MILW Ghosts of the North Montana Division

HemiAdda2d May 12, 2006

  1. jimmypage

    jimmypage TrainBoard Member

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  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Just a note to say how much I enjoy all of these photos. I was not able to see the MILW's western lines in operation, but remain fascinated by their history and thoroughly enjoy seeing what remains of them. It's somewhat reminiscent of solo hikes I made at various locations on the NYO&W's main in southern New York state in the early 1980s. This line shut down in 1957. For me, seeing the sites in their current state greatly helps set the scene for old photographs taken when these lines were in operation.
     
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  3. ladybngnfan

    ladybngnfan TrainBoard Member

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    What all is still left to view along the Milwaukee mainline on the Pacific Coast Extension? I received a copy of the Milwaukee Road in Idaho for Christmas, a book I've been wanting for a while, but the book was published in 2003, and I have the feeling that a lot of the sights mentioned in the book don't exist any more. So, I'd like to know what does still exist now? Also, is April a good time to drive the mainline through Idaho? And, one more question: Can I drive from the west portal of the St. Paul Pass tunnel to I-90, or is it better to go from Avery to Wallace and hit I-90 from there? The car I have is an ordinary car, built fairly low to the ground, and with no four wheel drive.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    There is a softcover book by Steve McCarter Out of print. It listed a lot of sights, but missed a few. And as you said, some, (not a lot), have disappeared.
     
  5. ladybngnfan

    ladybngnfan TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, I have a copy of that book. Since that book was out in 1992, though, I'm wondering how much of the sights mentioned in it still exist now. I know, of course, of E70 in Deer Lodge and E57B in Harlowton. And I've seen the substations at Gold Creek, Ravenna, and Primrose from the outside, as well as the stations in Butte, Great Falls, and Missoula. I've been through Alberton and some of the other places. But I'm wondering about what else can be seen of the Milwaukee in 2017 as opposed to what is mentioned in the guidebooks, since they are not current. After all, we live in a world where much is not permanent, what with deterioration from vandalism, neglect, and just plain time being all too common. So, that's my question: what still exists now, and what are the chances of seeing those artifacts.
     
  6. jimmypage

    jimmypage TrainBoard Member

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    Not sure where exactly on the line you wish to see, but I have started on HWY 12 north of Billings MT and drive west to Ringling MT. You can see the roadbed most of the way, bridges, Harlowton Museum (station and Roundhouse), the foundation of the substation at 16, Martinsdale Station, the Substation at Loweth, and the signals along the roadbed in this area, to Ringling and the station. From there to the Missouri river is gated and posted, so you can drive and south to I90 , then west, then north up Hwy 287 to Toston MT, over the hills to see the bridge and tunnel at Lombard.
    Three Forks Station, the tunnel over Pipestone pass.
    The things are pretty much left alone in Montana and things age fairly well in the dry climate. As far as west of Missoula I haven't personally explored yet, but plenty of information on the internet.
    Hemi's other thread on the Milwaukee Mainline has many pictures of the ghosts still left, and they haven't changed a bit.

    In case you havent seen it.

    http://www.trainboard.com/highball/index.php?threads/ghosts-of-the-milwaukee-lines-west.30763/
     
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  7. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    If you go north at Ringling up to White Sulphur Springs, there is a station, some passenger cars of mixed heritage, a stock car and some history of the Milw there. Then go back down to 12 and go west. The side trip is worth it, and the hot spring is worth an extra day!

    East ward the roadbed is also visible all the way to Forsyth, with lots of little things and bridges and buildings still up.
     
  8. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    IIRC, Martinsdale and Ringling's depots are either badly decaying, partially collapsed or fully collapsed. May want to get out there soon. Most everything else is fairly well preserved as noted above. All my photos are as of 2009 or earlier.
     
  9. montanan

    montanan TrainBoard Member

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    When traveling along Interstate 90 in western Montana, you can easily see the old Milwaukee Road right of way from west of Drummond almost all of the way to Missoula. Many of the old bridges are still up and the tunnels are also easy to see. The old road bed pretty well parallels the old NP, now MRL tracks. At Saint Regis, the girder bridge is still standing. I can well remember riding along this when I was a kid riding with my relatives in either a Little Joe or a Box Cab.

    Also we used to take the train from Montana to Chicago to visit relatives a number of times a year. Sometimes we would take the Hiawatha and sometimes take the North Coast Limited. We had relatives working on both the MILW and the NP and always were able to travel first class. Those sure were the days. If we took the Hiawatha, we would usually catch it at Three Forks. I always loved the ride through Sixteen Mile Canyon.

    In the early 90's, I took a horseback trip along the old right of way from Ringling all the way to Toston where we had friends pick us up a few days later. The old school house at Maudlow is still standing today, but I don't think it will last much longer. The old depot still stands in Ringling. It would be extremely difficult to take this trip today as many of the tunnels are now blocked and even though many of the old bridges are still standing, the approaches to some are gone and horses don't know how to fly.

    East of Ringling along Montana hwy 294 the highway passes right along side the old Substation 2. I still have relatives living in Harlowtown who we do visit on a regular basis. I am quite familiar with this area. We usually take US 89 north from Livingston and the go east on 294 just north of Ringling, and then take US 12 into Harlowtown. You can also see the old right of way pretty well most of the way along 294.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  10. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Just a quick mention- The station at White Sulphur Springs is WSS&YP. not MILW.

    Excluding such as bridges and tunnels, at Butte you can see both the original and new passenger stations, plus the yard office. All of those buildings are brick. There are depots at Haugan (broken into two pieces, moved into back yard of private residence), and Clinton (home).

    Cannot recall which, but either Martinsdale or Ringling was recently demolished, being too far gone and collapsing. Substation at Loweth still stands.

    There are also surviving depots on the Northern Montana Division.
     
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  11. ladybngnfan

    ladybngnfan TrainBoard Member

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    I have driven along I90 through Montana and seen the leftovers from the railroad. But now, I'm looking at doing some more in depth checking out the Road's artifacts that are left. Since I want to write a fiction story about if the Milwaukee were to still exist, I want to follow the mainline and get as much helpful information I can while I'm working in Yellowstone over this summer.

    And, by the way I wrote a poem called I am Milwaukee Road E70. I wrote it in the voice of E70, as if you could hear it think or speak, what would it tell you? It's published online to a website called FictionPress.com, under the name DWoodford. Check it out, and tell me what you think.
     
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  12. montanan

    montanan TrainBoard Member

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    I would check out the areas I mentioned above. Here is an old photo of where the MILW crossed the Missouri River at Lombard.

    [​IMG]

    This are is not too hard to get to, which is the west entrance to Sixteen Mile Canyon. You can take US 89 north from Livingston to Ringling where thare are still some old Miwaukee Road buildings around. You also mentioned stopping in Harlowtown. There is some things to see there and like I mentioned, the old right of way does run right along side highway 294.

    If you are in the area and have time to spend, up in Lewistown, the YoGo Inn occupies the old Milwaukee Road depot. The Montana Central Railroad runs over the old Milwaukee Road tracks and has a dinner Train, the Charlie Russel Choo Chew which runs from just west of Lewistown up to Denton, MT and back. We enjoyed this trip. We just happened to be in Lewistown for a bowling tournament and found out that the train openings available for that night.

    It's hard to travel around this part of the state and not find something about the Milwaukee Road. For instance, right in down town Bozeman on east main street is the old Milwaukee Road freight house right across the street from the old Northern Pacific freight station (now a micro brewery). The owners of these buildings took care to preserve the heralds of both railroads.

    Her is a caboose sitting not too far from the old Milwaukee Road depot in Three Forks, MT. IMAG0036_BURST002.jpg
     

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    Last edited: Jan 19, 2017
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  13. Kurt Moose

    Kurt Moose TrainBoard Member

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    That caboose looks better than when the Milw owned it!:p
     
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  14. UP1996

    UP1996 TrainBoard Member

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  15. Doorgunnerjgs

    Doorgunnerjgs TrainBoard Member

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    I visited your poem and enjoyed it! Thanks!
     
  16. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    And don't forget the Harlowton Milw museum. The depot houses it and there is part of the old roundhouse still standing also.

    April is a tricky month to visit Idaho or Montana as spring snows occur. Usually there isn't much trouble getting around as long as you are staying on well used roads. The last weekend in April there are two train meets, on Saturday at the Livingston Depot and on Sunday in Helena. The Milwaukee historical bunch is always there and are ready to point you in the right directions also.

    On the way home from these shows I have done some dilly-dallying around and found many Milw sights.
     
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  17. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    Was in Miles City and got these of the west side of the old shops and a freight house, I think. It is all being used as a carshop now. PIC_0153.JPG PIC_0150 (1).JPG PIC_0149.JPG PIC_0148 (1).JPG
     
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  18. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    If anyone can access a blueprint of Miles City, the buildings will be marked as to purpose. Some which looked like a "freight house", were not. But either another company purpose, or even a shipper leased structure. This is much like the building which stood across from the depot at Deer Lodge. So many call a freight house, but it was not. This was the commissary. The actual freight house was a part of that depot.
     
  19. jimmypage

    jimmypage TrainBoard Member

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    "North Montana Division", maybe we should start a new thread concerning the mainline so we can keep this on subject?
     
  20. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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