Friday, January 31, 2014

Separating East from West


Among the engineering marvels of the Western Extension were these: the many substations that dotted the Rocky Mountain division in Montana and Idaho and then the Coast Division in Washington.  Here the old mainline climbs and curves its way to the crest of the Belt Mountains with the outline of the Substation at Loweth looming on the horizon.  Mountains separated this country's east from the west, and the Resourceful Railroad crossed the first of them here. 

The grade to the top is as grueling today as it was decades ago: 1.4%.  How easy it is to imagine boxcabs lugging hard at the compound curve as they work their way westbound.

2 comments:

jim, some guy in iowa said...

geez, what that picture would be with an orange and black locomotive tugging a freight through the cut and up toward the substation. Awfully good as it is. I was out in that general direction a few years ago and my biggest regret was not even *thinking* of looking up some of the MILW history

LinesWest said...

Thanks Jim, I wish I had been able to see it in action, but am sure happy I spent some time with it regardless when I had the chance. Hope you can get back that way sometime soon.