MILW Ghosts of the Milwaukee--Lines West

HemiAdda2d Aug 27, 2007

  1. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    After a particularly beautiful weekend in Missoula, I documented several items of MILW interest along the RMD.
    Here's a sneak peek!

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  2. Geared Steam

    Geared Steam Permanently dispatched

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    Thanks Hemi !!!!!

    I was just there in July, didn't have a chance to chase ghosts. Did you get a pic of the substation?
    Hope you and Boxcab are ok with all the fires.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2010
  3. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    You better believe I got more pics!
    I was the only idiot jacking the brakes, and backing up a 1/4 mile (down I-90 of course!) when I blew past a substation that has been standing since 1916....
    I have 3 substations, 1 depot, a section crew shack, 3 tunnels, bridges, and some MRL action as well.
    I found out I passed more MILW ghosts off of MT-200 in Bonner, after I passed them. Oh well, just a good reason to go back soon, and fill in some blanks!
    Ultimately, I wanna document all of the RMD that I can, especially the electrified areas. I want to document all the MILW I possibly can, while I still live in MT. I have lots of area to cover, the 70-some odd miles I covered this trip just scratches the surface of the 400+ miles of RMD electrification. I especially want to visit Loop Creek, Pipestone Pass, and Sixteen Mile Canyon. In time, I guess!
     
  4. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    So I'm fried, exhausted, and just plain tired of everything, and I go west to Missoula for the weekend...
    I take MT-200 west out of Great Falls, and after I leave Vaughn, the scenery doesn't include anything railroady. I guess that made it easier to concentrate on the road! :)

    After about 160 miles, we enter the town of Bonner. I noticed a road on the opposite bank of the river; I wondered if it was a former RR ROW? A quick check of the Steve McCarter MILW guidebook confirms it is.

    We followed the line several miles, and then the river and the RR cross. The bridge spans are gone, but the piers still stand in the chilly waters. The large lumber mill at Bonner dominates all we see--strings and strings of empty gondolas, bulkhead flats, centerbeams, and loads of logs. As we get on I-90, the MRL mainline is off to our left. No trains, but it was fun to follow.
    We make it to our hotel, and note the MILW depot in downtown Missoula. We'll visit it later!

    Some local MRL railfanning after dinner and a visit to the nicely-equipped Mall, and we head to bed. The next morning, we head west, guided by the MILW guidebook, and pay a visit to Primrose Substation #10:

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    We head back to town, and stop at the nice park area near the MILW depot. The wife and son get to stretch their legs, while I hike down Higgins Avenue bridge to get some better views of the ornate depot:

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    The steeples are very classy:

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    A sign on the trackside of the depot gives some more info:

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  5. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Trolley protection for the Higgins Ave bridge, 3 tracks wide:

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    A MILW signal stands silently in the park:

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    Looking east, the other end of the depot:

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    More to come later!
     
  6. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    I cannot speak for Ken, but the fires have gotten close to his area. Too close for comfort. Great Falls has fires almost all 4 directions out of town. Closest one is about 30 miles away. I could be wrong.

    Back to the RMD!

    East of Missoula, is Beavertail Tunnel #16: (paralleled closely by the NP (MRL) double-track tunnel)

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    The MILW tunnel is becoming more and more shrouded by trees and weeds... The sawed-off poles could have been for trolley or power transmission:

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    Near Tunnel 16, is Ravenna Substation #9, nestled tightly against the mountain:

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    More to come!
     
  7. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Nimrod Tunnel #15 is just a few miles east of Ravenna Substation #9:

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    The MILW tunnel cannot be easily seen from the west side, so I have omitted it.
    The NP/MRL counterpart tunnel is right next to it; this is the west portal:

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    Bridges just like this twin set just east of Tunnel #15 are scattered all over the MILW/NP parallel mains--note the second set of piers behind the MRL bridge:

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    Here's a section shack just out of Bearmouth--I am unsure if it is MILW or not, I'll leave that to the experts!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    East of Bearmouth, is Gold Creek Substation #8:
    A local road leads south of the substation, and yields this shot:

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    The substation is on private property, as are many MILW items of interest....

    Here's the north side:

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    After this is Garrison Tunnel #14--I could not get a shot whatsoever on the west side, so the east portals will have to do. As usual, the parallel NP tunnel as well: (this is older footage, but has RMD significance, so I'm including it anyways!)

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    Deer Lodge is a short 10 miles south of Garrison Tunnel #14, and here's the depot-turned-church:

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    There's more RMD-related structures in Deer Lodge, but I have yet to document (or find) them. There's a Little Joe, EF-4 # E70 in town as well... Stay tuned!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 3, 2007
  9. Stourbridge Lion

    Stourbridge Lion TrainBoard Supporter

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    :shade: :shade: :shade: :shade:​
     
  10. Geared Steam

    Geared Steam Permanently dispatched

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    Very nice, thanks Hemi, I enjoy your work
     
  11. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    In Deer Lodge, the main electric locomotive shops were located, and the employees of the Milwaukee fought to save a Little Joe from the scrapper's torch.

    In a little park in town is the famous EF-4 class loco. It is HUGE, and in its day, was among the most powerful locomotives ever built.

    She looks sharp in orange, maroon and black paint, but could use a new coat of it!

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    Head-on:

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    The pantographs vainly reach for the trolley:

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  12. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Builder's plate:

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    Tourist info:

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    Need I say more??

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    Until I head east or west of the area I have covered, I'll have to call it a day. There's plenty yet to see, more substations, a boxcab electric, more tunnels, and loads more ROW to explore!
     
  13. milwaukeerailroader

    milwaukeerailroader TrainBoard Member

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  14. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    She'll always be beautiful!:teeth:
     
  15. Mr. SP

    Mr. SP Passed away August 5, 2016 In Memoriam

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    Little Joe's

    The two photos of the Little Joe's were taken at Purdy Metals near Chehalis Washington. At least one was saved. These are on their way to scrap.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 9, 2007
  16. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Not too close. But plenty of smoky days. Seems to be better now. Until a windy day...

    I wonder what happened to the owner of Primrose? Looks vacant. There was a sign company in the building. They even did some work on a business we sold a few years ago.

    Boxcab E50
     
  17. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    Ken,
    Do you know if that Bearmouth section shack is of MILW or NP heritage?
    Primrose #10 seemed to be vacant, but I did this railfanning different from my usual style. I didn't hike in! I took these shots all from the road.

    How many other substations still exist? I read in the Guidebook about a few foundations-only that exist.
     
  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    AFAIK- That section building is ex-NP. The colors are old NP sand and ? It's unlike any standard MILW.

    I believe you have seen all the remaining Milw substations in western MT. Can't think of others still standing. Tarkio and Drexel are gone. On the east side, at least Loweth should still be there.

    Boxcab E50
     
  19. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I wish they'd not used Imron....

    Boxcab E50
     
  20. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

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    I guess I need to make another trip to Missoula to find those shacks. The McCarter book notes a shack or two just east of the I-90 Bearmouth rest area.
    Are the substations being demolished? Wouldn't they be on some sort of historical registry? I mean, they were built in 1915, and used continuously for 59 years! maybe they are just falling down. :(

    What about East Portal?
    Bummer. I like searching these ghosts out.
    Heck, I still haven't found all the MILW remnants in my local area. There's a freight house, and some other stuff I should find in Great Falls.

    She's fading badly.... The opposide side was shaded, thus no shot--but in much better condition.

     

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