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North Platte Rail Days

America's Premiere Rail Celebration!

Where would you expect to find the greatest rail celebration in the world? Why, at the home of the world’s largest rail yard! The Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center invites you to North Platte to experience our incredible railroad heritage August 3 – 6, 2019. Rail Days is the one and only time throughout the year when visitors can experience Bailey Yard up-close-and-personal with a motorcoach tour through the yard.

After months of anticipation and excitement, the Golden Spike Tower is excited to announce WHY we moved Rail Days to August this year and it’s because of a Steam Train.  The “Big Boy” otherwise known as the 40-14 has completed a multi-year restoration project, with it’s voyage this past May in celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad.  After returning to Cheyenne, for some minor tweaks, the Big Boy will take on a midwestern tour, including a stop at Bailey Yard during the 2019 North Platte Rail Days.

As plans are underway for the festival, we can assure you a weekend of celebrating our Rail Road history with our hard working community and organizations.

Saturday, August 3rd we will team with Eagle Radio to provide “The Last Blast of Summer” at Cody Park with free rides, inflatables, swimming, food, vendors and more; including a Clifford the Big Red Dog photo booth.  In addition, the Lincoln County Historical Museum will host the annul corn feed, with all you can eat pork and corn on the cob.

Sunday will feature a competitive food competition at the NebraskaLand Days arena, from locals, food trucks and more!  This will allow our visitors to truly get a good taste of North Platte and Nebraska.  The Vault with be onsite with a new mobile experience escape rooms and other fun activities.

Monday will feature the highly anticipated yard tours, with buses arriving and departing from the Golden Spike Tower.   No ticket or pre-registration is needed for these bus tours, which will highlight the World’s Largest Rail Yard.

Monday evening the Big Boy will roll in with a welcome ceremony and Tuesday the Big Boy and Experience Car* will be available for guests to enjoy.  Mix in a Model Train show, Twilight Tours, some other fun activities likes movies, murder mystery and more and we look forward to a weekend of celebrating Union Pacific’s finest.  With moving the event to August, we are excited about the doors this may open, new events and collaborations available.  Families are out of school still, looking for a last minute vacation and all our area attraction are still open for the season.  This is a true honor for North Platte to host as Big Boy chasers and followers will come from all around the world.

*The Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car is a brand new, multi-media walk-through exhibition that provides a glimpse at the past while telling the story of modern-day railroading. Through sound, images and interactive technology, rail fans will see how Union Pacific is building America in their communities and throughout the world.  After entering the converted baggage car, patrons will first learn about the investment, hard work and know-how that went into building the transcontinental railroad.  Moving forward along one wall they’ll learn about the evolution of the locomotive, beginning with the world famous UP No. 119 and leading to the modern-day diesel powerhouses. On the opposite wall, rail fans will trace how fresh apples are delivered from California and Washington to New York, and learn about every aspect of rail operations and innovation along the way.  Next, exciting interactive technology will show how Union Pacific is using lasers, cameras and other detection devices to accurately inspect moving rail cars and railroad track. Folks will be able to test their skills to see how they would measure up as rail car inspectors.  Before they leave, exhibition-goers will be able to show us how they connect to the railroad using high-tech thermal reactive tiles. A final display celebrates the history of our Passenger Heritage Fleet through vintage photos.

Please note that due to its historic nature, Union Pacific’s Heritage Passenger Fleet equipment — including the Experience the Union Pacific Rail Car — is not ADA accessible.