Friday, May 28, 2010

Empire Builder - Glacier Mountain National Park

And then we came up to the part of the trip that I was waiting for, Glacier Mountain National Park. I have seen pictures of it and couldn't wait. The guy that was running part of the lounge car said that I wouldn't have enough memory in my camera and he was pretty close to being correct.

This is one of the tourist spots near the park.

I wish I knew the names of some of the peaks, but that's okay I guess. Being from Michigan and having never really travelled out west (except when I was young but I don't really remember it much), I've never really seen mountains and I was amazed.

One of the lower mountains.

A cliff face.

A shot of one of the mountains in front of a lake.

Another one of the mountains. I was still amazed I could see snow on them, but I guess they are pretty high up and it is still cold up there. Makes me wish I was staying here instead of passing through because I imagine there are some pretty impressive waterfalls.

A shot of the track winding into the woods. One of the other nice things about travelling by train is that it is built through some pretty wild area for the most part. So you get to see some scenery that you wouldn't normally get to see by car.

A shot of the Empire Builder as it heads around a bend. This is one of the shots I was waiting for. For as big as a train is, it's amazing how insignificant it looks compared to some parts of nature.

A shot of the moutains towering over a valley.

I kind of liked this mountain because it looked like a pyramid.

Another mountain.

Another shot of the Empire Builder and a pass. The tracks through the mountains were pretty windy, so I had lots of opportunities for shots like this. Because of this, the train moved fairly slowly through the park and also there were trains heading the other way and that limits the speed they can go. So I guess it moved slower than normal.

One of the streams going through the park. Again, I'm not terribly sure what body of water this was. If I had my proper GPS, I could have found out.

A bridge off in the distance and a river.

A closeup of that shot.

An old Great Northern diesel engine.

The Walton Hotel.

Another shot of mountains towering over a valley.

Another stream. It was getting later, so I had to bump up the film speed a bit.

This was one of those shots of being at the right place at the right time.

The moon coming over a couple hills. I think we were still in the park at this time.

Another river.

As we were leaving the park.

Empire Builder - Part 4 - Middle Montana

These are some shots of Middle Montana as we were approaching Glacier Mountain National Park.

This is Camp Disappointment, the northernmost point that Lewis and Clark came when they were exploring America. Many of the train routes out west follow their trail and also many of the trails that the settlers used.

A shot of the mountains off in the distance.

I liked this shot because of the moon up at the top.

This is as we are passing over one of the tressels. This was one of the highest tressels we passed over. I kind of liked this picture because of the way the shadow was hitting the ground.

Shelby, Montana

This is the station at Shelby Montana. The train was a little ahead of schedule so this was a longer stop than normal.

This is the train station in Shelby. To the left is the train.

This is Shelby.

Another shot of the train.

Some Diesels hanging around the train yard.

This was kind of neat, it is a Nash Statesman.

The Empire Builder - Part 3 - Eastern Montana

These are some pictures of Eastern Montana. Again, I apologize for the quality as they are taken from the train.

I believe this is the near the end of the Missouri River.

This is also the Missouri River.

The nice thing about Montana is that it was finally starting to look like the west as I imagined.

This is Malta, Montana.

The train station in Malta.

One of the things I noticed about Montana was the number of cows. So for dinner that night I had steak.

This was the station at Harve. It is also one of the main facilities for the Burlington National Santa Fe Railroad in Montana. The railroad companies actually still own the lines and Amtrak leases the lines. One of the nice things about these lines is the amount of history on them, the BNSF is a combination of many old railroad companies.

This was the Harve station. Many of the stations had old pieces of train of equipment.

More mountainous looking spots. Anyways, I am happy to have seen Montana.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Wolf Point, Montana

The station at the eastern end of Montana is Wolf Point. There's not alot to say about this.

I kind of like the sign for the station.

the town has its own flag.

A close up of the sign.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Empire Builder - Part 2 - North Dakota

The next morning found me awaking in North Dakota. So we passed through Western Minnesota and parts of Eastern North Dakota during the night. If what I saw of North Dakota was any indication, it was probably a good thing. Anyways...

The first place where I had enough light to take pictures was as we were passing through Devil's Lake, North Dakota. This is a picture of the station.

This was one of the trains from the station.

I forget what station this was, but it was one of the longer stop stations and it gave me a chance to take a picture of the train in the daylight. the guy in the white shirt pointing up was the Car Handler and he was pretty awesome.

One thing that North Dakota had alot of was cows.

Apparently it also has alot of oil.

As we got towards Western North Dakota, I started to see alot of formations like this and they were pretty neat. I may post some more pictures later.

As I was looking out the window, I saw these cows in a nice line and it was odd, so I took a picture of it.

The Empire Builder used to be run by Great Northern before they got absorbed by other companies and also before Amtrak pretty much took over passenger service in the US. This is one of the steam locomotives they used to use. This was at the Williston station (or maybe Stanley). This was pretty much the last point in North Dakota.

Montana is next.