The Golden Spike


For years, rail lovers would have to sneak around to get a good view of their favorite locomotives.
But no they can get a bird's eye view of the world's largest classification railyard.
The whistles and hums of nearly 15,000 train cars welcome you to Golden Spike Tower.
"There's always something going on in Bailey Yards. It's a unique experience in that they may
be sorting cars, there may be coal trains going through, always a lively scene going on," said Executive Director Shelly Harshaw.
Nearly 100 feet in the air, the tower overlooks the world's largest classification yard, enough room to enclose 2,800 football fields.
"I marvel at it everyday. I come up here and I enjoy the first 15-20 minutes by myself up
here. I can just look everything over and see everything in the yards and then people come up and ask questions and I answer them to the best of my knowledge. I get enjoyment out of it," said volunteer Charles Grigsby.
Like the rail spike before it, the Golden Spike Tower ties together North Platte's history with the railroad.
"North Platte does have a big history with the Union Pacific Railroad and we're very excited
to have the tower here for people to come see this unique experience," said Harshaw.
Whether trying to figure out if they're hauling coal or grain on that eight miles of track, both young and old can become a conductor.
"Often times people come up here for hours, just watching the trains or on the agricultural
side, it's just something for everybody," said Grigsby.
The tower just opened in the summer of 2008 and was named attraction of the year by the nebraska Travel Association.
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