(Scroll up from page bottom for chronological order)
It's a late summer of 2016 morning. ES44C4 #6722 has an "Earthworm" shuttle,
(X-KALHVR9), crossing the Middle Fork of the Flathead River, near Coram, Montana.
Note- The old footings which indicate original lower bridge and alignment:
ES44C4 #4265 on Train G-BVOINB9-15H eases in, and ties up at Whitefish's crew facilities:
Norfolk Southern SD70ACe #1032 is in charge of BNSF's U-SVLRVW5-11 (new ties).
She idles in Whitefish yard, along with BNSF SD70ACe #9326 and ES44DC #7305:
A sequential pair of GP39-3's, #2562, 2563, are awaiting their next call:
A lazy 2016 summer Sunday morning finds GP38-2 #2103 and GP39-2 #2948
have returned to Whitefish, Montana, with their Conkelly Turn:
That same afternoon, C44-9W #5128 hustles along with an
eastward X-HYDCSN9-09A empty grain shuttle at Nyack, Montana:
A short time later, that same helper pair is pushing hard on this S-SEACHC1-07A,
led by ES44DC #7831. Caught here between "Twin Bridges" and Paola, Montana:
It's a beautiful Fall of 2015 morning at Belton, Montana. A pair of
light (K-ESXESX) helpers, C44-9W 4861 & 5411, are seen zipping back home
to Whitefish, where an "S" train is awaiting a shove over Marias Pass:
About an hour later in Milltown, Montana. This is the west end of the Bonner siding, where
a spur leads to Bonner industries. BNSF C44-9W #4815 & 728 pass with M-PASLAU1-16A:
The next day after Whitefish finds me in Missoula, Montana.
Here I am watching BNSF C44-9W #5355 departing with H-PASKCK9-16A.
Trailing behind BNSF C44-9W #5489 is Union Pacific ES44AC-H #8246:
A sleepy summer of 2015 morning, in Whitefish, Montana. GP38-2 #2103
and GP39-2 #2948 are snoozing in the yard. Both units are stencilled
for remote use, but they are also used for local train service:
Spring of 2104, BNSF C44-9W #4570 passes Olney, Montana.
S-STPTAC1-11A has two different paint schemes:
Spring of 2014, BNSF SD70MAC #8978 Arrives at Whitefish, Montana.
This H-PASNTW2-13A has a special cargo: ALCo PA-1 #DLMX 190
Fall of 2013, at Stryker, Montana & snows have already fallen. GP39-2 #2842 & GP38-2 #2079
are today's R-MON8761 power. This trip they have brought in the usual mix of lumber loadable
empties & are awaiting delivery of loads from Mission Mountain Railroad:
Late summer of 2013, C44-9W #4622 with seven additional units trailing, is slowly dragging
into the back edge of a thunder storm in Rathdrum, Idaho. Not far ahead, just past Sandpoint
H-PASGAL9-27A will swing onto Montana Rail Link tracks, & continue the journey eastward.
The very next morning, Garrison, Montana. ES44DC #7400 + (2) C44-9W, & H-PASKCK9-21A:
Spring of 2013, at dusk, BNSF 4953, 971, 4946, (all C44-9W), power Z-CHCSSE6-21A.
Seen slowing as they pass Whitefish, Montana depot, to very brief stop at the crew shack:
Bringing up the rear, DPU ES44DC #7566 does her job:
A short time later, passing the old lumber & chip reload at Olney, Montana:
A gray November, 2012 mid-day, easing out of the Whitefish, Montana yard.
C44-9W #4026 & 4767 with H-DILPAS1-03A:
A short time later at Turah, Montana, an S-SEALPC2-03D stacker.
BNSF #7449 ES44DC & #5194 C44-9W:
Fall of 2012 is well under way. It's a cool, crisp beautiful afternoon.
My first catch is a U-LVJGRW1-02A empty grain shuttle hustling eastward.
It's BNSF #4936 C44-9W, with MRL #263 SD40-2XR at Bonita, Montana:
Late morning of an early August 2012 day, Columbia Falls, Montana.
ES44C4 #6911 with her S-STPTAC in tow is slowing for a meet at East
Whitefish. Her opposing movement is a three hours late Amtrak Train #8.
That concrete pad is where the former Great Northern Railway depot once
stood. I spent some pleasant hours inside, visiting with the agent. It
was a beauty, with knotty pine interior:
I barely got parked, jumped out & an X-KALMAM shuttling empty grain cars
roars through. SD75I #8288 & ES44DC #7786 at Olney, Montana:
A pair of C44-9W engines, #4319 & 4943, creep up to a red block at East Radnor.
This stacker is an S-TCBLPC. Yes. I caught the Derail sign, but my goal was
a train in front of the wonderful tree colors, more than the train itself:
A very nice, crisp October day, 2011. Fall colors, bright & beautiful.
(Sorry no train- yet), this was at Radnor, Montana:
Now it was time for me to leave. Not bad for only 75 minutes!
Before I go, thought it would be fun to add a quick view of the F45 cabin:
On the eastward main, off to work goes that second helper set of #5409/736:
Then grinding up hill are C44-9W's #4791, 1032 with a V-PTLLPC:
Next, SD75M #8225 with two C44-9W's is wheeling down hill with an S-STPTAC (Empties):
#5021/4942 have crossed to the eastward main track & up hill they go.
Radio chatter mentioned Spotted Robe, perhaps that was their next job:
It's a lucky day, as there were two K-ESXESX (helper sets) working from Essex!
At left are the #736 & 5409, waiting on the yard lead. Drifting back down hill on
the westward main are C44-9W's #4942 & 5021. Both sets will make their way
down to the west yard switches & soon head back up the mountain:
Less than two minutes later, down the hill comes C44-9W #5435 with a Z-CHCPTL:
The first day of Fall, 2011 & I've stopped briefly at Essex, Montana.
I was only there for an hour & fifteen minutes, but action was good.
Upon arrival, I found C44-9W's #736 & 5409 being readied as helpers:
#4811 is finally caught passing the old Great Northern Railway station at Belton:
While waiting at Belton, Montana, C44-9W #4817 arrives with merchandise.
Seen here creeping up the siding to meet the Z-CHCPTL we were chasing:
A short time later, #4811 is seen winding down into Essex, Montana:
The famous 'Elevation 5125 Feet' sign at Summit, Montana:
This Z-CHCPTL is the train Work Extra 1690 cleared. Somehow,
my view of C44-9W #4811 at Bison, Montana, won a photo contest:
Late Spring of 2011, rains and heavy snow melt have m-o-w crews, plus a couple
of work trains on Marias Pass. Culverts are plugging and there are washouts.
Work Extra SD40-2's #1690 & 1798 have come down to the siding at Glacier Park
(East Glacier) to clear a Z train, the first westward move, line reopened.
An early Spring of 2011 afternoon at Stryker, Montana. Still very cool,
breezy & plenty of snow is all around. Only gone from the most exposed
areas. C44-9W #5317 leads an H-NTWPAS at the west wye switch.
With #5317 are two Canadian Pacific ES44AC units, #8844 & 8885:
Baking in August sun of 2010 at Whitefish, Montana, is business car
"Missouri River" BNSF 4:
Spring, 2010, just minutes after 7 am & a tie gang, (at left), is getting ready to go.
This will be the last train for a while today. C44-9W #5121 races into the morning sun,
with an eastward empty grain shuttle- By the old depot in Ritzville, Washington:
It's the Fall of 2009. A quick change of personnel and C44-9W #705 pulls her
merchandise east, away from the Whitefish, Montana crew shack, past the depot:
It is a 2009 mid-summer day and at this time of year, air full of forest fire
smoke is not uncommon. When these two units were not needed for their usual
helper duties, on occasion they would be grabbed for other chores. Today
SD40-2's 6818 and 6819 are easing out of Whitefish, Montana with a work
train bound for Marias Pass. Note sequential unit numbers, in different paint!
A hot summer 2008 afternoon, SD9 #1726 awaits her next use at the Balmer Yard hump.
Note the "Swine Power" cartoon chalked on below her cab number:
That same afternoon at Balmer Yard (Seattle), Washington. GP39-2 #2711
is freshly crewed and ready to drag merchandise eastward:
Short of rested crews, at the east end of the yard these two trains wait.
Spring of 2008, location is by the Whitefish, Montana airport:
Late winter, 2007 the Whitefish Road Switcher passes Columbia Falls, Montana
ex-depot site. GP38AC #2185 & partner GP39M #2887 head for Conkelly:
Summer of 2006, C44-9W #4703 is just out of Conkelly, Montana with a merchandise freight.
Climbing into Bad Rock Canyon, the engine is seen here curving around Teakettle Mountain.
That hazy appearance is heavy forest fire smoke:
Apologies for the quality of this next view, below. My slide scanner is an old junker.
It's a mid-afternoon during July of 1997, & on this particular day the wind is absolutely howling.
Pouring east out of the Yakima River Canyons, (note grass & trees leaning), across the Thorp Prairie
on through Ellensburg, Washington, where we see this train. Holding a camera steady was quite difficult
in these gusts, due to an approaching thunder storm. Radio chatter, & there was plenty, identified
this movement as "Extra 1095 West". That chatter was due to problems which had caused a car to be set
out. The dispatcher was pulling out his hair, dealing with a crew which for all intents & purposes
seemed to be very green. Their actions were quite uncertain, needing much guidance.
C44-9W #1095 is seen at the west siding switch of Ellensburg, while doing that switching: