Condren Family 2011 Vacation Aug. 17th

Digital Photos by Mike Condren

We left Gothenburg on our way to North Platte using US 30. This is the first train that we saw.

I missed getting this coming shot on this wonderful curve.

Action was very heavy as there was a train following us. We stopped in Brady, NE where there was a pedestrian overpass over the tracks, and I got the following shots of 3 coal trains, 2 loads and 1 empty while Jan bought ice at a convenience store. How heavy was the action, I was finished before Jan had the ice.

After leaving Brady, we met another loaded unit coal train.

Then yet another loaded unit coal train.

The next train was the most unusual of the day, a unit wind turbine train. I shot through the windshield. Three of these huge blades are mounted on a tall tower to generate electricity with the aid of wind. There are lots of these wind turbines in IL and WI.

We then ran into a mechanized gang working on one of the tracks.

Here we view the triple track from the US 30 overpass just east of North Platte, NE. In the eastward shot, you can see another empty unit coal train approaching.

This field has countless numbers of round bales of hay.

Here is that empty unit coal train.

Upon arrival at North Platte, we headed to UP's Bailey Yard and the Golden Spike observation tower.

This model of the diesel shop is outside the elevator landing on the 7th floor, the level of the outside observation deck.

The flags of the states served by the UP surround the base of the Golden Spike tower, here is a sampling.

This corn foeld has a design of a steam engine and a 4-leaf clover and the message "Nebraska Celebrates".

Here are some views from the observation deck of the tower.
Locomotive backshop and service area.

General views of the yard.

Eastbound hump yard.

Cars humping on the westbound hump.

Service tracks for the through trains.

Former MP slugs used at North Little Rock hump yard.

A loaded coal train pulling out of the service area and heading east through the yard.

My ride returns from a shopping trip.

In the lobby at the base of the tower, there is a tribute to the Red Cross Canteen which during WWII serviced every troop train passing through North Platte, long before this huge yard was built. In this cabinet are momentos of that era.

Some views outside of the tower base.

We drove west along side of the yard on our way to a crossing which led us back to US 30. Here is the eastbound hump.
Then a string of locomotives.
And finally our crossing at the west end of the yard. First looking west at a train in the distance and then east at several trains in the yard.

We caught a couple of eastbound trains at the junction between Hershey and Sutherland, NE, one a loaded coal train on the line north and a grain train on the main line.

Our next train was a westbound local near Sutherland, NE.

Our last train on the UP main line along side of US 30 was near Ogallala, NE before we turned north into the Sand Hills.

After we left US 30 at Ogallala, NE, we headed into the Sand Hills of NE.

Kenny Young, this one is for you. Note the second unit is an un-patched SP on this loaded unit coal train on the line to Alliance, NE.

This historical marker is along side US 26 in NE.

Narcissa Whitman historical marker along US 26 in NE.

We ran into this welded rail train along US26.

We ran into this BNSF loaded unit coal train.

We then catch this unit coal train coming out of the yard in Alliance, NE.

The BNSF diesel shop at Alliance, NE

We drove through Wind Cave National Park in South Dakoda and saw our first bison (buffalo).

The Black Hills of South Dakoda.

On the road into Mt. Rushmore.

At Mt. Rushmore.

From the patio of the cafe where we ate supper.

This chipmok was picking up scrapes of food from the patio and returning to his rock.

Mt. Ruchmore from the observation deck of the amphitheater, the program and movie, and then the lighting ceremony.
We will return in morning light to get some better shots.

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