The line is divided into the following subdivisions:
Elko subdivision from Winnemucca to Elko
Shafter subdivision from Elko to Alazon [and Smelter]
At Weso (MP 535.8), just east of Winnemucca, the paired track with the SP starts and continues through the Humboldt River valley, sometime widely spaced, sometimes close. The line is "Double Track" (i.e. the Paired Track), Automatic Block Signals, with speed limit 79-70, turning east, along the south bank of the Humboldt River, and then southeast, past a spur at Golconda (MP 548.0), whence a narrow gauge line once headed south, east, following the river, past Preble (MP 553.8) and east-northeast past a detector at MP 554.4, crossing over the river to its north bank, and turning southeast at CP F560, past Red House (MP 563.0), CP F568, Knight (MP 570.1), a spur at Valmy (MP 572.7), where a connector heads south-southwest to Track 1 at the same-named place, a 6,053 ft. siding at Ellison, Russell (MP 582.3), a detector at MP 585.8, CP F588, and North Battle Mountain (MP 589.1), where the line turns east.
The line passes a spur at Rennox (MP 591.3), crosses to the south bank of the river, passes a spur at Kampos (MP 801.3), crosses back to the north bank of the river, passes a spur at Dunphy (MP 610.1), where the speed limit is 70-60, and turns sharply south-southeast, crossing the river again. There is a detector at MP 615.4, where the speed limit is back to 79-70, crossovers at Track 2 Connector (MP 617.9), where the two lines come very close together, Beowawe (MP 619.5), the line turns east into Palisade Canyon and crosses to the north bank of the river again, past a spur at Cluro (MP 627.1), crosses to the south bank past crossovers at Barth (MP 630.5), where the speed limit is 45-40, curves east-northeast and then east-southeast as it rises to cross above Track 1, turns east past the spur at Duggan (MP 631.8), and northeast, crossing the river again, crossing over the abandoned route of the narrow gauge Eureka & Palisade, and passing through 1080.7 ft. tunnel 39 (MP 635.4), Palisade (MP 636.2), where the speed limit rises to 79-70, and through 322.8 ft. Tunnel 40 (MP 636.8) into Carlin Canyon.
There is a detector at MP 639.1, a crossover to Track 1 at West Carlin (MP 643.4), where the speed limit falls to 60 mph, an 8,660 ft. center siding, and a crossover from Track 1 trailing in at East Carlin (MP 646.0). The line turns east, following the south bank of the river, through 2,341.8 ft. Tunnel 41 (MP 649.2), a spur at Tomka (MP 650.1), where the speed limit is 55-45 through the tunnels, and 1071.7 ft. Tunnel 42 (MP 650.7), and east-northeast past the spur at Hunter (MP 657.0), where the speed limit has returned to 79-70, across the South Fork of the Humboldt River, past a detector at MP 662.7, Elko Amtrak Station (MP 667.0), West Elko (MP 668.8), where the speed limit is 60 mph, Elko (MP 669.5), where the speed limit is 65-50, crossovers to Track 1 at East Elko (MP 670.7, and the line crosses to the north bank of the river, passing Coin and a spur at Pardo (MP 673.6), where the speed limit is 55 mph.
The line turns very curvily east, along the north bank of the river, on the alignment through Ryndon Canyon originally used by the Central pacific when it first built through this area (later replaced by the tunnels on the present SP-built Track 1, constructed during the Harriman years) and then northeast, out of the canyon, past a crossover at Track 1 Connector (MP 683.1), where the speed limit is 70-60, Elburz (MP 683.3), a bridge over the North Fork of the Humboldt River, with the East Humboldt Mountains running along to the south, Halleck, a turn back to the east, still following the river bank, Deeth (MP 700.0), where the speed limit is 70 mph, where a crossover from Track 1 trails in, a detector at MP 701.0, the last bridge over the Humboldt River, as the line turns east-northeast, a spur at Tulasco (MP 708.8), where the speed limit is 70-60, and the line turns east to crossovers at Alazon (MP 713.6), where the Paired Track ends.
The line separation is five miles further east at Wells.