraska during calving season).
I’m not a shopper, but the gift shop is worth a look. It’s also one-of-a-kind and you’re sure to find a unique gift here including lots of things Made in Nebraska.
Visit the Golden Spike Tower online at Golden Spike Tower.
Thank you to Visit North Platte for hosting this trip.
Thank you to Kirsten and Ben for our tour of the Golden Spike Tower.