Sunday, August 23, 2015

UPDATE Good News for Milwaukee Roads Northen Montana Division 2015

Per the Great Falls Tribune:

Judith River flooding warps trestle, tracks

Flooding damage to two bridges on the Central Montana Rail line caused it to be shut down between Denton and Moccasin on Wednesday, hampering grain shipments between elevators along that line.
Carla Allen, general manager of Central Montana Rail, said the worst damage was on a trestle bridge over the Judith River near Ware, northwest of Lewistown.
"The channel undercut a trestle there, and unfortunately it shifted," Allen said. "So we have considerable damage to that structure."
There also is some damage to another bridge over the Judith near Ross Fork, Allen said.
She said the damage was discovered Tuesday, and the rail company had to cancel two grain shipments as of Thursday afternoon. Allen did not know the extent of the damage or what needs to be done to repair it. She said she probably will know more of that information by next week.
A structural engineer took a look at the trestle, as did people from the Montana Department of Transportation and the Fergus County Commission. Allen said a representative from U.S. Rep. Denny Rehberg's office also inspected the damage.
The damage also presented a bump in the road for the Charlie Russell Chew-Choo Dinner Train, which is unable to operate because of the line's closure.
Lindsay Berg, an administrative assistant for the Lewistown Chamber of Commerce who handles booking for the train, said operations are on hold until other options are clearer.
She said one option may be to move the railcars to Denton and operate the Chew Choo from the other end of the track, which would take about 30 miles off the total trip.
The Montana Newspaper Association, which was set to use the train for its 126th annual convention next weekend in Lewistown, canceled that part of its itinerary.

Tribune Staff Writer Donna Evaro contributed to this report.

I truly hope that for the employees and everyone involved in this central Montana short line railroad that the funds are available to repair the Judith River Trestle. This line is a living history to the Milwaukee Roads Northern Montana Division, and a absolutely beautiful train ride through the heart of Montana. The loss of this line would be a loss for all of us.


Per the Great Falls Tribune:

Last spring's flooding seriously damaged the Judith River Trestle, a 2,000-feet long rail bridge connecting the nonprofit Central Montana Rail with BNSF's mainline.Snowy Mountain Development Corporation — an economic development organization serving a six-county area of central Montana — estimates that the damage to the Judith River Trestle costs the region about $900,000 in lost business and higher transportation expenditures annually.However, a recently completed engineering report offers hope that the Judith River Trestle could be repaired by year's end.

Update July 2015 

I was fortunate to visit the trestle several weeks ago, of course as you may know the trestle underwent repairs last year, (see satellite view below) What a beautiful location, and I'm so happy this was repaired and preserved for future generations.


  1. I live in Lewistown MT and have knowledge of this trestle, as of yet there has been no action on repairing the trestle that is visable, I am hopeful that this will be repaired, my Grandad worked on the Milwaukee Road in Lewistown. I am gathering up G Scale RR stuff myself to hopefully someday begin modeling of the lost Railroads of my area. I very much enjoy your site, keep up the great work. Thank you, bigskyguyofmt@facebook

  2. side note to my post on the trestle on the Judith River. The Charlie Russel Chew Choo did move its train towards the Denton side of the remaining Milwaukee Railroad line and continues to run its dinner train. bigskyofmt@facebook

  3. This is great stuff. These tracks are getting repaired and the work I'm doing here should help me repair some of the fire damage to my normal home in Honolulu.