Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center

Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center

Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center
4.5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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  • MNice
    Bloomington, Minnesota2,496 contributions
    We came in skeptical and left awed at the history
    The store and museum are spectacular, loaded with videos, gifts and a cheerful and helpful staff. This venue is not a tourist trap, but rather an authentic and inexpensive place to view and worship the contributors to American history. You will not only learn about trains, but also the great Union Pacific Railroad. You will see model trains running around, an old passenger car, and fun and fabulous gifts for train nerds. We divided this review into two parts; the yard and the museum on the ground itself. This review only discusses the gift shop and museum as you walk in the building . The historical parts and viewing are done primarily in the tower which is $8 for adults and $6 for seniors. It’s well worth it. Outside you will see a Union Pacific passenger car (you can’t go in it) which the railroad discontinued in 1971. The grounds of the building are beautiful and we’re funded by private donations. We estimate that the venue is about 15 minutes from the interstate and 2 hours would be a minimum. There are many videos that are free in the first floor gift shop. There is no charge to enter the first floor shop and viewing the videos. In addition, North Platte itself has renovated its historic downtown which is called the Canteen District. The Canteen was for the several million service men and women who got off the train and were fed by the local people as they traversed across the United States. You may have also heard about the Orphan Trains that found homes for the street children of New York. This rail yard also played an important part in the relocation of these children. We have driven up and down Interstate 80 for many years and seen the signs for this venue. It’s a fabulous place and highly recommended for families with preteen (not too small) children as the trains themselves are fascinating.
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 29, 2022
  • rescueagreyhound
    Akron, Ohio472 contributions
    Squealing and Banging - A train is in the making.
    Thank you to the Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center for giving us a view, safely and legally, of the Union Pacific Bailey Yard. We were able to visit the tower, post Covid-19 shut downs, just as things were opening back up. The staff is doing an excellent job keeping the facility clean. We did purchase tickets, $7.00 per person, in advance for an 1.5 hour time slot. Per guidelines, the Visitor Center can only allow a certain number of guess at a time. So please plan ahead and purchase advance tickets. Thank you to the gentleman, Lynn, who volunteers his time to explain how operations work in the yard. He is a retired UP employee who specifically worked in Bailey Yard. His knowledge was so helpful to understand the workings as it happened. Watching the hump hills in action was impressive. You could hear the wheel retarders squealing as they slowed the unpowered rail cars moving into position to couple with the next car. Rows and rows of locomotive power lined the rails for repair or main line action. The whole yard works in an organized chaotic dance. Our trip from Ohio specifically see the Golden Spike Tower and Bailey Yard was not disappointing. Rail fans should visit at least once.
    So glad you enjoyed yourself and we appreciate your understanding and respecting our "Safe Commitment" guidelines. I will be happy to let Lynn know how much you enjoyed your visit, he will be "tickled."
    Written July 6, 2020
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Written June 24, 2020
  • Elizabeth H
    West Des Moines, Iowa6 contributions
    Glad we stopped!
    We weren’t going to stop here but after seeing a brochure that had pictures of the tower we decided to make a stop. I’m glad we did. The visitor center had a short film that you could watch as well as coffee and snacks for visitors. Once you’re done with the film you can then take the elevators to the top. We went to the 8th floor that’s fully enclosed first. On that floor there was a lot of information and items that were related to the towers history, the history of trains, and the history of the railroad. It was very interesting, even for people who aren’t train fanatics. There were also view finders in the tower but you can only use them if you have some quarters. The top floor is also staffed with volunteers that will discuss the railroad yard, there experiences working here or working on trains, or other related topics. Next we went to the 7th floor which is an open air deck. From here you can see the yard and also hear what’s going on. There were also view finders on this deck as well as picnic tables. Another highlight of this stop was the exhibits and film related to the orphan trains that traveled through the area. If you’re in the area this is a pretty great place to stop. You can stay for a while or for 30-45 minutes.
    Traveled with family
    Written December 22, 2022
These reviews are the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor checks reviews for fraud.
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Kate Illinois1
Illinois4,307 contributions
Sep 2021
$16.00 for admission to the tower for us. We felt being on a budget it was a little steep for an elevator ride to see a train yard. I asked if we could walk around the gift shop. She said yes but stay in this area only. Maybe she thought we were going to sneek up the stairs? lol There is a Hall of Fame exhibit in the lobby that reviews history and people of the area. Outside there is a dinning car and handcar.
Written December 20, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We understand that trains and the upstairs displays may not be for everyone. As a private, non-profit we rely on admissions and gift store sales for our operational cost. We used regional museums to help us create our price, but can understand that it simply doesn't appeal to all. We appreciate your stop though. I also want to say, I am so so so sorry that you weren't treated with respect when asking about walking around the gift store. That is not at all how we handle questions like that, and I am a bit heartbroken you were. We strive to treat everyone as a guest when they enter our home and I am truly apologetic that you were not. I will follow up on this and appreciate you letting me know. I hope you enjoyed the rest of your travels.
Written February 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

AWood1216
Lansing, MI74 contributions
Jun 2020 • Solo
Definitely worth the stop if you are at all a fan of railroads. It's cool to watch cars and engines coming and going throughout the yard. Museum exhibits were rather minimal given the price paid, and the guide at the top of the tower was not at all friendly the day I went. He just did his crossword and did not say one word to me.
Written June 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
I am so sorry to hear of your experience at the tower. I will follow up with the volunteer and see what happened. Typically they are so eager to talk to anyone visiting, and help answer any questions they have. As an observation tower, we do have limited displays, as we feel our attraction is here to allow plenty of room for our guests to roam and view the World's Largest Rail Yard, I apologize for anything mis-leading other than that. I appreciate your feedback and do wish you safe travels.
Written July 6, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Denise K
Woodridge, Illinois, United States460 contributions
Jul 2020
We enjoyed our visit here. They strongly encourage purchasing tickets ahead of time to limit the number of people in the tower at any given time. There were 2 floors to visit. One is open air and one is closed in. My kids, husband and I enjoyed watching the train cars move.
Written August 10, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
So glad to hear you and your family enjoyed your time with us. We appreciate your visit.
Written August 20, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ASGLondon
London, Canada185 contributions
Apr 2022
Full disclosure, I have wanted to visit here since I was a little kid.

I really enjoyed my experience. There were lots of signs directing me from the main street to the tower. Parking was ample.

The staff member working the counter was extremely friendly, enthusiastic, and made lots of small talk with me and other guests.

There is an elevator to the top of the tower, but there is also a set of stairs if you're looking to stretch your legs after a long drive.

The tower offers both enclosed and outdoor viewing areas of the train yard. There are tons of informative posters, displays and artifacts here for the train enthusiast. I spent a decent amount of time watching the trains coming and going with amazement at the coordination and timing of the busy rail yard.

I really enjoyed my visit and strongly encourage every train fan to stop in.
Written May 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AndySD
San Diego141 contributions
Sep 2021
The displays right when you walk through the door give a history of the railroad and accounts of people who contributed to the railroad in major ways. I did not pay to go up to the viewpoint. I know what a rail yard looks like and I was way more interested in the historic aspect of the yard.
Written November 2, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We appreciate you stopping by and the next time you are through, please take some time and go up the tower. In addition to watching the work of the two hump yards, we have a variety of more displays on the 7th and 8th floor.
Written February 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

jbwhitehouse
Dallas, TX1,744 contributions
Jul 2021
We watched an informative video about the Bailey yard and Union Pacific railroad complex. Then admired the flags representing where the Union Pacific travels. After purchasing tickets we went to the 7th floor where there is an outside observation area to view the rail yard. Then to the 8th floor for an interior, yet glassed view that included many displays from switching apparatus to information about Big Boy and other special trains. A former Union Pacific docent is available to answer questions.
Written July 28, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for stopping by and visiting the tower!
Written August 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

packer022049
33 contributions
Jun 2021 • Family
My 13 year old son and husband are big rail-fans. They could not have enjoyed visiting the Golden Spike/ Bailey Yard more. One of the highlights for us was talking to Gary, who was on the 8th floor answering questions. He and the employees working on the first floor were very friendly and enthusiastic. I also enjoyed the visit because there was so much to learn and see. Watching the trains in the yard on the outdoor observation deck was very interesting. There was so much going on in the yard that you could sit there all day and have something to watch. You can also watch trains on the 8th floor where it is enclosed. Nice gift shop and restrooms as well.
Written June 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Oh, this makes my heart so happy. We love hearing amazing stories like this and can't wait to tell Gary. Safe Travels.
Written July 19, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jenni C
1 contribution
Feb 2022 • Family
From the moment we opened the doors we were greeted with kindness and smiles. They saw we had four busy little boys and they immediately made them feel welcome by telling them all the great things we could experience. The guides were kind and treated our boys with respect and looked for facts that were interesting to our group. The hostess even pointed out their play area if the boys just needed to run and burn energy. I would definitely recommend this place for families.
Written February 21, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
I am so happy to hear your enjoyed yourself. Those cross country trips can be a long ride for the kiddos, glad you could stop and enjoy some leg stretches and help break up your trip! Thanks for stopping!
Written February 28, 2022
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

BigTool
Chicago vicinity449 contributions
Sep 2019
We, however, stopped on a day when all of the trains had decided to sleep late, so there was little going on. There are some interesting rail-themed displays both in the tower and in the lobby. There is a fee to go up into the tower, so on our next trip to N. Platte, I'd only consider paying to get up to the tower observation deck if there was a lot of train traffic in the yard.
Written August 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lillian D
Wylie, TX194 contributions
Aug 2021 • Couples
This is an amazing place to see the trains in action and learn the history of railroading. The tower is 7 and 8 stores up by elevator. Very educational. Sort of ran into this by accident and glad we did. Didn’t see it listed in the Nebraska travel guide.
Written August 22, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center (North Platte) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center

Golden Spike Tower and Visitor Center is open:
  • Sun - Fri 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM


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