Wait! What? An MP15ac? Yes. Just recently arrived, it is no stranger to the
Pacific Northwest. As built MP15ac #1598 was once Milwaukee Road #475,
and some forty years ago she was working on their "Coast Division". If you
look carefully past the years of wear and tear, "475" can still faintly be seen:
The herd is in it's corral this mid-summer of 2016 morning. Here are
the three units presently assigned to Columbia Falls. Tied up just south of
their office are WAMX GP39-2 #3942, SW1200 #1214 and MP15ac #1598:
Spring of 2016 is trying to arrive. The sun angle today is not optimal.
WAMX GP39-2 #3942 has her chores done and is departing Kalispell, Montana:
A lazy Fall of 2015 morning finds WAMX #3942 tied up behind the new Mission
Mountain Railroad office on Veteran's Drive, in Columbia Falls, Montana:
Late Fall of 2013, and at Fortine it is clouding up to snow.
Engines #3517 and 3807 were replaced and have recently left the property.
In their place are a reported pair of ex-Union Pacific Railroad GP39-2 units.
Quickly renumbered as WAMX 3942, here is proof there is indeed at least one:
Also that same day at Stryker, WAMX GP38 #3807.
Some old Conrail blue is peeking through:
Waiting next call on a hazy November, 2012 afternoon,
WAMX GP35 #3517 at Stryker, Montana:
It's a beautiful mid-August, 2012 day. WAMX SW1200 #1214 rests,
track work done for today. The crew now has SW1500 #1501 & they
are busily switching customers on their line to Kalispell:
September of 2011 is well along, #1214 is snoozing in late afternoon sun.
The Western Building Company spur (Columbia Falls), Montana:
Late in the Summer of 2011, we managed to catch Eureka Subdivision
action, as they headed east to interchange loads with BNSF Railway.
Just a couple of years ago, there was virtually no remaining business on this
Subdivision. It was just sidings jammed full of contract stored (primarily
tank & bulkhead flat) cars. Zero customers. Now most idle cars are gone.
The Gwynn Lumber Reload in Eureka is once more quite lively, sending out
bulkhead flats from Tembec (via their British Columbia operations)
& a customer in Fortine may be shipping chips again.
Just for information, this is a one man, all ("RCO") Remote Controlled Operation.
Mission Mountain Railroad (WAMX) GP38 #3807 is acting as "master" unit, with
WAMX GP35 #3517, (ex-Palouse River & Coulee City #2357), as the "slave" engine.
Made obvious as each time they passed, it was the horn of 3807 we would hear blowing.
Train assembled, air test made, moving ahead at Dewey Avenue in Eureka:
The old Great Northern Railway depot:
Past the old depot, on through the yard and out of town:
Greenbriar Leasing (GBRX) #34594 (ex-BN RR) on the wood chip loadout track in Fortine:
Our train would pull past, then stop. Perhaps spotting empties for the loader:
Our next stop, at Trego, we see a well worn rail. This old timer has been turned due to
wear, which extends useful life. Markings are Great Northern Railway, 110 pound, 1937.
Until 1970, this was a transcontinental main line:
Any activity at Trego is long ago gone, so he passes quickly through "town":
Entering Stryker, we see a few stored tank cars.
He stops and lines over into the siding:
This ride must truly be no fun at all in snow and sub-zero weather:
After crossing this road, he is now on BNSF rails. He'll continue on down
to the wye to drop his loads. Then make any pick-up(s) & head home:
It's the early Spring of 2010, and GP30 remote unit WAMX #301 is tied up
on the spur behind Western Building Company (Columbia Falls), Montana:
The Fall of 2009 finds WAMX SW1500 #1501 resting behind the MMRR yard office.
Their little facility is tucked within Plum Creek Timber (Columbia Falls), Montana: