December 19 has recently past, another day of the year that has come and gone as quickly as all the others. It marks a significant day for the Milwaukee Road, however. On December 19, the Road filed for its final bankruptcy, just before the holidays in 1977. 35 years ago now. Just like the days, the years seem to slip by too quickly as well.
This is Ryegate, MT - 1306 miles from Chicago's Union Station. Throughout the past year the wanderings posted on this blog have slowly moved across the state of Montana from Terry, at MP 1080, to the small little town of Ryegate. Elevator row still stands here, and it's not hard to imagine a mainline of heavy rail running through the grasses that lie just to their north. The picture looks west toward the next division on the Milwaukee's Lines West: the Rocky Mountain Division. The next Milwaukee stop made on these pages will be Harlowton itself where the famous electric locomotives roamed.
Extensive attention has always been lavished upon the Rocky Mountain Division, and rightly so. By contrast, however, the part of the country through which we've been travelling went relatively unnoticed. It's a quiet country out here with beautiful skies and wonderful flat lands that traverse the horizons. These lands east of Harlowton have amazing histories in their own right, and the scars left by the Milwaukee Road are no less fascinating nor tragic.
Harlowton itself is a natural point to break away from our travels west for just a brief period. Until we arrive back on Milwaukee right of way, enjoy the pictures and stories of other lines and other times. Harlowton will be right where it should be when we get back to the Resourceful Road's pacific extension.
Lost Rail is pleased to share a first publication. This is a collection of photographs taken over the course of a year spent in the Palouse. The photos are broken into the distinct and beautiful four seasons of the country. Photos are sourced from the pages of this blog as well as others taken around the Palouse and Inland Empire of Washington State.