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Nostalgia & History > UP's Butte Special 1970


Date: 04/22/10 10:59
UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: valmont

UP 950 w/ the Butte Special, Butte, MT June 14,1970

The Butte Special ran between Salt Lake City and Butte, MT and a the comprehensive article on this train appears in UPHS's publication 'The Streamliner' (Vol. 23 No. 3.) In it's last years it was known as No. 35 to Butte and No. 36 to Salt Lake City.

The Streamliner article also noted that "the Butte Special was one of the few Union Pacific trains that ran in a north-south direction". It ceased running when Amtrak began running it's own trains on May 1,1971. There is also a very detailed map of the route in that edition of The Streamliner.




Date: 04/22/10 12:50
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: FT

Here is the special in Ogden, UT, July of '63. I think it was about dawn. A-B-B F's. Being a night train there must not be too many shots of this interesting train.

Keith A




Date: 04/22/10 13:03
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: valmont

FT Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Here is the special in Ogden, UT, July of '63. I
> think it was about dawn. A-B-B F's. Being a night
> train there must not be too many shots of this
> interesting train.
>
> Keith A


Keith:

great shot, F units, 4 digit numbering and probably a longer train too! Although I'm sure others shot this train, yours is the only other shot I can recall seeing, except for the pics in The Streamliner ... maybe this post will produce others



Date: 04/22/10 13:11
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: davew833

Cool pics! Wasn't Amtrak's 'Pioneer' (also a north/south train originating in SLC) numbered 35/36 as well? I find the name of the train, 'Butte Special' kind of ironic. Was there anything really special about going to Butte? In 1979, Reader's Digest referred to it as 'The Ugliest City in America.' I can't agree or disagree- I've never been there.



Date: 04/22/10 13:13
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: davew833

Oops- Amtrak's Pioneer was 25/26.



Date: 04/22/10 15:15
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: ATSF3751

valmont Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> FT Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Here is the special in Ogden, UT, July of '63.
> I
> > think it was about dawn. A-B-B F's. Being a
> night
> > train there must not be too many shots of this
> > interesting train.
> >
> > Keith A
>
>

Rare UP FP7 in the lead. One of only two.
> Keith:
>
> great shot, F units, 4 digit numbering and
> probably a longer train too! Although I'm sure
> others shot this train, yours is the only other
> shot I can recall seeing, except for the pics in
> The Streamliner ... maybe this post will produce
> others



Date: 04/22/10 15:32
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: valmont

re: "Rare UP FP7 in the lead"

The 1476 appears to be a standard F7. The 2 UP FP7's were 1498 and 1499 I believe. FP7's had a longer spacing between the first porthole and the first carbody filter than the standard F7's and that doesn't appear to be the case on the 1476.

valmont



Date: 04/22/10 19:21
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: czephyr17

Thanks for posting, even though I never saw it, I have always been fascinated by this train. One thing that helped this train was it's nice connection with the Northern Pacific's North Coast Limited at Butte. In your picture in the original post, the westbound North Coast Limited would stop on the near track a couple hours prior to the Butte Special departing for Salt Lake. In the morning, the eastbound North Coast Limited stopped at Butte only a few minutes after the Butte Special arrived from Salt Lake.



Date: 04/22/10 20:38
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: RuleG

davew833 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Cool pics! Wasn't Amtrak's 'Pioneer' (also a
> north/south train originating in SLC) numbered
> 35/36 as well? I find the name of the train,
> 'Butte Special' kind of ironic. Was there anything
> really special about going to Butte? In 1979,
> Reader's Digest referred to it as 'The Ugliest
> City in America.' I can't agree or disagree- I've
> never been there.


Butte is an interesting place for rail enthusiasts and those interested in mining history, but you may not want to take anyone who doesn't share those interests.

During a 2003 visit to Butte and nearby Anaconda, I found a both places fascinating, but both places also gave me the willies. The site which really weirded me out was the Berkley Pit, a former mine which continues to fill up with water. The ph of this water is about the same as battery acid. It was amazing that this site had a visitors center.

The former NP/UP, Milwaukee Road/Butte Anaconda & Pacific and GN stations were still standing.

Butte's local celebrity is Evil Knevil.

Thanks for posting these photos.



Date: 04/22/10 20:48
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: MyfordBrowning

davew833 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Cool pics! Wasn't Amtrak's 'Pioneer' (also a
> north/south train originating in SLC) numbered
> 35/36 as well? I find the name of the train,
> 'Butte Special' kind of ironic. Was there anything
> really special about going to Butte? In 1979,
> Reader's Digest referred to it as 'The Ugliest
> City in America.' I can't agree or disagree- I've
> never been there.


The name Butte Special referred to the train and not the city.

Cliff



Date: 04/23/10 07:40
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: 1372

Butte was and is a fascinating place for us weirdos who like the old and outre. Lots of wonderful, decaying bits of Americana--though the dread gentrification is now beginning to creep up the Richest Hill in the World. Enjoy it while you can! Kurt.



Date: 04/23/10 12:13
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: TCnR

Interesting passenger train, I need to find a copy of the Streamliner.

ou·tré   /uˈtreɪ/ Show Spelled[oo-trey] Show IPA
–adjective
passing the bounds of what is usual or considered proper; unconventional; bizarre.
Use outre in a Sentence
See images of outre
Search outre on the Web
Origin:
1715–25; < F, ptp. of outrer to push beyond bounds (see outrage)

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/outre



Date: 04/23/10 14:36
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: ATSF3751

valmont Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> re: "Rare UP FP7 in the lead"
>
> The 1476 appears to be a standard F7. The 2 UP
> FP7's were 1498 and 1499 I believe. FP7's had a
> longer spacing between the first porthole and the
> first carbody filter than the standard F7's and
> that doesn't appear to be the case on the 1476.
>
> valmont


Right you are. But those FP7's probably did make occasional stints on the Special.



Date: 04/23/10 15:52
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: davew833

Yeah, I understand that 'special' referred to the train, not the town, but UP could have just as well called it the 'Butte Limited', or the 'Butte Express', or the 'City of Butte', or the "Butteian', or the "Butte Clocker' or 'Butte-r', or the 'Butte Wind', or the 'Spirit of Butte', or the 'Butte Creeper' or the 'Butte Conveyance'... boy, this is fun!



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/23/10 15:54 by davew833.



Date: 04/23/10 20:33
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: lee_uintah

I remember seeing the southbound train coming through Brigham City about 5:30 AM, which was only in daylight in the middle of summer. This was in the early 1960's. I also recall that the northbound train stopped at the UP station in Brigham City about 9:15 or 9:30 PM. As a kid, I would scramble up the cab ladder on the E, when motioned up by the engineer. What a treat to stare into the "inner workings" of the cab. I would take a glimpse, then climb back down to the ground. What a thrill to stand trackside as the engines throttled up to depart, heading north out of Brigham City, Memories of the early 60's!



Date: 04/23/10 21:11
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: TCnR

Doesn't look like I'll find a hobby shop any time soon, so what was the route of the Butte Special and when did it stop running?
UP always had great looking passenger trains in some rather remote looking areas.



Date: 04/24/10 00:35
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: MyfordBrowning

TCnR Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Doesn't look like I'll find a hobby shop any time
> soon, so what was the route of the Butte Special
> and when did it stop running?
> UP always had great looking passenger trains in
> some rather remote looking areas.
The Butte Special ran between Salt Lake City and Butte. During it last years it operated triweekly and was discontinued when Amtrak started operation



Date: 04/24/10 14:17
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: rresor

The "Butte Special" ran from Salt Lake City north to Ogden, thence north to a junction with the "Green River cutoff" used by the "City of Portland", on the same trackage used by Amtrak's "Pioneer". It diverged at Pocatello, ID for Butte via Dixon, MT, which may be the most remote town in the entire "lower 48".

I rode a UP excursion (diesel hauled to Idaho Falls, 3985 beyond) from Butte to Pocatello in (I think) 1999 or so. Great trip. I flew into Butte, which is actually quite an interesting place, the day before. The former MILW station is now the offices of a radio station, but otherwise well preserved. I think the UP ran into there. Our trip left from Silver Bow, a couple of miles outside town.

Butte is a unique place, very "Eastern" in that it has multi-story buildings and a regular street grid. The former NP ROW down off Homestake Pass is still intact, rails and all, but of course out of service.

Butte is actually "special", and worth a visit if you're in the area (although I can't imagine what would bring you there).



Date: 04/25/10 12:36
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: fbe

rresor Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The "Butte Special" ran from Salt Lake City north
> to Ogden, thence north to a junction with the
> "Green River cutoff" used by the "City of
> Portland", on the same trackage used by Amtrak's
> "Pioneer". It diverged at Pocatello, ID for Butte
> via Dixon, MT, which may be the most remote town
> in the entire "lower 48".
>
You mean Dillon, MT. Dixon, MT is northwest of Missoula on the old NP now
MRL Evaro Hill line.
>
> I rode a UP excursion (diesel hauled to Idaho
> Falls, 3985 beyond) from Butte to Pocatello in (I
> think) 1999 or so. Great trip. I flew into
> Butte, which is actually quite an interesting
> place, the day before. The former MILW station is
> now the offices of a radio station, but otherwise
> well preserved. I think the UP ran into there.
> Our trip left from Silver Bow, a couple of miles
> outside town.
>
The Milwaukee Road depot houses the KXLF TV station, probably
the KXLF radio station as well. It was purchased for the TV
production facilities.
>
> Butte is a unique place, very "Eastern" in that it
> has multi-story buildings and a regular street
> grid. The former NP ROW down off Homestake Pass
> is still intact, rails and all, but of course out
> of service.
>
Butte had, at one time, 5 railroads in town. The transcontinental CM&PS, later the CMStP&P, the alternate mainline of the NP, a branch of the GN, the mentioned stub of the UP and the home road industrial BA&P.
>
> Butte is actually "special", and worth a visit if
> you're in the area (although I can't imagine what
> would bring you there).

Lots of good reasons to go to Butte, railroad history is one of them. Mining history is another. The routing between Yellowstone NP and Glacier NP. The list goes on. The people are friendly, home made pasties can't be beat. The locals call it Butte, America.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/25/10 20:09 by fbe.



Date: 05/01/10 17:26
Re: UP's Butte Special 1970
Author: czephyr17

> The former MILW station is
> now the offices of a radio station, but otherwise
> well preserved. I think the UP ran into there.
> Our trip left from Silver Bow, a couple of miles
> outside town.

No, the UP did not run into the Milwaukee station. UP passenger trains used the Northern Pacific station. As noted previously, the Butte Special connected directly with the NP North Coast Limited. Many pictures of the North Coast Limited in the station at Butte show the Butte Special off to the side on the UP's spur track.



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