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Photographer: Barry Swackhamer
Taken: August 17, 2019
Caption: The History of Central Montana Railroads Marker, panel 2
Additional Description: Captions: (top left) The Milwaukee Road freight train shown in the above picture originated in Great Falls. It i shown crossing over the county road at Hoosac, 27 miles west of Lewistown on February 10, 1980. The train typically obtained a fresh crew in Lewiston and then proceeded to the main line at Harlowton. In just a little over a month after this picture was taken the final Milwaukee trains ended operations. Central Montana Railway now operates grain trains and the Charlie Russell Chew Choo dinner trains over this same trail.; (four photographs on the right side, top to bottom) The above photo shows the BNSF 'Lewistown Local' in 1997. The train arrived the previous day, performed its work around town, and then departed for Great Falls. This was a relatively small train, consisting of 4 locomotives, a few cars of wood chips, loads of scrap steel, grain cars and a caboose. However, it was not uncommon for large 52 car grain trains, grossing nearly 7,000 tons, to run out of Lewiston. The train traveled through town on the tracks that are now a part of the Lewistown Trail System.; The above photo shows a Central Montana Railway (CMR) freight train crossing the 101 year-old Sage Creek trestle on September, 23, 2012. The trestle is one of five massive structures between Lewistown and Great Falls on the former Milwaukee line. In addition, the line also included six tunnels. The Charlie Russel Chew Choo dinner train currently passes through the 2,063 foot Sage Creek Tunnel and crosses 3 of the trestles.; The photo above shows the Water Street Wig-Wag's in Lewistown on September 12, 2002. Their swinging pendulums, flashing lights, and ringing bell warn motorists of BNSF's 'Lewistown Local' approach. In addition, the locomotive's whistle and bell would also add to the ample warnings. Trains traveled through 63 street and alley crossings in Lewistown including 6 with Wig Wags. The Lewistown Trail System now crosses Water Street quietly, and the 2 original Wig Wags shown above have been preserved at this site as a remembrance of the many Lewistown street crossings over the years.; The above photo shows the Charlie Russel Chew Choo dinner train descending Arrow Creek Hill on May 24, 2004. This trip was chartered by rail fans. Square Butte, a well-known central Montana landmark appeared in the distance. The Charlie
Russell Chew Choo was established in 1994 and operated with just 2 older cars. Two years later the train was upgraded with 5 modern cars. The regular scheduled run cover 56 miles and takes about 3 1/2 hours. The train made 20 runs in 2015.
Submitted: December 13, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
Database Locator Identification Number: p505108
File Size: 3.482 Megabytes
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