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Western Railroad Discussion > 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana


Date: 06/19/24 11:01
1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: gdaumiller

On May 4, 1991 I chased SD40-2s BN 7163 and BN 8084 pulling a unit grain train towards Great Falls along Little Prickly Pear Creek and the Missouri River on the Helena Subdivision in Montana. I counted 100 cars in the train at the time.

This line has been closed since about 2000 but the track is still in place.

1 - Lead locomotive crosses Little Prickly Pear Creek south of Wolf Creek
2 - About 80 green cars are visible behind the power just east of Wolf Creek
3- The locomotives are seen across the Missouri River near Stickney Creek as they exit Tunnel Number 3








Date: 06/19/24 11:02
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: gdaumiller

4 - Crossing the Dearborn River bridge and under the I-15 bridge while a Bull Transit bus climbs the I-15 bridge
5 - Heading down the Missouri River between Tunnel Number 1 and Hardy Bridge
6 - Green cars fill the entire 2800 feet between the tunnel and the bridge



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/24 11:11 by gdaumiller.








Date: 06/19/24 11:03
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: gdaumiller

7 - The locomotives cross under Hardy Bridge
8 - Hardy Bridge and the train stretching back to the tunnel
9 - Along the Missouri River below Hardy Bridge



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/24 11:11 by gdaumiller.








Date: 06/19/24 11:21
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: gdaumiller

I don't know if anyone cares, but the railcar numbers visible in all the photos I took that day are, 466573 (leading the train), 466023 and 466619 (together), 466791, 466669, 466719, 466562, and 466694



Date: 06/19/24 11:26
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: railstiesballast

Thanks for sharing.
Some excellent composition and color there, and a line we'll likely never see a train on again.



Date: 06/19/24 11:28
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: BNrailfan

You got some excellent photos! Love an all green earth worm in Montana 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/24 11:28 by BNrailfan.



Date: 06/19/24 11:31
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: gdaumiller

railstiesballast Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Thanks for sharing.
> Some excellent composition and color there, and a
> line we'll likely never see a train on again.

Thank you. The prints were faded and I wrestled around photoshopping the color until I thought it looked natural. The weather was really gloomy that day.



Date: 06/19/24 11:46
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: Ritzville

Excellent series! The green BN hopper cars such look good!

Larry



Date: 06/19/24 12:05
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: dan

could have been a PR trip!  green worms do look better than brown or grey worms



Date: 06/19/24 14:55
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: yorknl

The suggestion that this was a PR trip has some appeal, since I can't think of an obvious reason for a grain train - loaded or empty - to be traveling from Helena to Great Falls. MAYBE it could be a detouring empty if there were problems on Marias Pass and this was bound for the eastern Hi-Line, but a clean train with new or new-ish cars running on a scenic but lightly-used (if that) line feels like a photo op.

Out of curiosity, how do the TO experts define 'worms'? In my head the term applies to unit trains of covered hoppers with rounded sides, since (earth)worms are rounded. Flat-sided hoppers like these are, well, grain trains. But that's just me.



Date: 06/19/24 15:16
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: gdaumiller

The only problem with the photo op idea is that I do not remember seeing any other photographers that day. You would think there would at least have been someone at Hardy Bridge.

I have never really chased trains, but I was at the top of Mount Helena earlier that day, from where I saw this huge train heading north. I thought it was rare to see any kind of train headed that way, so I decided to go get some shots.

yorknl Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The suggestion that this was a PR trip has some
> appeal, since I can't think of an obvious reason
> for a grain train - loaded or empty - to be
> traveling from Helena to Great Falls. MAYBE it
> could be a detouring empty if there were problems
> on Marias Pass and this was bound for the eastern
> Hi-Line, but a clean train with new or new-ish
> cars running on a scenic but lightly-used (if
> that) line feels like a photo op.
>
> Out of curiosity, how do the TO experts define
> 'worms'? In my head the term applies to unit
> trains of covered hoppers with rounded sides,
> since (earth)worms are rounded. Flat-sided
> hoppers like these are, well, grain trains. But
> that's just me.



Date: 06/19/24 15:20
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: Espee1212

Currently there are TTX flats stored on the line starting a couple of miles south of Great Falls, while it would be great to see it reopened as a through route again I would not believe it will ever happen

Posted from iPhone



Date: 06/19/24 15:22
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: pedrop

Fantastic this real GREEN train!

Pedro Rezende
Vespasiano MG,
https://youtube.com/c/minasgeraisrailways1



Date: 06/19/24 15:23
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: DKay

Beautiful.....And no ''Street Art'' in sight. 
Outstandin set of pics.
Regards,DK



Date: 06/19/24 17:54
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: SP8595

Fantastic shots of a Great looking train!



Date: 06/19/24 18:56
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: up833

My bet is on a train of empties headed for loading. There is not one grain of seed any where on the hopper tops.
RB



Date: 06/19/24 19:01
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: yorknl

And I'm glad you did get the shots - they're great, whatever the reason for the train was!

I agree, normally there would be other cameras out for a special train.   But maybe in '91 the communication infrastructure wasn't robust enough for people to have enough advance notice to get into this part of Montana?  That's just speculation, as is my thought about it being a PR train in the first place.   We may simply never know what was going on.

-------------------------------------------------------
> The only problem with the photo op idea is that I
> do not remember seeing any other photographers
> that day. You would think there would at least
> have been someone at Hardy Bridge.
>
> I have never really chased trains, but I was at
> the top of Mount Helena earlier that day, from
> where I saw this huge train heading north. I
> thought it was rare to see any kind of train
> headed that way, so I decided to go get some
> shots.



Date: 06/19/24 22:26
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: funnelfan

I remember those trains of brand new Trinity hoppers coming out the Columbia River Gorge at Vancouver, WA in the early 90's. Those were good times. Unfortunately those solid green trains disappeared shortly after the brown "earthworms" became common in the late 90's.

Ted Curphey
Ontario, OR



Date: 06/23/24 06:39
Re: 1991 BN Grain between Wolf Creek and Cascade, Montana
Author: Trainmanaustin

Those are some amazing shots. I have made that drive from Helena to Great Falls multiple times and it is a very scenic area. Too bad that these scenes even with modern day Orange and Brown will more than likely never become a reality.

Posted from iPhone



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