Magazines » Pacific RailNews - August 1992 » Page 56

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August 1992 - Page 56

Wyoming's Powder River Basin may possibly be the last great American rail frontier. In the 1970's, the Burlington Northern and Chicago and North Western Railroads laid trackage into the new mines that were being opened to harvest the low sulfur coal that lies buried under forty percent of the state. Since then, growing numbers of coal trains have been rolling out of the Powder River Basin, headed for distribution around the world. Pentrex captures the excitement as these heavy trains move out of the Basin. Helper engines are required to get the loaded trains over White Tail Hill and the north end of the Basin. We'll climb aboard a set of helpers as they give a 14,000-ton train a shove up the mountain. You'll see new General Electric G40-8 locomotives, painted in a darker yellow paint scheme, as they work the coal trains of the Chicago and North Western. Burlington Northern coal trains are headed by a great mix of newer and older generation locomotives. Heavily ballasted mainline now runs where no rail road existed twenty years earlier. The 136-pound rail is laid on concrete ties to support the weight of train after heavy train. Wyoming's wide open spaces provide a dra matic and ever-changing backdrop as we witness the non stop action of Powder River Basin Coal Trains. PEN-PRB 90 Minutes $39.95

Across Marias Pass
Stretched against the stunning backdrop of Glacier National Park, Burlington Northern's transcontinental mainline climbs up and over the rugged Rocky Mountains. One scenic splendor after another unfolds as long freight trains struggle up the mountain pass. The grandeur of the mountains is almost overwhelming as we explore the line from Whitefish, Montana to points east of Browning. You'll see trains snake their way through the tunnels and along the banks of the wild, middle fork of the Flathead River. Train after train rumbles through forests of aspen and larch decked out in glorious fall colors. After crossing over the high bridges and through the famous snow sheds, the trains work hard up the pass to crest the summit. Marias Pass takes on a different look on the east slope. Wild, desolate country with ever-present mountains marks the high plateau. You'll see trains cross over Two Medicine Bridge and struggle upgrade through Grizzley. The solitude of Spotted Robe is broken as you watch a heavy grain train grind its way up the grade. Burlington Northern and Mother Nature combine to make this stretch ofrailroad a place to be visited time and time again. No matter how often you've been here before, you won't want to miss this vision of magnificent Marias Pass. PEN-MARIAS 90 Minutes $39.95

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