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    BNSF Western Montana Trip

    Here's a selection of my best pictures from my trip to western Montana. We left last Saturday and returned Wednesday. I got a lot of pictures, and have managed to narrow it down to what I think are my best 27. All captions are above their corresponding pictures.

    On the first day, as we were getting into Great Falls, we heard the northbound Laurel-Shelby freight about to depart. So we turned around and went north to Collins where there are two large steel trestles. We got a picture of him crossing the long bridge over the Teton River.


    That evening we got some cool pictures of power sitting by the old Great Northern shed in Great Falls.


    The next day. From a high hill in Great Falls, a statue of Lewis, Clark, York, and their faithful dog Seaman overlooks the switch job pulling out onto the bridge over the river.


    The "Malt Job", as the crew called it, crosses the bridge over the Missouri River at Rainbow Falls Dam on the branch out toward Fort Benton, a few miles east of Great Falls.


    A southbound empty grain train climbs up the hill south of Great Falls. This view was taken from the local pet cemetery, about 10 miles south of town, as a 50+ MPH wind was blowing right into our faces.


    The returning Malt Job crossing the bridge over the Missouri River in the middle of town. Both the GN and Milwaukee clock towers are visible.


    A southbound empty coal train departs town past the clock towers.


    The DPUs of the southbound empty coal pushing up the hill near the pet cemetery.


    The empty coal descending the grade through Belt, about 10 miles south of the pet cemetery.


    DPUs shoving away at Belt.
    Last edited by PerryPlatypus; 04-02-2010, 09:00 PM.
    ~Sean Kelly~
    SP Shasta Route for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/sp-shasta
    MRL Mullan Pass for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/mullanpass

    #2
    The next day. A local resident of Power, Montana tries hard to make himself not be noticed.


    A southbound Shelby-Laurel manifest starts to pull out of Dutton after making a set-out.


    A southbound empty coal train passes an old elevator a few miles south of Collins.


    A northbound local heading for the Valier branch crosses the Teton River bridge at Collins.


    The local easing into the siding at Brady to meet a southbound empty grain.


    The empty grain approaching the rear of the local waiting in the siding.


    The local starts onto the Valier branch just north of Conrad.


    The local out on the Valier branch riding the roller coaster hills.


    Simultaneously pulling in the empties and shoving out the loads at Valier.


    Now up on the Hi-Line. Amtrak #7 crosses Cut Bank Creek at Cut Bank.
    Last edited by PerryPlatypus; 04-05-2010, 09:16 AM.
    ~Sean Kelly~
    SP Shasta Route for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/sp-shasta
    MRL Mullan Pass for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/mullanpass

    Comment


      #3
      The last day. Amtrak #8 crossing the Two Medicine near East Glacier.


      The DPUs of a westbound grain near Grizzly, a few miles east of East Glacier.


      A westbound loaded grain crests the continental divide at Marias Pass.


      A different westbound grain on Sheep Creek Trestle east of Essex.


      A westbound Z train in the river canyon east of Belton with a light snowstorm in progress.


      The Z train in Bad Rock Canyon.


      After a quick crew change, the Z train starts pulling west out of Whitefish.


      That's all!
      Last edited by PerryPlatypus; 04-02-2010, 06:08 PM.
      ~Sean Kelly~
      SP Shasta Route for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/sp-shasta
      MRL Mullan Pass for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/mullanpass

      Comment


        #4
        Wow those are really some amazing photos you have there! I really like the "The Z train in Bad Rock Canyon." photo the best, it's a true keeper!

        Comment


          #5
          Really? Wow, that one was actually one of the poorest lit. It was bright sunshine when we arrived, then just before he came a huge cloud arrived. Although, it did turn out better than I thought it would. You are talking about the one looking up as he comes out of the tunnel, right? Or are you talking about the one looking down on him east of Belton? I honestly like that one more. The captions are above their corresponding pictures.
          Last edited by PerryPlatypus; 04-02-2010, 06:21 PM.
          ~Sean Kelly~
          SP Shasta Route for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/sp-shasta
          MRL Mullan Pass for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/mullanpass

          Comment


            #6
            Talking about the one as he is coming out of the tunnel near Conkelly.

            Comment


              #7
              Real nice post. Thanks for sharing.

              Comment


                #8
                Thank you

                Thank you. These are great!

                Buzz

                Comment


                  #9
                  Fantastic photos. You do a really good job of stepping back and taking in the scene.

                  -Jacques

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Those are some great shots. Thanks for sharing them with us.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Your welcome!
                      ~Sean Kelly~
                      SP Shasta Route for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/sp-shasta
                      MRL Mullan Pass for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/mullanpass

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Quintessential Montana

                        I don't think I've seen a collection of photos that better typifies quintessentiallly Montana railroading than these. From coal trains to branchline locals still distributing grain cars to passenger trains to Glacier National Park (100 years young this year), these photos say it all. I especially enjoyed the photos of the trains crossing the Missouri River above Rainbow Dam in Great Falls and huge trestle over the Teton River at Collins. Train frequency is such that photographing these locations is not all that difficult, but such photos are rarely seen. Your effort in posting these photos is greatly appreciated by this Montana native.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by VerMontanan View Post
                          I don't think I've seen a collection of photos that better typifies quintessentiallly Montana railroading than these. From coal trains to branchline locals still distributing grain cars to passenger trains to Glacier National Park (100 years young this year), these photos say it all. I especially enjoyed the photos of the trains crossing the Missouri River above Rainbow Dam in Great Falls and huge trestle over the Teton River at Collins. Train frequency is such that photographing these locations is not all that difficult, but such photos are rarely seen. Your effort in posting these photos is greatly appreciated by this Montana native.
                          Thank you very much! Besides Canada, Montana is probably my favorite place to visit. I think the only bad experience I've ever had in Montana was last summmer when there were unusually large numbers of mosquitoes along the Clark Fork River between Thompson Falls and St. Regis. Although that trip still turned out quite well, you can see some of the pictures from that in another thread a few months back "MRL's 4th Subdivision Sandpoint to St. Regis".

                          This trip out into the area around Great Falls had far more trains than I had expected. I was thinking maybe one manifest in daylight and an occasional grain train, but almost everyday we got the Shelby-Laurel and Laurel-Shelby freights, both a loaded grain and an empty grain, a loaded coal and empty coal, and numerous locals to keep us busy We also had quite a few lucky moments. After shooting the Malt Job heading out of town, we headed over to the other side of town to shoot the grain at the pet cemetery, then went to look around the Air Force base. We happened to finish up there just in time to get back and step out of the car for only a minute or two before the returning local crossed over the Missouri back to the yard, then we went to the other side of the bridge and got an empty coal heading south, which we chased a distance.

                          The only things that didn't work out on the trip was when no trains came when we were at the bridge at Cut Bank with beautiful evening light, and clouds obscuring several of the pictures we got at the summit and in Bad Rock Canyon. (And the loss of a precious stuffed animal to the plains of Montana when it fell out of the car at some unknown time)
                          ~Sean Kelly~
                          SP Shasta Route for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/sp-shasta
                          MRL Mullan Pass for Open Rails: https://www.trainsimulations.net/mullanpass

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