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Montana Western is out!
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   Author  Topic: Montana Western is out!  (Read 4939 times)
Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
Railfan
Posts: 101
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #60 on: Mar 10th, 2004, 9:15am »
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I wonder if BNSF will try to make use to the Silver Bow hub center as an intermodal point since it is at the Crossing of 15 and 90.  Billings seems to move a lot of freight out of their hub center.

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M19AA
Chaser
Posts: 62
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #61 on: Mar 18th, 2004, 1:44pm »
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I would doubt if BNSF would want to pay MRL for the haul to Garrison. But it will be interesting to see what happens up there. Sure glad your keeping us up to date on this.
Where does the BNSF tie up the power? How about a photo in front of the old depot??
I don't know how many containers are unloaded in Billings, but there seems to be quite a few.  
They are always switching into the intermodule yard.  
It sure upsets the people of Billings when they block the xings while they are doing it.  
There is a study on how to get the RR out of town. Overpasses, underpasses and moving the whole RR are being studied. For some reason when they built I-90, the RR didn't follow it then. I saw a map of it in the NP Historical Mag.  
Hindsight, you know.
Now the price would be outstanding!!


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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
Railfan
Posts: 101
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #62 on: Mar 22nd, 2004, 2:57pm »
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They keep the power at the Montana Western's former yard office on Casey Street, directly south accross the yard from the NP Depot.  I think they keep them running at night in the winter, but they were shutting them down last summer.  MWRR had 3 phase electric heaters on their GPs, they'd still shut them down on -40 nights and they'd still fire up.  The NP depot is going through a slow restoration, they've been knocking away at it for four years now.  The GN depot about 4 blocks to the north has been restored inside and now hosts concerts and entertainment.  Now if we can get BNSF to restore Homestake Pass, things will be looking even rosier in old Butte.   I'll try to post some digital pictures if I can figure out how to.

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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
Railfan
Posts: 101
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #63 on: Mar 23rd, 2004, 5:07pm »
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I wonder if BNSF does have some plans for the Butte Line.  A man from the yard office told me that they were getting a signal maintainer.  Now, the only singalling  they have is a couple in Butte, one in Deer Lodge, and a highway crossing at Fairmont.  That sure seems like minimal work to warrant a full time signal maintainer.
There was fresh paint marks and new orange stakes on Homestake from last summer also.  I wonder if BNSF did a survey on the line for inventory purposes when they took back MWRR's holdings?


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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
Railfan
Posts: 101
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #64 on: Apr 19th, 2004, 12:10pm »
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I think BNSF is moving more cars from Garrison to Silver Bow than MWRR ever did.  They have some long trains for just 1 year into this program.  But, I guess when you are the king or your domain, you can make lots ot axles spin.

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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
Railfan
Posts: 101
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #65 on: Apr 22nd, 2004, 9:07am »
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I am happy to report that BNSF has done a lot of yard maintenance at Butte Yard. The whole yard is empty of cars, and I see new ballast throughout the yard.  It looks as if they have replaced many rotten ties in the place too.  I don't think that place has been touched since 1986 when BN leased it out.

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Pyronova

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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #66 on: May 13th, 2004, 3:35pm »
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Hey Guys.....
 
     The Homestake pass you are refering to...Is that the run from Butte to Whitehall, parallel to I-90?
 
     If so, I have a great idea for it, once the line has been fixed/upgraded/maintained.  But the City of Butte would have to be in on it too.
 


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M19AA
Chaser
Posts: 62
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #67 on: May 14th, 2004, 1:42am »
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Brandon, about a signal maintainer,
There used to be Xings at Fairmont (that was the state of the art in the 1970s), Opportunity Xing , the hiway just S. of Warm Springs going to Anaconda, Warm Springs Xing, Galen and Deer Lodge. And then the ones in Butte. Seems like there used to be one West of the depot.
Are they all still there or did some of them get removed.
But like you said, not much to keep someone busy.  
Good place to retire.
I would think Butte America could make a great excursion train trip from Butte to Whitehall and return.  Great scenery and history.
 


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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
Railfan
Posts: 101
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #68 on: May 18th, 2004, 12:14pm »
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What is your idea Pyronova?  If it entails money, Butte probably can't afford it!

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Pyronova

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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #69 on: May 18th, 2004, 1:53pm »
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on May 18th, 2004, 12:14pm, Brandon wrote:       (Click here for original message)
What is your idea Pyronova?  If it entails money, Butte probably can't afford it!

 
 
LOL   Considering the amount of tax money Butte gained of the years of selling it's self (the mine), you would think they would still have some left over.......
 
My Idea is this.....   Firstly I drive tour coach through Montana often, and I know of one tour company that has up to 4 coach loads of tourists, 3 days a week, hotelling in Butte during the summer.   (I drive this tour on a driver relief basis)  If that line up parallel to I-90 was open & had a couple of NP painted RDCs, It would make a great 2 hr excursion, with sights of the mine, the view of the valley, the Lady of the Rockies, etc. (and fully commentated with locals) and with the amount of people passing through Butte on the way to/from Yellowstone anyways,  Why not have something running in the afternoon to encourage more people to use all the hotels/facilites in Butte?
 
     Now for costs......   Via still has some RDCs around in revenue service as well as some in storage......    & when was that line last used?    I looked at it about 2 weeks ago, and it does not look like it needs MAJOR work.... although I am only a railfan, not an engineer.......   Also, why has it not been ripped up by whoever now owns it?  Is there a possiblity of it being used as a direct east-bound (instead of going west then north to Helena then east from there?) ore route in the not so distant future?
 
   The way I see it is if it has not been ripped up, then it still has potential, SO USE IT!  


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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
Railfan
Posts: 101
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #70 on: May 18th, 2004, 7:24pm »
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Here's the deal.  It's being held hostage by BNSF from MRL.  BNSF petitioned for abandonment in 1990, then quietly withdrew.  In 1997 MRL almost had Homestake Pass leased to run eastward empties without helpers, when relations broke down with them and BN. They even had panel track ready to go in Laurel to rebuild the whole son of a gun. So, MRL is not to have direct contact with UP at Silver Bow, that's why BNSF is running this little section between Butte and Garrison.  My theory is, if MRL is out of the picture BNSF will remove Homestake Pass, or they will restore it to service for extra needed capacity.  However, so long as MRL is alive and well, Homestake Pass will continue to decay.  I really would make an excellent steam excursion route for sure!

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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
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Posts: 101
Butte Candidate wants to advertise Silver Bow Hub
 
« Reply #71 on: May 19th, 2004, 9:10am »
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Butte Montana Standard on Sunday had an article about Cheif Executive Candidate JD Lynch. He wants to make the Silver Bow Hub Center a noteworthy transportation hub. He was quoted as saying "The Silver Bow Port is one of the best kept secrets.  It is on the intersection of 2 major Interstates and 2 railroads."  I hope that he wins the seat, because something needs to be done with that place.  It does a good business, but with all the space available out there, and all the traffic that converges there, it would be a great deal to get some big facilities set up there.

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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
Railfan
Posts: 101
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #72 on: Jun 2nd, 2004, 12:14pm »
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Oh by the way...
The name of the Butte to Garrison Line is known as the "Copper City Subdivision".
I'm not sure if that means it is a subdivision of the Montana Subdivision or an entirely different subdivision since it does not connect directly to any other BNSF subdivision. Whatever the case, there has been a noticable increase in cars being moved between Silver Bow and Garrison. I hope that BNSF needs ballast like crazy west of here and opens Homestake to load at Pipestone Quarry.


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Pyronova

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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #73 on: Jun 21st, 2004, 1:23am »
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Hey there!
 
    I have been through Montana twice in the last 3 weeks( on I-90), and both times I have seen a 50-60 car east-bound freight train west of Missoula, with no MRL cars at all, and a hodge-podge loco consist ( 1 train had a CN, CSX & BNSF, the other was a Norfolk Southern and 2 BNSF....both trains had the BNSF locos facing to the rear)  Is there either too much traffic on the BNSF Hi-Line or Maintenace scheduled?  Or is MRL borrowing the locos?  ( I don't belive so as the MRL site has about 15 locos for lease)
 
    Any ideas?
 
 
( PS  I have been taking polls on my trips, and all my bus passengers would love to go up the Homestake behind a steamer or an RDC....you should hear their "oooos" & "ahhhs" as they see the curved metal trestle just east of Butte.......)


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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
Railfan
Posts: 101
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #74 on: Jun 21st, 2004, 4:44pm »
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MRL is guaranteed so much revenue per month whether or not they turn an axle that belongs to BNSF, so there is BNSF traffic because of that. Also, BN has such a bottleneck on the highline that they have no choice but to run over MRL.  That is why after the Santa Fe merger, that they wanted to get MRL out of the picture and not have to pay per car charges.
 
It would be quite a scenic voyage over Homestake in an excursion trip, or even better, Amtrak!


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M19AA
Chaser
Posts: 62
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #75 on: Jun 22nd, 2004, 1:20am »
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Generally, the power stays on a train when it comes into Laurel Yard and MRL runs it right on thru. Saves a lot of time. I have never heard how the fuel expenses are handled.  
The MRL crews are probably happy to see nice new engines on their Westbound trip from Laurel.  
I don't think they own a modern loco. They are all rebuilts!
Keep the info coming.
 
BW&P, you need to design a herald for your RR.


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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
Railfan
Posts: 101
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #76 on: Jun 22nd, 2004, 9:18am »
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A herald is in the works.  I've had many thoughts, but nothing I really would want on a U25B.  The BWP was a plan in the works by The Great Northern. It was to be a subsidiary that was surveyed from Butte, over the divide at Deer Lodge Pass, along the Big Hole River to Wisdom and over the divide at Cheif Joseph Pass down to Salmon Idaho.  I haven't found anything saying that it would actually reach the Pacific from Salmon, but then again, neither did the Butte, Anaconda, and Pacific.  The BWP was surveyed, but not constructed.  Around 1915 construction started on the Montana Southern from Divide, MT to Coolidge, MT using the BWP survey along the Big Hole River.  I hope to get the color scheme I want and a herald to suit.

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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
Railfan
Posts: 101
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #77 on: Aug 9th, 2004, 7:06pm »
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Well, things are pretty stagnate around here lately.  Just some track maintenence and clean up.  I can sure tell this new BNSF outfit has some money, they're replacing ties like crazy.  They rotate locomotives in and out of here, and I don't know their schedule or where they go from Garrison, I wish I had time and money to chase them across the countryside.  I'd really like to know what the heck BNSF is up to. I mean why would a major class 1 want to dink around with a penny-ante piece of their system that doesn't even connect with the rest of their empire.  Why don't they just find another leasee to take over where Montana Western left off?  What is so important here, that they just kept it?  I have my suspicions though.  Could this be the beginning of Montana Rail Link's lease buyout?  Is BNSF putting a choke on the amount of traffic that MRL and UP exchange?  Is BNSF thinking of exploiting the Silver Bow hub center, and making a major intermodal facility out of it?  Or is it just a handy tax right-off for them?  I hope to find out some answers soon.  Maybe it's just the calm before the storm around here.

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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
Railfan
Posts: 101
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #78 on: Nov 4th, 2004, 7:15pm »
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I'm really bored around here.  There hasn't been a peep out of anybody around here for a year now.  It's just like Montana Western is using BNSF power for their moves.  I can't believe things are this quiet, but maybe that's a good thing.  Guys are working, they have decent locos, and money to fix things.  I'm happy for them.  Now, maybe their work will be extended east of Butte Yard and up over Homestake to Spire Rock sometime soon?  I still can not believe BNSF hasn't turned their new "Copper City Subdivision" to another leasee.  They have something up their sleeve, I'm convinced!

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M19AA
Chaser
Posts: 62
Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #79 on: Nov 5th, 2004, 12:20am »
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Hey Brandon,
   Your still short a good logo!! Maybe this "Montana Western is out" should be changed to "BNSF is back". What do you think??
   Did they just demolish the NP Silver Bow depot, or did they move it somewhere. That was a piece of history.  
    Did you ever get to walk the canyon from end to end yet. If I remember right there is a road xing on the E. end and on the W. end there is the old location of Hackney and Durant. The road on the W. end to Durant starts just E. of the Fairmont Xing signal. It used to go by a place owned by a family named Peterson and by the old siding called Hackney, then across the RR and then a  bridge to the S. side of Silver Bow creek to Durant on the BA&P side.  
   Is the old depot in Butte being used?
   If your ever in Billings, check out the depot and beanery. Nice job on those.
    Don't get too bored.
    Bill  


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