North Platte

North Platte is a city in Nebraska. With a population of just under 25,000, North Platte is the largest community in Lincoln County, located in west central Nebraska.


In November of 1868, the rails of the Union Pacific Railroad reached the location of what is now known as North Platte. Situated between the North and South Platte rivers, just west of the confluence, the town was named by a flip of a coin to determine between North Platte and South Platte. North Platte was incorporated as a city in 1873.

In 1882, Col. Wm. F. Cody, known to the world as "Buffalo Bill", responded to the calls of local civic leaders and produced an Independence Day celebration known as the "Old Glory Blowout". He later developed this into his famed Wild West Show which toured throughout the world. The home he built while living in North Platte, known as Scouts Rest Ranch, is now a state historical park and is open to tour.

North Platte could have gone the way of many small towns in rural Nebraska, becoming a sleepy backwater, except for native Bill Jeffers. Jeffers rose from a "call boy" for Union Pacific, to become president of the railroad. He chose his home town of North Platte to build a reclassification yard. Union Pacific's Bailey Yard is now the largest railroad classification yard in the world. Nearly 4,000 employees service more than 150 trains per day, totaling nearly 15,000 rail cars.

During World War II, North Platte became famous for the North Platte Canteen. Volunteers met in early December 1941 at the Depot to greet what they thought was a train load of local troops headed for war. When the train stopped, it turned out to be carrying boys from Kansas instead of North Platte. After they got over their disappointment, townspeople offered all of the goodies they had collected to the Kansas boys. From this humble beginning, on Christmas Day 1941, the North Platte Canteen opened it's doors. For the next 52 months, volunteers met every single troop train that came through town, day or night. By April 1, 1946, this all-volunteer effort had served more than 6.5 million service personnel.

Get in

The primary means of getting to North Platte is Interstate 80, which runs east-west; US 83 serves as the primary north-south route. Lincoln is three hours east on I-80; Cheyenne is 3 hours west on I-80; Denver is four hours west on I-80 and I-76.

North Platte Regional Airport is served by Great Lakes Aviation with connecting flights to Denver International Airport.

Get around

Most people get around North Platte by car, but you can also explore the city by bicycle, using the streets and highways, or the extensive network of trails.




Whatever you do, when you go through North Platte on either Interstate 80 or Highway 83, do NOT buy your gas at the first two stations south of the Interstate at exit 177. If you do, please note that the advertised prices flashing on their brightly-lighted signs will ONLY be available on one or two pumps! If you don't pay attention, you will be paying some of the highest prices for gas along the Interstate. Advice: Go north into town a couple of blocks and you will find reasonable prices.

Antique Stores

Art Galleries



Gift, Collectibles & Specialty Shops

Western Wear


You'll find just about every fast food place and many of the chain restaurants in North Platte that you will in the rest of the country. These are some of the best local restaurants.


Karaoke can be found most nights of the week at some location.




The following locations offer free wireless Internet service:

Go next

Routes through North Platte

Cheyenne Hershey  W  E  Maxwell Omaha
Cheyenne Hershey  W  E  Maxwell Grand Island
Pierre Valentine  N  S  Wellfleet Oakley

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, December 19, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.