Since its founding in October 1987, the Montana Rail Link has plied the rails laid down by the Northern Pacific in the Big Sky country of Montana. It has served as a bridge line for the Burlington Northern and later BNSF between Jones Junction, Montana and Sandpoint, Idaho. In addition to handling main line freight, MRL has provided rail service to many local customers along its 900 plus miles of track utilizing several branch lines.
In January 2022, news of the MRL reaching an agreement with BNSF to end its lease brought many railfans out to Montana to see their beloved regional railroad one last time, not knowing exactly when the end would come. We made several trips in 2022 and early 2023 to capture some of the hot spots at various times of the year and are proud to present this four-part series showcasing Montana Rail Link in quite likely its last years of operation.
Part 2 covers MRL’s army of EMD SD70ACe’s in helper service shoving BNSF trains over Mullan Pass. Up to three sets of helpers, made up of four or five engines, assist heavy trains over the pass. The sight and sound of big two-stroke EMD’s battling the 2.2% mountain grade is what this show is all about! This is the greatest showcase of MRL power preserved here for you to enjoy!
This series was created to preserve the memory of this amazing regional railroad. Farewell MRL!
1 Hour 57 Minutes
WIDESCREEN DVD NTSC No Region Code
1080i Hi-Definition Blu-ray BD-R
May be viewed with or without narration
This program was shot in 2022 and early 2023.
Additional footage by Christian Schultz
Additional drone footage by Dan Scheidell