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Montana Western is out!
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   Montana Western is out!
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AmtrakFanIL
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #80 on: Nov 5th, 2004, 5:23pm »
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What is BNSF going to do with their Locomotives?   Also what was their roster.
 
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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #81 on: Nov 8th, 2004, 9:40am »
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If you are refering to Montana Western's Locos,  They now live in Anaconda, Montana at Rarus Railway's (ex Butte Anaconda and Pacific's roundhouse) except for 1 unit that I saw at the concentrator in Butte.  MWRR and RARW were both jointly owned lines and locomotives.  The RARW still runs trains with MWRR livery.  


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AmtrakFanIL
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #82 on: Nov 8th, 2004, 9:43pm »
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Thanks!!!!!!!!!!
 
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cmstpps
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #83 on: Nov 16th, 2004, 8:26am »
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Hello Group !
 
Speaking of The Copper City Subdivn, does anyone have any info, or can they confirm a piece I read some years ago stating the line from Silver Bow to Garrison was actually originally a UP Line, that the NP leased and eventually purchased ?  Just wondering.


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Pyronova

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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #84 on: Dec 6th, 2004, 7:22pm »
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on Nov 16th, 2004, 8:26am, cmstpps wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hello Group !
 
Speaking of The Copper City Subdivn, does anyone have any info, or can they confirm a piece I read some years ago stating the line from Silver Bow to Garrison was actually originally a UP Line, that the NP leased and eventually purchased ?  Just wondering.

 
 
 
Interesting!
 
Where did you read such an interesting bit of trivia?
 


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M19AA
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #85 on: Dec 8th, 2004, 12:12pm »
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CMSTPPS  
I think that you will find that the Utah Northern was the 1st owners of the Silver Bow to Garrison railroad. It was probably owned by the UP or whatever it was called then, like the NP or GN had all the branch lines with different names.  It was a narrow gauge railroad. There still was some of the old rail in the canyon between old Durant and Silver Bow. It was on the Milw. side of the canyon. The old grade was real visible 30 years ago.  
 The Oregon Short Line was the 1st, I believe, but I am not sure if it just came to Silver Bow and Butte, but not Garrison.  
Then the NP leased it and I think they still do. It was a long, long lease.  
I think some of those long leases are the reason MRL couldn't buy any of the main line right of way. Land grants also played into it.
 
 
 


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cmstpps
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #86 on: Dec 8th, 2004, 6:27pm »
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on Dec 6th, 2004, 7:22pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

 
I read it in a magazine a few years back that show cased thre MRL.
 
Interesting!
 
Where did you read such an interesting bit of trivia?
 



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Flyguy
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #87 on: Jan 31st, 2005, 9:20pm »
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My father worked for NP, BN and MRL until retiring about 13 years ago.  As a kid we used to take AMTRAK from Billings to Butte on the travel pass.  It has always amazed me somewhat just how many sets of tracks cover the Butte Hill whether they were BA & P,  NP,  Milwaukee Road, GN or whomever.  I am guessing that after we got off that Amtrak train in Butte that the train went on this Garrison line out of Butte to  west of Helena at Garrison and onto Missoula and Spokane?
 
It seems to me that MRL was formed back in the late 80's as a way for BN to cut employee costs or at least that seemed to be what my father was saying back then?
He had a choice to either go up to the highline of Montana or accept some buyout from BN and work for Denny Washington and this MRL which he did.   With this in mind then how is it that MRL and BNSF are at odds?  Seems to me that without BNSF MRL would be nothing since doesn't MRL simply moves BNSF goods from Billings to Spokane?
 
I remember well taking that AMTRAK train from Livingston to Butte since you can really see a lot from up front I am told.  I cannot understand however why BNSF would want to re-open that Pipestone Homestake line from Whitehall into Butte although a tourist train from Whitehall to Butte especially with steam would be fantastic.  This Durango and Silverton train here in Colorado is a great success and I think something over Piepstone into Butte could be just as economically feasible with I-90 running into Butte and I-15 as well since tourists could get there so easily.
 
Nevertheless,  it seems to me that if BNSF really wanted to re-open the southern Montana line  that for a fair price Mr. Washington  would be willing afterall he is a businessman and he didn't get to be worth something like $800 million by doing nothing.  Maybe BNSF is back in Butte to keep MRL from the UP line into Butte as someone suggested?  A fair question however for you is how many freight trains did BN run into Butte before the line was abandoned?  Is that not a pretty steep grade from Logan to Butte for a freight train and isn't that why the trains go up to Helena from Logan instead of Butte?  Maybe UP and BNSF are thinking of running some freight from Seattle to Garrison and then down onto to Butte and over UP lines into Idaho and Salt Lake City.
 
Here is another something to ponder?  I guess Denny Washington's copper mines are at work again and what does he do with his concentrated minerals?  I know they used to go by rail to Anaconda for smelting then off to Great Falls but nowadays I have heard the go from Butte to England or something and how?  Could  
Mr. Washington be thinking of running this ore up to Garrison on BNSF and on to God knows where as long as copper prices stay high?
 
Coal?  Montana is sitting on more coal reserves than any other state but poor politicians have prevented development of this industry. (Monatana stays poor compared to WYOMING for just this reason!)  Could BNSF and the mining firms be thinking of moving coal WEST to Washington or Oregon?  How long of a coal train could you move over Pipestone Pass into Butte  if the tracks were in tip top shape?
 
I am an airline employee and I am no expert on railroads but I read these posts and thought I would make some comments and as you can see I have lots of questions and please feel free to set me straight!  My sister lives in Butte and anything that would help that economy would be great tourist or otherwise.  It is interesting that BNSF bought that line and what could they have up their sleeves?


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M19AA
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #88 on: Feb 6th, 2005, 1:05am »
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Flyguy,
It seems that you have been ignored long enough.
You are right on and/or your Dad gave you pretty good info the Butte Line as it used to be know as.
MRL/BNSF is already moving coal trains west to Oregon and maybe Washington.
MRL is guaranteed X amount of BNSF cars or trains a month, no matter what. Talk about a deal that some BN officals set up. Maybe they were in cahoots with Washington all along. Also with the fact that MRL dosen't even own the right of way.  
I haven't talked to anyone that has any idea what the BNSF is up to with the Butte Line. Maybe hauling Milltown Dam hazzardous waste to the Anaconda/Opportunity area That might be a lucritive deal for the BNSF. Guess we will find out some day........
Your assumption was right about passenger train #25 or Amtrak WB from Butte went to Garrison, Missoula and Seattle.  
If I'm not mistaken, both grades, Helena line and Butte line are 2.2%. I'm not sure about different curve degrees on the 2 lines. I would guess Butte would be more severe. From Silver Bow to MP 12 there are some real tight curves, but anything is possible. The NP rerouted all the traffic over the Butte Line a couple times for months when Blossburg  tunnel collapsed.  That was on old 100# jointed  rail. They didn't dare use most of the sidings because of the 1880-90 rail that had never been relayed and wouldn't stand up under the newer big engines.
In the late 1970s and early 80s the 2 passenger trains and a couple locals, Butte/Garrison and sometimes Missoula/Butte were all that used the line.  
There was also a "rock or clay train" that came from Idaho, Silver Bow, Helena, Great Falls and Canada. It may have been bentonite and or phosphate or both. Also there was a train that came from some where in Utah that carried missiles to Malstrom AFB. It was just a military train. Engines, missile cars and guards. They must have rotated the missiles out of Mt. missile sites.  
I think BNSF has tried to buy out Denny but didn't want to pay his price. They even tried to run everything from Laurel to Great Falls that they could, but to no avail.  
I think you are right, that if some one had deep enough pockets, they could make a nice tourist line from Butte over the hill. That would be a great trip, especially with a steam engine!!!!
Oh well, maybe some day!!!!  
Bill


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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #89 on: Mar 21st, 2005, 7:21pm »
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Hey Guys!  I've been away from the Helm for a while!  BNSF here in Butte is just like MWRR with new locos.  Same nice guys and same voices on the scanner.  BN would never allow UP an MRL to ever touch each other over it's owned trackage which is why MWRR was formed in the first place.  Now BNSF is unable to regain it's rails from MRL, so here it is, BNSF's only island on their entire system.  I haven't heard a thing about releasing the Butte Line again, but it may happen.  So here we are almost 2 years into BNSF and hardly a thing has changed.  Homestake still languishes and the painted survey marks fade in the sun.  Silver Bow is our only hope here for an intermodal hub to take root and grow with it's location on the corner of I-15 and 90, and UP and BNSF serving it.  Otherwise things are pretty stale here.

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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #90 on: Mar 23rd, 2005, 5:26pm »
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There will be some action this summer.  The Miltown Dam east of Missoula will be removed this year.  What does this have to do with Choo-Choos you ask?  Well, the contaminated sediment behind the dam from mining in the Butte Area will also be removed, loaded into gondola cars and deposited at the containment area near Warm Springs.  The rumor is, there will be spur built off of the main to the dump site instead of running all the way to Silver Bow to interchange with the Rarus (BAP).  So, this will have MRL and BNSF making some coin on cleanup.  So, get your cameras cleaned and air up your tires.

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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #91 on: Sep 10th, 2005, 9:58am »
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Hello Again!
It's been quite a while since my last posting.  It's about as dull as it gets here with our new company BNSF.  I would have bet when they first took it over that there would be another leasee running the show by now, but that is not the case.  I would love to find out from an inside source just what the plans are with the Copper City Subdivision, and for that matter, MRL and Homestake Pass.  
If there is one positive side to these high fuel prices, it would be the possibility of increased rail traffic to take advantage of steel on steel efficiency.  Will that bring more rail conjestion problems?  I certainly hope so.  That may just be a key factor in restoring through traffic to this area.  Wishful thinking?  I like to call it positive anticipation.  I am certain though that BNSF would never allow MRL and UP to have direct contact over their dead bodies, which is the motivating factor of BNSF's decision to stay.  But, while they're here, how about a nice joint venture intermodal facility at Silver Bow to make thing more entertaining for us people that are falling asleep with the same drag week after week.  What was excitement to me 2 years ago, is now a source of frustration.  If anyone has any news or some really good BS for me, I would be eternally grateful!
 
Till Next Time!


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Pyronova

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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #92 on: Mar 11th, 2006, 11:20pm »
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on Sep 10th, 2005, 9:58am, Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry. wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Hello Again!
It's been quite a while since my last posting.  It's about as dull as it gets here with our new company BNSF.  I would have bet when they first took it over that there would be another leasee running the show by now, but that is not the case.  I would love to find out from an inside source just what the plans are with the Copper City Subdivision, and for that matter, MRL and Homestake Pass.  
If there is one positive side to these high fuel prices, it would be the possibility of increased rail traffic to take advantage of steel on steel efficiency.  Will that bring more rail conjestion problems?  I certainly hope so.  That may just be a key factor in restoring through traffic to this area.  Wishful thinking?  I like to call it positive anticipation.  I am certain though that BNSF would never allow MRL and UP to have direct contact over their dead bodies, which is the motivating factor of BNSF's decision to stay.  But, while they're here, how about a nice joint venture intermodal facility at Silver Bow to make thing more entertaining for us people that are falling asleep with the same drag week after week.  What was excitement to me 2 years ago, is now a source of frustration.  If anyone has any news or some really good BS for me, I would be eternally grateful!
 
Till Next Time!

 
 
 
Anything new? Any chance of some pictures from a hike on the Homestake Pass?  
 
 


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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
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Re: Montana Western is out!
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« Reply #93 on: Apr 2nd, 2006, 12:30pm »
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I have one of me on my bicycle at Lucky Strike Trestle (visible from I-90 just) East of Butte.  This was taken Labor Day Weekend 2005.  There are many boulders and sand washes in the rail to the East of here to the summit.  I need to shoot some more digitals or scan my 35mm pictures.  If any of you out there are wanting to bicycle or dirt bike along some historic rail, this would be a great place to check out.  You can literally park a vehicle at the summit of Homestake Pass and coast downhill into Butte, or to Pipestone if you can catch a ride back to the top to retrieve your vehicle.  It's a good time, bring water!


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M19AA
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #94 on: Apr 3rd, 2006, 12:24am »
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Great photo. Lets have some more. They make me homesick for good old Butte and the scenery over the pass.
Take a ride down the track from Silver Bow to Fairmont Hotsprings and post the photos.  
 
 


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Butte Wisdom and Pacific Ry.
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #95 on: Apr 10th, 2006, 7:20pm »
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It's as dry as a bone around here for news concerning BNSF.  It's Montana Western with new paint!  They are doing a lot of track maintenence though!  There is a new excursion train running between Butte and Anaconda, the Copper King Express that looks to be fun. Go to http://www.copperkingexpress.com/ and check it out.  I'm glad to see people putting up money for this here.  Hopefully someday someone may do the same, except it will be on Homestake Pass!

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Pyronova

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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #96 on: Sep 25th, 2006, 11:27pm »
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Anyone had a chance to do the "Copper King" yet?
 
 
I drove over Homestake today (Sept 25, 2006) and saw a 20 car set of ballast gons  at the Rock Quarry east of Homestake with 2 BNSF GP-30/5/8 units at the front.  I also noticed that the BNSF line from Garrison to Butte has new ballast.......  Funny how that ballast train has to go the L O N G way around through Helena instead of straight down to Butte....... BNSF screwed themselves on that one..... LOL.......
 
Please post more pics of Homestake and Area!!!  Thanks in advance!
 
Also, the coffee table book by Hundman Publishing of the Northern Pacific is a MUST read for all colour pics of the NP through Homestake and Montana areas!
 
 
 


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M19AA
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Re: Montana Western is out!
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« Reply #97 on: Sep 28th, 2006, 12:26am »
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I rode the Copper King Express this summer. It was a great ride for me. I got to see my old RR territory again, only from the BA & P tracks. The cars were kind of plain, maybe old commuter cars. Hard seats but not that bad. Half of the seats faced forward and the rest faced the other direction. They didn't swivel. I've heard one complaint that the trip was too slow, but it wasn't for me.
We need more of these in the NW.
I hope they make a success of it. It was loaded to the max the day I rode, and looked like it was all summer.
Now to try to put a photo on here.......


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cmstpps
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Re: Montana Western is out!
 
« Reply #98 on: Oct 5th, 2006, 2:05am »
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Hi Bill,
 
Great pics ! Sure brings back some great memories ! I believe the cars they are using are former Long Island Rairoad coaches, so you would be correct on believing that they are former commuter cars.  I hope they make a real go of it. Everyting I have read has pointed towards a complete success with The train out of Anaconda.  What the heck if they want to go "fast" they can ride an airplane right ?   My folks were through the area this summer and said the old NP through Deer Lodge looked better than ever. "Looks like they have put some $$$ in to that line" is what my dad said. That is great !  I still wonder what the real reason was behinf BNSF taking that line back....I guess thats for the "Fortune 500 Types" to know !  Hope all is well !
 
Erik Jonasson


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Pyronova

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Re: Montana Western is out!
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« Reply #99 on: Oct 5th, 2006, 4:08pm »
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Lucky Strike from Google Earth......

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