US Roadtrip 2017 - 13: Almost Hit the Golden Spike on the Head (50 p.)

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Proud Earthling

To the previous part of the series:
US Roadtrip 2017 - 12: Arches and Curves (50 p.)

The video for this series (please set to 1080p quality / full-screen mode):


Multimedia slideshow:

February 26 2017

Through the Wasatch Range we reached the Wasatch Front - stretching from here at Provo in the south to Ogden in the north over 80% of all Utahns reside here.

From the emptiness onto multi-lane Interstate 15, then on to downtown Salt Lake City where a glimpse of urban rail was already caught at a distance.

This time we had chosen less glamorous but more sympathetic Plaza Hotel, former Union Station in the background.

Our hotel story featured this unique view of Temple Square, from the right: Assembly Hall, Salt Lake Temple - behind it the office building - , the round Tabernacle and Utah State Capitol to the left.

Everyone has his own office block nowadays... ;-)

The museum of contemporary art as an antipole.

Also, the concert hall next to it.

We enjoyed the last rays of sunlight...

February 27 2017

... as the weather had been predicted very differently the next day. After two weeks of driving around with a cold I was not opposed to a day of quiet, however.

All day busloads of schoolchildren arrived. They were given the opportunity to listen to a symphony.

Probably not this one... ;-)

At the shopping mall.

City Creek Center is located above a natural creek. Instead, it offers an artificial creek and artificial animal tracks - don't climb the 10-inch-tall stones!
We ate lunch at the Cheesecake Factory next to it.

View from our hotel room at sundown.

February 28 2017

Next day the weather situation improved, but was not stable enough for a trip into the mountains. So, we decided on a classic train excursion and returned the car at the airport.
The road is crossed by Trax rails at North Temple station, at other intersections there are no railroad gates.

Giving back the car went flawlessly, in less than an hour we had returned to North Temple by tram - exactly right for the south/westbound departure of UP 5406 and 7381 (GE AC45CCTE, as Union Pacific calls its ES44AC). See video from 45 secs.

Tickets can be purchased at every FrontRunner- and Trax-station and are relatively cheap.
More info about fares and schedules:

This banner described our plan for the next two days.

Before 11:00 a.m. our train Provo - Ogden arrived. FrontRunner services into both directions meet at North Temple.

It also serves as interchange to green Trax line 704.

We took our seats on the upper deck of a Bombardier coach. Shortly after departure we passed the yard, sadly the type of window glass used distorts the images.

Next, the line follows the refinery, some old streetcars also could be spotted.

Past UP 4003 (EMD SD70M) we approached Ogden after a 50-minute ride. Ridership was good, several stations offer bus connections. Bikes also seemed to be in use throughout winter. For more sightings from this trip see video from minute 2:00.

Through the door windows taking photos was possible more easily. The FrontRunner-line crosses the UP-yard on an overpass. Below you can spot UP 7284 (GE AC44CW) at the rear end of a container train.

Into the other direction, the dimensions of one of the once most important railroad hubs in the west can be imagined.

The FrontRunner station had been built right next to the bus terminal.

A second train was waiting on the other track.

The benches are sculptures depicting various modes of sport.

View to the freight yard and old industrial plants.

We walked towards neighboring Union Station past historic vehicles. In front UP 4436, a switcher built in 1918 by Baldwin.

More about the once important depot:,_Utah)

The current building had been completed in 1924 and displays murals at each side of the hall.

To the left a vertical iPhone-panorama.

Nowadays several museums, exhibitions and restaurants are located here, for example the Utah Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum.

And of course Utah State Railroad Museum.

On this trip, I would not get closer to the famous Golden Spike - the original is displayed at Stanford University, this is just the safe where it had been stored for a long time.

Golden Spike National Historic Site at Promontory Summit is situated about 50 miles northwest of Ogden, but a visit in winter probably does not pay off.
What else could we get for this joyous occasion? Of course, a gun! ;-)

More trains are departing towards Salt Lake today, but no other passenger traffic is left. The interior of a caboose to the right.

The hands-on section of the museum.

Model railroads also can be found.

A crude model of Union Station...

... and a more exact one.

The same view along historic 25th Street nowadays.

Next time we will explore the locomotives outside the museum - then we already have to return home on this way too short journey, but perhaps I will explore more of the Wild West in a few years... is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.