are there any railfaning spots in kallispell & missoula mt areas

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  • Member since
    January 2004
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are there any railfaning spots in kallispell & missoula mt areas
Posted by mmartian22 on Monday, March 24, 2008 4:36 PM
just wondering if any railfaners in this area knows of any good places .planning to visit family out there
  • Member since
    January 2008
  • From: Big Blackfoot River
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Posted by Geared Steam on Thursday, March 27, 2008 10:38 AM

I grew up in the area, Kalispell is a branchline, you probably won't see much action, you should take a short drive up to Whitefish or Columbia Falls, which is the BNSF mainline. In Columbia Falls the RR , the Highway and Flathead River share a canyon. Very scenic, your not too far from Essex Montana. Someone else may pipe in with more info, I haven't visited for years and things may have changed.

In Missoula, the MRL is pretty much along the river, and runs along I-90 both directions. The yard is easily visible off of the interstate. If you travel east on I-90 past Bonner the MRL will be on your right side, you will also notice the Milwaukee Road abandoned ROW travels besides the MRL row ( then the NP ) . Neat stuff, tunnels, bridges, and the abandonded Milwaukee Road substation. This portion of MILW was electrified from Harlowton MT to Avery Idaho. Fort Missoula has some railroad displays, including a Shay Steam engine and Milw Road Station.

In addition, there is a NP ( MRL ) branchline that goes north out of Missoula up the canyon along Hwy 93 towards Polson, not much traffic but an impressive bridge crossing a valley. Keep an eye out for it, it will be on the right side of the hwy if you are traveling north up the canyon.

Here is a link to another board post concerning Missoula, the person was basically looking at Milwaukee Road artifacts but there is some MRL and directions in the post.

"The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination."-Albert Einstein

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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 29, 2008 12:48 PM
By all means if you have the time Essex Mt. is worth checking out.It is the helper base for the eastward push over Marias pass. They have a trackside restuarant there but kind of pricey.Inthe basement is alot of cool pictures.Agood restuarant is the Midway cafe just before the turnoff to Essex.At the Whitefish depot there is an interesting museum inside and one of the few exsisting roundhouses in the state is just west of there.Enjoy.

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