Pointed out by the sight, Burlington-Northern tracks are in close view. That railroad's forerunner, the Burlington and Missouri, laid rails up the North Platte Valley in 1900. With a view to eventually reaching the Pacific, the company surveyed beyond immediate construction goals - on through South Pass.Primarily laid down as a supplement to existing feeder lines in Iowa and Nebraska, this branch line was intended for moving Wyoming range livestock to Midwestern feedlots and, following fattening, on to metropolitan packing plants. Further considerations were developing possibilities for transporting Platte Valley iron ore, petroleum products and irrigated field crops to established centers of processing and distribution.Subsequent consolidations have made the Burlington and Missouri part of a vast railroad network. Therein, one of the most profitable sectors connects Gulf Coast ports - via the Platte Valley here and the Yellowstone Valley in Montana - with the Pacific Northwest. Thus the Burlington finally reached the western ocean, but not through the easy grades via South Pass as originally projected.Though gradual grades were as important to railroad engineer as to wagon train master the more abundant timber for ties and coal for fuel found south and north of the famous pass met the railroader's needs better than the wildlife, grass and water which were essential to the emigrant wagoners following the Oregon Trail through central Wyoming.
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