Tuesday, September 24, 2013

steam train over Homestake Pass near Butte, Montana, Northern Pacific Railway, circa 1910

According to wikipedia: " The line over the pass from Logan to Garrison, Montana via Butte became the Rocky Mountain Division, Second and Fourth Subdivisions, built in 1889. This was Northern Pacific's scenic transcontinental passenger train route used by the famous North Coast Limited and its Amtrak successor, the North Coast Hiawatha, which was discontinued in 1979. The line over the pass is currently owned by BNSF Railway. It has been inactive since 1983, as its grades and curvature are poorly suited to freight trains, which (now operated by Montana Rail Link) utilize the former Northern Pacific's easier route via Helena. It is unlikely that the rail line over the pass will ever be used again, but BNSF has resisted tearing out the line because the original lease with the Northern Pacific and the US Forest Service requires that the grade be returned to its original status, a very costly process."

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