We were very lucky on the day we chose because admission was free that day. It was fun! I love trains. Burlington Northern ran close to our house when I was growing up and I associate the sound of trains passing with home.
Watching the yard was like watching the world’s most wonderful model railroad layout — except it was real. The yard is eight miles long and two miles wide. We were north of it at Lincoln County Fairgrounds attending Country Bluegrass Show. When we left show, we got turned around. We kept trying to return to North Platte. The yard is so lit up that we thought it was part of the city.
The volume that passes through the yard daily is astounding. It processes 35 coal trains per 24 hours. Each coal train contains 135 cars, stretching 1.5 miles long. One hundred-fifty through trains pass through every 24 hours. The yard does 3,000 hump sorts per 24 hours/7/365 with 97 percent accuracy using gravity and bar codes. At any time, it holds 1,500 freight cars and between 400 locomotives.
It uses 16 million gallons diesel used per month. Now, that’s a fuel bill!
We were in North Platte for the Country Bluegrass Show. The audience panorama on the site shows us in our high blue chairs at the right. Soundtrack artists The Martins and Branson on the Road, in which Brian Capps is the bassist, performed at the show.
For more information on the tower and yard, watch official video below.GHTime Code(s): nc