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Just found something to model, and it's from the future!
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 Posted: Sun Oct 23rd, 2016 02:02 am
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jtrain
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Modelers model the past and present eras in railroading history, but how often does a modeler indulge into the foreseeable future?

Working out of town for a couple of weeks in Missoula has put me within striking distance of checking out the town of Kalispell, on Flathead Lake and Southwest of Glacier National Park.

In 2005 the Mission Mountain Railroad began operations in the area, shuttling freight cars from 14 businesses inside and North of Kalispell along a short branch line to the BNSF transcontinental mainline at Columbia Falls.  However, starting in about 2011, there were talks of moving several rail-served businesses in downtown Kalispell to a former gravel plant just north of Hwy 2 (the east-west road that runs to Glacier National Park).  Finally the environmental study has been completed and construction on the new site will begin as early as spring, 2017.

Here's a video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbQNQt7ulBw&feature=youtu.be

And a recent article detailing the plans and giving some clues as to how much traffic this place will receives: http://flatheadbeacon.com/2016/06/22/progress-continues-rail-park-downtown-redevelopment/

One industry will most certainly be in the park, CHS Inc.  Which sees between 350 and 450 carloads of grain shipped out of their Kalispell facility currently. While some might find the news saddening to hear that the tracks are being torn out of downtown.

I'm imagining 3-4 tracks running the length of the park that will eventually serve 10-12 industries ranging from the size of a CHS elevator down to single car lots on a team track.  For some info on the Shortline railroad, here's the article: http://flatheadbeacon.com/2012/05/31/working-the-short-line/

The main motive power seems to be from a couple of used GP units from the Burlington Northern and Union Pacific railroads and an SW1500.

Outside of the future industrial park, the railroad's main customer is Plum Creek Lumber which has facilities between Kalispell and Columbia Falls.  All track between Columbia Falls and Kalispell is leased from the BNSF, but the Mission Mountain Railroad owns another branch further west that heads north to Eureka, Montana.

I don't have pictures of my own yet (still working out that part) but here are some from railpictures.net:

http://www.railpictures.net/showphotos.php?railroad=Mission%20Mountain

That's all for now, but this seems likes something I could model easily in N or HO scale.

--James



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James W.

New Blog (permanent this time)

blackhillsrr.blogspot.com
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 Posted: Mon Oct 24th, 2016 01:14 am
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jtrain
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After sleeping on it, I decided that this would be my next project!  So today I spent researching the area and started a new blog to organize my information (and provide a platform to upload photos).  For those of you interested, blogger is free, gives unlimited photo storage, and you can link photos to Freerails when posting on threads.

I'd like to start by showing some sat images from Google Maps along with my highlighting to help people visualize what I'm talking about.  This is the City of Kalispell and the proposed "Glacier Rail Park":



And here's a closeup of the property:



This rail park will need to support 48 car grain units for the CHS Inc, which as I said will handle about 90-95% of the grain in the entire grain production in the Flathead Valley.

In addition, the park is supposed to host a team track and up to 10 industries.

Check out the new blog if you wish:

http://missionmountainrail.blogspot.com/

Thanks!

--James

Last edited on Mon Oct 24th, 2016 01:37 am by jtrain



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James W.

New Blog (permanent this time)

blackhillsrr.blogspot.com
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 Posted: Mon Oct 24th, 2016 03:28 am
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Chriss H
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Looks interesting James, looking forward to hearing more about your new addition.



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Chriss

I'm a Colorado mining district afficianado. Planning a layout in HOn3 based on the Gilpin County area.
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 Posted: Mon Oct 24th, 2016 05:11 am
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oztrainz
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Hi James,
Nice job on the blog too :2t:

it looks an interesting project with an interesting track plan.

Looking forward to see how it develops from here,



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John Garaty
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 Posted: Thu Oct 27th, 2016 03:58 am
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jtrain
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Thanks guys (sorry for being a few days late).  Look for a build log soon in the HO scale section!  Right now is all the boring R&D stuff.



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Freerails > Model Railroad Forums > Track Planning > Just found something to model, and it's from the future!
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