My essay, Why Watch Trains?
I present here are a few photos from my trip to Union Pacific's Overland Route, the historic segment of railroad that handles most of UP's traffic from Chicago to the West Coast. The trip started in Omaha, with a visit to the Harriman Dispatching Center, guided by a friend who is a train dispatcher there. Union Pacific controls a good portion of its 38,000 miles of U.S. trackage from the HDC, which features an underground concrete-lined bunker that houses the UP dispatchers and support personnel. The HDC is worth an essay in itself, and I would like to write more about this aspect of the trip when I get more time.
From Omaha, the journey proceeded west through North Platte and Cheyenne, following the railroad most of the way along US 30. Powder River coal is the main commodity here, making the triple-track CTC mainline between North Platte and Gibbon, Nebraska, one of the busiest in the world.
The Overland Route features lots of coal traffic with intermodal, mixed freight, and grain traffic thrown in as well. Being passed by an intermodal train gliding across the barren landscape at 70 MPH serves as a reminder of the continuing importance of rail transportation to our nation. The railroads are a success story of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century, and in few places is that more apparent than the breadbasket of central Nebraska.
|Return to railroads at
©2010 JH: Contact me