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Showing posts from June, 2012

In the Shadows of the NP

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Location: MP 1164    Forsyth, MT 

With the exception of just a little rail left within the limits of Miles City, the journey west has been marked with dirt.  Often simply a rise in the ground, or a brace of tire tracks like those here on the north shore of Yellowstone River.  Across the river is Forsyth, MT, but it is here on the relatively quiet north shore the remnants of the Milwaukee have left the now recognizable and sprawling signature.

The linked map reveals the situation well:  Forsyth.  The city is nestled nicely south of the river with I-94 running in close proximity.  Also present are the significant yards of the old NP, still in use today.  The Milwaukee's travels west were never far removed from the NP, at least through the western states.  From the current end of track at Terry to Forsyth, they are particularly close, often within earshot of one another.  Forsyth, however, marks the beginning of the Milwaukee's more northerly trip into central Montana while th…

The Voice that Calls

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Location:  West of Sheffield, MT
MP 1142

There are so many ways to look backwards through the lens of time.  As I write this in 2012, I look back through almost ten years to this small point out on the big plains of Montana.  The year was 2003 and there was a voice that had called me out here, to pursue something bigger than myself.  Perhaps it is strange, but the Lord has always been quite willing to speak and walk with me through history and trains. 

As I stood here in 2003, the look backwards was to 1980 when some of the last trains rolled this way.    The world was a different place then, back when the trestle piers that peak just above the tall grasses supported America's final transcontinental.  Or perhaps the look back went even further to the early 60s when the last passenger trains bound for Seattle passed this way.  Today's Empire Builder captures some of the feel of the Montana Plains at speed, but I can only imagine that the Hiawathas and Columbians were an expe…