With the Montana Rail Link scheduled to get 16 new SD70ACe's this summer it was decided to make a few last winter trips to see the older SD's in action on Mullan Pass. The new units are expected to be used primarily in helper service and on the ML and LM trains.
The first trip to Mullan Pass was the weekend of Feb 5-6, 2005 with Robert Gatchel. We were to be rewarded with many of the older SD45's working in the helper sets and on the ML and LM as well as added power on BNSF freights. The weather was off and on sunshine with a bit of snow on Sunday morning. The highlight was the LM on Sunday morning 2-6 with 4 SD45's and an F45. On the drive home an added bonus was the MRL Gas Local with another SD45 leading.
The second trip was with Bret Gray and Jonathan Glanville on the weekend of Feb 19-20, 2005. It was pretty much the same as the earlier trip but there were more MRL SD40's in the helper sets this time. Weather was pretty much the same too with off and on sunshine and snow Sunday morning. Surprising on both trips was how little snow there was in the mountains. This time of year there should have been a lot more. Highlights of this trip would have to be the sunset shots at Helena, MT Saturday evening but the ML chase from Elliston to Blossburg was pretty nice too on Saturday.
I was glad to be able to experience MRL trains and power at Blossburg coming out of Mullan Tunnel in the wintertime. I had never seen any photos of the tunnel with snow on the ground so this was a first for me and very much enjoyed.
And now on to the Gallery....