Motorcars, Speeders and Railcars

By Wayne Parsons

Big Sky Adventure II

June 10th to 16th 2008

Excursion Coordinator: Bill Taylor

Following the morning safety meeting, we take a very cold tour of the round house and yard.  In addition to their own operations here, RARUS leases out some of the stalls to a car repair company.  The stall on the far left (above) is the site of a local museum; space provided rent free by RARUS.  The entire wooden building is in good shape.

This is the coldest morning I've every spent on the rails.  And because of the June 10th date, all my wool clothes are at home!
This was the marshalling yard for the smelter in the heyday of Anaconda.  A spur ascended the hill to the smelter on the right, and a street railway delivered workers.
Meet coordinator Bill Taylor has correctly judged the weather and rail conditions deciding that we can safely run this morning.  He had several back-up plans, and time lines, that included bussing us to Butte for lunch.
Approaching Butte, MT, the group motors past a UP train.  The snow has stopped, but the thermometer still reads 33 degrees.

We board a bus for lunch, and a chance to warm up, at the old Northern Pacific depot.  Following a loving restoration by Janel and Tom Madrazo, the two story building is now known as The Front Street Station, and serves as a venue for special occasions such as weddings.  Our meal is a tasty traditional Cornish miners meat and potato pie.

Rest stop on the Butte, Anaconda & Pacific Railway at MP 11.2.  The BNSF (Northern Pacific) tracks pass under the center span.  The old Chicago, Milwaukee, & St. Paul grade passes through the cut under the far span.
Approaching Anaconda, the 500 foot tall smoke stack is all that remains of the copper smelter.

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