US Railway Travelogue – Episode 8: USRAIL008

Episode 8 is part 3 of the Portland to Chicago leg of Tim Davies’ journey across the USA on the iconic Amtrak trains – for this part of the journey, continuing on the Empire Builder train.

Map showing Amtrak’s western routes, the Empire Builder along the top. Credit: Amtrak.
Logo of the Empire Builder – as seen on one of the Dining Car Menus. Credit: Tim Davies.
Map showing route of the Empire Builder.

The episode of his US Railway Travelogue podcast begins at Havre, Montana – a 20 minute service stop – where there is a steam locomotive on display.  You’ll recognise some of these images as described in this episode.

Havre, Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Havre Station. Credit: Mitchazenia, available through CC BY-SA 4.0
Great Northern Locomotive 2584, a 4 8 4, type S-2, at Havre. Credit: Tim Davies.
Great Northern locomotive 2584, a 4 8 4 type S-2 at Havre, with the Empire Builder in the background. Credit: Tim Davies.
Watching a goods train rumble through, said to be over a mile long. Credit: Tim Davies.

From here, the train follows the course of the Milk River to Glasgow.

Agriculture, as far as the eyes can see. Credit: Tim Davies.
Prairie, big sky and hills in the far distance. Credit: Tim Davies.
Farmstead, near Havre, Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Big grain and big sky in Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Big grain and big sky in Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Yet more grain, more open space and a cluster of storage silos in the distance. Credit: Tim Davies.
Changing scenery: approaching and travelling along the Milk River, with the Autumn colours starting to show in the trees. Credit: Tim Davies.
Following the Milk River. Credit: Tim Davies.
Following the Milk River. Credit: Tim Davies.

Next stop is Malta Station.

Malta Station, Montana. Credit: Hikki Nagasaki, through Public Domain.
Malta Station, Montana. Credit: Loco Steve, through CC BY 2.0
View from the train, between Malta and Glasgow, Montana. Credit Tim Davies.
View from the train between Malta and Glasgow, Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Long term parking, nearing Glasgow! There are abandoned vehicles across Montana wherever you see signs of life! Credit: Loco Steve, through CC BY 2.0
Pulling into Glasgow Station, Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.

Next stop is Glasgow Station, Montana.

Glasgow Station, Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Glasglow Station, Montana. Credit: Hikki Nagasaki, under Public Domain.
Freight train at Glasgow, Montana, waiting for a clear ‘road’ westbound. Grain silo in background. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Empire Builder resting for a few minutes at Glasgow Station, Montana. Credit: Loco Steve, under CC BY 2.0.
Grain silos by the tracks. Credit: Tim Davies.
About 30 minutes west of Wolf Point, but we could be miles from anywhere. Credit: Tim Davies.

We next reach Wolf Point.

Wolf Point Station, Montana. Credit: Hikki Nagasaki, through Public Domain.
Wolf Point Station, Montana. Credit: Tim Davies.
Downtown Wolf Point. Credit: Tim Davies.
Everywhere you go, old cars are dumped at the bottom of the garden. Credit: Loco Steve, under CC BY 2.0
Culbertson Town View. Credit: Culbertson community website, and permission given by Kt Northington (Photographer and Town Clerk).
Fort Union Trading Post. Credit: Xerxes2004, under CC BY-SA 3.0
Around the Montana/North Dakota state line. Credit: Loco Steve, under CC BY 2.0
Around the Montana/North Dakota state line. Credit: Loco Steve, under CC BY 2.0
Rock faces 45 minutes west of Williston, North Dakota. Credit: Tim Davies.
Passing a small community in North Dakota – big sky country. Credit: Tim Davies.

We next reach Williston Station, North Dakota.

Williston Station, North Dakota. Credit: Tim Davies.
Williston Station. Credit: Prasenberg, under CC BY 3.0
Checking tickets prior to boarding at Williston Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
Dusk on 1st October 2017 from the Empire Builder train, across North Dakota. Credit: Tim Davies.
Dusk on 1st October 2017 from the Empire Builder train across North Dakota. Credit: Tim Davies.

Then onto Stanley, North Dakota.

Stanley Station, North Dakota. Credit: Mitchazenia, under CC BY-SA 4.0
Empire Builder crossing the Gassman Coulee Trestle near Minot, North Dakota. Credit: Amtrak/Jason Berg, courtesy of Amtrak Media Relations.

We now reach Minot, North Dakota, where there is a service stop.

Minot Station, North Dakota. Credit: Loco Steve, under CC BY 2.0
Feeding the Empire Builder, at Minot, North Dakota. Credit: Loco Steve, under CC BY 2.0

Between Minot and St. Paul, we pass through Rugby, Devil’s Lake and Grand Forks stations.

Rugby Station, North Dakota. Credit: Mitchazenia, under CC BY-SA 4.0
Devil’s Lake Station, North Dakota. Credit: Mitchazenia, under CC BY-SA 4.0
Grand Forks Station, North Dakota. Credit: Mitchazenia, under CC BY-SA 4.0
A wintery scene with the eastbound Empire Builder in the ‘wye’ at Grand Forks, North Dakota. Credit: Mackensen, under CC BY-SA 3.0

More stations of the night… passing through Fargo, Detroit Lakes, Staples, and St. Cloud.

Fargo Station, North Dakota. Credit: Adam Moss, under CC BY-SA 2.0
Detroit Lakes Station, North Dakota. Credit: McGhiever, under CC BY-SA 3.0
Staples Station, North Dakota. Credit: McGhiever, under CC BY-SA 4.0
St Cloud Station. Credit: Adam Moss, under CC BY-SA 2.0

We arrive in the morning at St Paul, Minnesota Station – the twin city station with Minneapolis.

St Paul Station, Minnesota. Credit: Tim Davies.
Early morning at St Paul Station. Credit: Tim Davies.
The revitalised St Paul Station, Minnesota. Credit: Tim Davies.
The revitalised St Paul Station, Minnesota. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Empire Builder waiting to leave St Paul Station. Credit: Tim Davies.

The train follows the Mississippi for 140 miles.

Messing around in boats along the mighty Mississippi near Red Wing. Credit: Tim Davies
The mighty Mississippi in Red Wing. Credit: Tim Davies.

Next stop is Red Wing Station.

Red Wing Station. Credit. Tim Davies.
Red Wing Station, Minnesota. Cars have to wait at the crossing until the train leaves. Credit: Tim Davies.

The next episode, Episode 9, takes up part 4 of the Empire Builder leg of Tim’s journey, from Red Wing to Milwaukee.  Stay tuned!

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

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