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Thread: Part of the Marias Pass Route's real life counterpart is now abandoned

  1. #1
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    Default Part of the Marias Pass Route's real life counterpart is now abandoned

    On December 27, 2019, Watco's Mission Mountain Railroad, current operator of the former Great Northern branch line from Columbia Falls to Kalispell, Montana, ran its last train through downtown Kalispell. This occurred just 4 days shy of the 128th anniversary of the Great Northern's first train through the town.

    This train consisted mainly of stored cars being pulled out of downtown. The plan is that two miles of track will be ripped up and turned into a trail connecting a park with one of the main roads in town. It sounds like the last two customers in Kalispell, CHS Kalispell and Northwest Drywall, both relocated to a new rail park in neighboring Evergreen, making the line through downtown Kalispell worthless. Recently the line had been used only for storage.

    Full story: https://flatheadbeacon.com/2019/12/3...vN1WsUgLAnazlg

    Matt
    Last edited by epa; January 9th, 2020 at 06:02 PM.
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    That's sad. They are so quick to rip up the tracks and make the lines into trails. Once that happens, the rails don't go back, usually forever.
    John
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    Wow, sad to see another line get ripped up and turned into a bike trail

    Cheers

    NARM's site^

    My personal site: https://hiawathamr.weebly.com/​

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiawathamr View Post
    Wow, sad to see another line get ripped up and turned into a bike trail

    Cheers
    Yup. They'll stuff and park an old BNSF GP-9 and a rusty boxcar at the end of it, place little signs and markers along the way. Once the tracks are gone, they're gone for good.
    John
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  5. #5

    Thumbs down

    And I will say we reap the seeds we sow in the future!

    I have seen a lot of track in California ripped up and we paid the price for it too be rebuilt in some areas

    An absolute travesty.....

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    Don't want to make you groan epa but here in Scotland 5 passenger lines brought back (after 50 years) with one at over 30 miles - now a 7th to be back as well. Sad for you folk over the pond while we have been fortunate!

  7. #7

    Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by rjhowie View Post
    Don't want to make you groan epa but here in Scotland 5 passenger lines brought back (after 50 years) with one at over 30 miles - now a 7th to be back as well. Sad for you folk over the pond while we have been fortunate!


    i am very happy to hear this news.......

    Over here and other Places in the World, Greed, Corruption, and simplistic thinking, Domination, I better stop at this point, have made some terrible and very expensive, in some ways, Deadly mistakes that we suffer in the End Game.......

    If you have any pictures or links to these changes, I would welcome them......

    Cheers, from the other side of the Pond.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by blueodessey View Post
    i am very happy to hear this news.......

    Over here and other Places in the World, Greed, Corruption, and simplistic thinking, Domination, I better stop at this point, have made some terrible and very expensive, in some ways, Deadly mistakes that we suffer in the End Game.......

    If you have any pictures or links to these changes, I would welcome them......

    Cheers, from the other side of the Pond.....
    Yeah don't get me going on that...

    Anyway I think part of it is necessity. We are were Britain was in the 1960's and 1970's. Unfortunately it'll take us decades to realize what we had and then in some places it'll be too late.

    In the case of this branch line it may also have had to do with economics. Railroads are taxed on the infrastructure and there is also maintenance associated with it too. Sadly if a line isn't used, or there's only a single customer at the end of a very long line, it's just not worth keeping it around just because it was there. In this case there were only two customers, and Kalispell wasn't interested in the tracks, although, that would have made a nice tourist operation, but then again where are the customers for that either? This place is out in the boonies in Montana. I know, I've been out in that region, and there's not much out there once past Shelby maybe cows perhaps, but not much else.
    John
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    Apart from lines brought back there are far more folk using rail locally and nationally here in GB than back during that groaning time when the government had nationalised rail in 1948 and had it for decades. Even with faults we have done well with the growth.

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    BNSF resumed operations April 1st.

    More Here: BNSF Railway Takes Back Track To Kalispell.
    Toujours Prêt!

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    I should have added that 6th passenger line is to be brought back here in Scotland. Been freight for half a century after passenger trains stopped however track is to be redone and a new station at Leven on the coast and will cost about £70,000,000 over just past 6 miles. It is interesting that Americans here tend to be mostly leaning on freight as is the general situation over there in practice whilst we in Gt Britain lean on passenger as that is essentially the railway fact of life. Just a pity you folk re losing yet another line while passenger rail is a big thing in Britain and amongst Trainz fans. Oh and will repeat something I intimated a we while ago in another thread and that was that one re-opened passenger line here in Scotland is a 30 mile plus one!

  12. #12

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    Great News Crazytrain!
    “We are all travelers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” - R.L.S.

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    This has happened in my home town of Scottsdale in Northeast Tasmania. The NE line travels through very scenic and hilly country.
    It originally ran between Launceston and Herrick. Over the years the track was reduced in length due to road traffic taking over.
    In the early 70s it was shortened to Tonganah, where a sawmill and Kaolin mine were located. The mine closed and due to the downsizing of the forestry industry the line was closed to end at Scottsdale. Woodchip logs were handled for a while but then went road transport. Later it was only used to move pulp wood from Nabowla to paper mills on the NW coast. The line from Scottsdale to Legerwood was converted to a bike and 4wd trail and is very popular. The local council is now trying to rip up the rest of the line between Scottsdale and Launceston. The line was upgraded shortly before closing at a huge cost. A group has been formed to try to save the line and run scenic trains from near Launceston to Scottsdale. I think they are fighting a losing battle though.
    Cheers,
    Mike

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    This is great news CrazyTrain!
    John
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeaust View Post
    This has happened in my home town of Scottsdale in Northeast Tasmania. The NE line travels through very scenic and hilly country.
    It originally ran between Launceston and Herrick. Over the years the track was reduced in length due to road traffic taking over.
    In the early 70s it was shortened to Tonganah, where a sawmill and Kaolin mine were located. The mine closed and due to the downsizing of the forestry industry the line was closed to end at Scottsdale. Woodchip logs were handled for a while but then went road transport. Later it was only used to move pulp wood from Nabowla to paper mills on the NW coast. The line from Scottsdale to Legerwood was converted to a bike and 4wd trail and is very popular. The local council is now trying to rip up the rest of the line between Scottsdale and Launceston. The line was upgraded shortly before closing at a huge cost. A group has been formed to try to save the line and run scenic trains from near Launceston to Scottsdale. I think they are fighting a losing battle though.
    Cheers,
    Mike
    This happened a number of times where I live. A local branch not far from me was once one of the oldest railway lines dating back to 1840 was pulled up in sections between Manchester and Lawrence with the last remaining stub, about 10 km long remaining in service until the early 2000's. Guilford Transportation let the line rot and used that as an excuse to drive away customers who appealed to the government to no avail to keep the line operating. The southern end from South Lawrence to Methuen at Rt. 213 was designated as a future commuter line and was once featured on some of the local transit agency maps as a future extension. The tracks past the state line, where the highway is and where the station was supposed to be, were removed and the rest to South Lawrence was rail banked.

    The southern portion still hosted a handful of freights as far as some mills and an iron fabricator with some other business at the Agway feed store. Then in 2010 suddenly the line was sold off for a trail from the state line to the Methuen-Lawrence town line. The group that bought up the line scrapped the tracks and then turned over the trail to Methuen. The town of Methuen pays about $130K a year to keep the trash off the trail and no one uses it because it's unsafe. The Lawrence end remains a weed infested mess with no service at all anymore since Pan Am killed that off in 2015. There were rumors going about opening up the southern end for a trail, but no one is interested at the moment due to the high crime in the area where the route travels.

    There are other lines in closer to Boston that succumbed over the past couple of decades that could provide critically needed commuter service. The Malden to Lynn, Saugus branch was recently lifted in favor of a trail. This was once a multi-track commuter and freight line that got mothballed and was then lifted around the same time that the Lawrence to Methuen line was removed. There were plans to put in a light rail service along this horrifically busy area, but that never happened.

    The Minuteman Bike Trail from Bedford to Alewife Brook station in Cambridge. This line was ripped up in the late 1980's after it sat in a sad state of disrepair. The plan was to put in light rail or heavy-rail along former Lexington branch once the Alewife Brook station was opened. This would have provided a direct downtown Boston connection from a heavily populated area. The locals came out and complained loudly because they didn't want the riffraff from coming into their towns on the trolleys. The line instead became a bike trail. A trail that's quite busy, but it's not enough to remove the horrible amount of traffic off the local roads and highway in the area.
    John
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