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Entries in Montana Rail Link (11)


Alberton Gorge closes to float traffic as derailment cleanup continues

Photo by Jen Johnson via KPAX TV(SUPERIOR)- State officials have closed the popular Alberton Gorge on the Lower Clark Fork River to float traffic to prevent conflicts with cleanup of a train derailment. 

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks had closed that section of the river after 19-cars from a Montana Rail Link train derailed near Superior. The crash sent three cars with Boeing airplane components headed for Seattle into the river, including partial aircraft fuselages. There are concerns about floaters getting in the way of cleanup efforts. 

The derailment is near Fish Creek Road, so the river remains closed, including the FWP access points at St. John's, Cyr Bridge, Triple Bridge, Ralph's Takeout and Tarkio. The river is expected to remain closed until the cleanup is finished. 


Man dies after being struck by train near Missoula

(MISSOULA)- Missoula County authorities say an unidentified man is dead after being struck by a train in East Missoula.

KPAX TV reports the accident happened around 8 p.m. near Deer Creek Road. That's in the vicinity of the shooting range at that location. Missoula County Sheriff's deputies are still investigating, but say the victim was apparently on the tracks, and didn't move to get clear when a train was approaching. 

It was expected that Montana Rail Link freight traffic will be delayed for some time while the accident is cleared. 


MRL cleans up Helena derailment

KXLH TV photo(HELENA)- Crews are still cleaning up from a 13-car train derailment near Helena. 

Montana Rail Link says an eastbound train jumped the tracks, hitting another 10-cars that were parked near the accident scene. 

No one was injured. 

Read more on the story from


Montana Rail Link to receive national award in April 

Dennis Bragg photo(MISSOULA)- Officials from Montana Rail Link will be on the road to Atlanta next month, where they will accept the award for Regional Railroad of the Year from Railway Age magazine. 

The venerable magazine, which has been in publication for more than 150-years, selected MRL last week for its use of "cutting edge technologies and best practices".

Railway Age Editor-in-Chief William Vantuono praised the company for the changes it's incorporated since launching in 1987, noting MRL has been able to reduce the size of its rolling stock even as the company has handled an increase in traffic over the past several years with "environmental and economic benefits" as a result. 

Vantuono says MRL has also done a good job of working closely with Burlington Northern Santa Fe as a "Class 1" partner that utilities MRL lines on a regular basis. 

Montana Rail Link has 950-miles of right-of-way through Montana and Idaho, shipping more than 50-million gross tons per mile on it's network in 2011.

MRL's award will be presented during the American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association's annual meeting in Atlanta on April 30th. 


Coal train issue comes to Bozeman

(BOZEMAN)- The growing debate of increased coal train traffic in Montana comes to the Bozeman City Commission this week.

Environmental groups in Montana and elsewhere in the Northwest are stepping up their opposition to increased coal shipping on the region's rail lines as Asian markets for coal mined in Eastern Montana and Northern Montana expand. The issue has gotten increased attention this year as companies develop proposals to open new coal shipping ports in Washington and Oregon. 

Missoula and Helena have already debated problems such as coal dust, noise, and safety at railroad crossings from the increased shipments through the state. By contrast, Yellowstone County Commissioners went on record supporting the shipments. 

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports representatives from Montana Rail Link are scheduled to make a presentation to the city commission at Monday night's meeting, and the Bozeman Community Coal Action Group has been working to get people to show up at the session.