On the Road with Tom and Gloria travel blog


Long drive to Council Bluffs, Iowa from Chicago due to all of the construction on I80W. When I got to town I only had an hour to tour the Union Pacific Railroad Museum. The museum took over the 1903 Beaux Arts Carnegie Library which had been abandoned a few years earlier when the town built a larger more modern library. The building itself is gorgeous but taking a photo was imposible due to constant rain.

I have been to lots of railroad museums but I learn something at each one. Today the highlight for me was a simulator of the conductor's controls on a diesel engine. The graphics and description of track conditions, safe distances, speed zones etc were terrific. The only control that was operable was the train whistle which I took great pleasure in blowing a couple of times. They also have one of the three remaining ceremonial spikes from the joining of the railroads at Promontory Summit. ( one of the four is lost and the other two are in California.)

I hope to reach the Golden Spike National Historic Site in Utah this trip. After reading Nothing Like It In The World by Stephen Ambrose, the golden spike site has been on my list of things to see.



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