Railroads of Montana
and the Pacific Northwest
Photography by Dale Jones

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Milwaukee Road Dawson, MT November 10, 1964           Thompson Falls Dam Construction #2 - 1914                   Billings  Street Car - 28th Street  - 1910's   

        
List of Railroads that Operated in Montana

This page contains a list of railroads that operated in Montana.
As with any list - this is in no way the "complete" comprehensive
directory of all railroads that ever ran in the Big Sky State

They are arranged by the city or area of Montana. Much is not known about many of these
obscure rail enterprises, but hopefully the mention of them here can spur on additional research

If you have any additions you would like for me to include 
drop me a note in the form at the bottom of the page

Area Covered

Railroad Name

Dispositions

Start  of Operation

End  of Operation

Miles of Track

Main Lines

Arlee

Heron Lumber Company

Unknown

1925

1933

20

 

Arlee

Donlan Company

Unknown

1920

1928

10

 

Bigfork

W. H. Best

Unknown

1937

1947

28

 

Billings Billings Traction Company Abandoned 1910 1917 6 Billings - Battery Cars

Billings

Billings & Central MT Railway.

Sold to Northern Pacific Railway

12/1/1913

9/30/1921

12.8

Billings to Shepherd

Billings

Rocky Fork & Cooke Railway

Sold to & Merged with
NP Railway

3/15/1890

4/21/1898

44.37

Laurel to Red Lodge

Bonner

Western Lumber Company

Unknown

1912

1928

10

 

Bonner

Big Blackfoot Midland Railroad

Unknown

1903

1915

30

 

Bonner

Big Blackfoot Milling Company

Unknown

1900

1915

27

 

Bonner

Anaconda Copper Mining Company.

Unknown

1904

1949

35

 

Bozeman

The Camp Creek Railway

Sold to Northern Pacific Railway

1/23/1912

6/22/1914

15.15

Manhattan to Anceny

Bozeman

Gallatin Valley Railway

Sold to Milwaukee Road

11/1/1910

12/31/1918

73.533

Bozeman to Three Forks

Butte Butte Electric Railway
Butte City Street Railroad
Abandoned 1886 1937 23  

Butte

Montana Railway

Sold to Northern Pacific Railway

8/18/1884

1908

14.83

Stuart to Anaconda

Butte

Rarus Railway

In Operation

5/1/1985

Operating

26

Butte to Anaconda

Butte

Montana Western Railway

In Operation

9/15/1986

Operating

51.59

Butte to Garrison

Butte

Montana Union Railway

Merged into Northern Pacific Railway

1886

10/31/1898

72.22

Butte City to Garrison

Butte

Montana Southwestern Railway

Abandoned

1931

1933

38

Divide to Wise River (Allentown) & Coolidge

Butte

Gaylord & Ruby Valley Railway

Sold to Northern Pacific Railway

1898

2/28/1899

21.9

Renovo to Twin Bridges

Butte

Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railway

Became Rarus Railroad

1/1/1894

4/27/1985

46.78

Butte to Anaconda

Central Montana

The Montana Central Ry

Sold to Great Northern Ry.

11/25/1887

6/30/1907

269.05

Great Falls to Butte City

Central Montana

White Sulpher Springs & Yellowstone Park Railway

Ceased with MILW Route Abandonment

1/1/1911

6/15/1980

19.292

Dorsey to White Sulpher Springs

Central Montana

Montana RR Co

Merged with Milwaukee Road

8/1/1897

1/15/1910

160.49

Lombard to Lewistown

Central MT

Central MT Rail, Inc

In Operation

3/19/1985

Operating

87

Moccasin to Geraldine

Central US to NW

Milwaukee Road

Abandoned

1/14/1928

2/29/1980

10,540

Chicago, Milwaukee to Seattle

Central US to NW & Texas

Burlington Northern Railroad

Became BNSF Ry

3/2/1970

9/1995

21,776

Chicago to St. Louis, Galveston, Denver, Seattle & Portland

Columbia Falls

F. H. Stoltze Land & Lumber Company

Unknown

1933

1946

20

 

Columbia Falls

State Lumber Company

Unknown

1913

1933

20

 

Columbia Falls

A. O. Westburg Lumber Co.

Unknown

1915

1932

3

 

Columbia Falls

Columbia Lumber Company

Unknown

1917

1917

1

 

Dayton

American Timber Company

Unknown

1938

1940

10

 

Dayton

Hans Larson

Unknown

1934

?

6

 

DeBorgia

Mann Lumber Company

Unknown

1908

1925

11

 

Eureka

Eureka Lumber Company

Unknown

1915

1922

12

 

Eureka

P. L. Howe Lumber Mills

Unknown

1919

1922

9

 

Eureka

Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Company

Unknown

1922

1926

9

 

Fortine

Lincoln Logging & Lumber Company

Unknown

1911

1918

9

 

Gardener

Rocky Mountain Railroad Company of Montana

Sold to & Merged into NP Railway

9/22/1883

4/21/1898

51.70

Livingston to Cinnabar

Glendive

Missouri River Railway

Sold to Northern Pacific Railway

8/1/1912

6/20/1914

54.81

Glendive to Sidney

Great Falls Great Falls Street Railway Abandoned June 1890 1931 18.67  

Great Falls

The Great Falls & Canada Railway

Sold to Montana & Great Northern Ry.

10/2/1890

7/31/1901

134

Great Falls to Sweet Grass

Great Falls

Great Falls & Teton County Railway

Sold to Great Northern Railway

12/22/1913

12/31/1928

42.97

Power to Bynum

Helena

Helens & Jefferson County Railroad

Merged with NP Ry

12/19/1883

4/21/1898

20.17

Jefferson Jct. to Wickes

Helena Helena Street Railway Abandoned 3/18/1886 1927 20?  

Helena

Helena, Boulder & Butte Railroad

Consolidated into NP & MT RR

12/1/1887

9/7/1888

30.06

Jefferson to Calvin

Helena

Helena & Northern Railroad

Consolidated into NP & MT RR

11/20/1887

9/7/1888

12.58

Clough Jct. to Marysville

Helena

Casey Mining & Equipment Company

Unknown

1951

1951

8

 

Helena

Helena & Red Mountain Railroad

Sold to Northern Pacific Railway

12/15/1886

12/15/1899

16.37

Helena to Rimini

Jessup

Jessup Milling Company

Unknown

1911

1917

2

 

Kalispell

Isaacs Lumber & Lath Company

Unknown

1928

1929

0

 

Kalispell

Enterprise Lumber Company

Unknown

1913

1913

2

 

Kalispell

Empire Lumber Company

Unknown

1926

1930

3

 

Libby

J. Neils Lumber Company

Unknown

1918

1956

25

 

Libby

Libby Lumber Company

Unknown

1911

1918

23

 

Libby

Burlington Lumber Company

Unknown

1912

1912?

6

 

Libby

Dawson Lumber Company

Unknown

1910

1911

8

 

Livingston

Yellowstone Park Railway

Abandoned

12/1/1898

1916

11.2

Brisin to Trail Creek

Livingston

The Shields River Valley Railway

Sold to & Merged into NP Railway

1901

6/23/1914

23

Mission to Wilsall

Missoula

Anaconda Copper Mining Company

Abandoned

1904

1949

35

Bonner, Butte, Fife, McNamara Landing, Trout Creek

Missoula Missoula Street Railway Abandoned 3/4/1889 1/24/1932 11 to 17  

Missoula

Northern Pacific & Montana Railroad

Sold to Northern Pacific Railway

9/7/1888

8/31/1896

360.04

Logan to Butte City & DeSmet to Idaho line

Missoula

The Drummond & Philipsburg Railroad

Consolidated into NP & MT RR

9/15/1887

9/7/1888

25.80

Drummond to Philipsburg

Missoula

Big Blackfoot Railway

Merged with MILW Ry

7/1/1913

12/31/1916

11.47

Bonner Jct. to Blackfoot Jct

Missoula - South

The Missoula & Bitter Root Valley Railroad

Consolidated into NP & MT RR

6/1/1888

9/7/1888

50.85

Missoula to Grantsdale

North East Montana

Montana Eastern Railway

Sold to Great Northern Ry.

12/15/1913

12/13/1928

108.27

Snowden to Watford & Richey

Northeast MT

Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie Railway

Operated under the Soo Line Ry

1915

1/1/1961

2,135

Chicago, Duluth & St. Paul to Whitehall

Montana

Great Northern Railway

Merged with BN RR

9/18/1889

3/2/1970

7,768

Duluth & St. Paul to Seattle & Vancouver

Plains

Livingston & Cottrell

Unknown

1938

1939

14

 

Red Lodge

Montana, Wyoming & Southern Railroad

Abandoned

9/1/1909

8/2/1953

25.199

Bridger to Washoe

Ronan

Polleys Lumber Company

Unknown

1911

1934

11

 

Shelby

The Montana Western Railway

Abandoned

12/31/1909

12/31/1969

20.20

Conrad to Valier

Somers

Somers Lumber Company

Unknown

1914

1942

47

 

Somers

John O'Brian Lumber Company

Unknown

1901

1910

12

 

St. Regis

Montana Logging Company

Unknown

1918

1943

15

 

Trout Creek

Tuscar Lumber Company

Unknown

1917

1918

0

 

Troy

Sandpoint Lumber & Pole Company

Unknown

1922

1924

0

 

Twin Bridges

Sage Lumber Company

Unknown

1950

1959

1

 

Victor

Harper Logging Company

Unknown

1927

1938

12

 

Victor

E. O. Everson

Unknown

1940

1947

5

 

Warland

Baird- Harper Lumber Company

Unknown

1910

1924

18

 

Warland

Warland Lumber Company

Unknown

1924

1927

20

 

West Yellowstone

W. N. Womack

Unknown

1938

1940

4

 

Western MT- Kalispell

Montana & Great Northern Railway

Merged with Great Northern Railway

8/1/1901

6/30/1907

185.51

Great Falls to Sweet Grass & Jennings to Columbia Falls

Whitefish

Hutcheson (Brothers) Lumber Company

Unknown

1909

1928

2

 

Whitehall

Pyfer's Sawmill

Unknown

1951

1951

15

 

Montana

Northern Pacific Railway

Merged with BN Inc.

8/18/1896

3/2/1970

6,404.73

Duluth & St. Paul to Portland

Montana

Montana Rail Link, Inc

In Operation

10/31/1987

Operating

600.1

Huntley to Helena & Phosphate to Sandpoint

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