The World's Largest Rail Yard
The Golden Spike Tower in North Platte, Nebraska, rises 8 stories above Union Pacific's Bailey Yard - the world's largest train yard.
Union Pacific's Bailey Yard is named for former U.P. president Edd H. Bailey. It's where east meets west on the Union Pacific line, and where 10,000 cars are handled each day on 2,850 acres of land stretching out eight miles.
Of the 10,000 rail cars, 3,000 are sorted daily in the eastward and westward yards. These yards are nicknamed "hump yards" because they utilize a mound (hump) ranging in height from 20-34 feet. An average of four cars per minute are sent gently down the humps where they're united with trains going to one of dozens of destinations.
Locomotive repair is handled in North Platte at one of Union Pacific's largest repair shops. This shop encompasses the same area as three football fields. From major engine repairs to the smoothing of wheels, the shop crew can handle 300 locomotives each day, processing more than 8,500 engines per month.
The "One Spot" car shop services 50 rail cars per day and replaces 10,000 pairs of wheels annually. The shop can repair up to 20 cars per hour, 24 hours a day.
All told, 14 million gallons of fuel are pumped each month at Bailey Yard to keep the trains moving.
All train movement throughout Bailey Yard is handled through the on-site command center with the latest computerized control systems. The Bailey Yard command center is tied to the Harriman Dispatching Center in Omaha, which controls hundreds of intercity trains daily throughout the company's 23-state rail system.