A RAILFANNING and MODEL RAILROADING site.
HIGHLIGHTING THE MONTANA RAIL LINK AND BURLINGTON NORTHERN RAILROADS.

THE 3RD SUB (My Favorite) IS THE MOUNTAIN CROSSING WEST FROM HELENA TO MISSOULA MONTANA OVER THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE: THE FAMOUS MULLAN PASS GRADE!
The Other highlights of MRL's route are the 4th Sub, which is the scenic gorge line west of Missoula. The 10th shortcuts over Evaro Hill. The 2nd crosses the plains and Bozeman pass, then navigates the Missouri River canyon and Winston Hill east of Helena.

By the way, Don't forget to refresh your browser. We update often!

Along with the likes of Tehachapi, Donner, Horse Shoe Curve, Cajon, Marias and Sand Patch, we can sum up the MULLAN PASS line as "One of the GREAT mountain railroads of America."

< Eastbound MRL exits the summit tunnel dropping down hill from Blossburg.

For sheer railfanning excitement, it may beat out all of the rest. Mullan pass boasts the heaviest tonnage trains being yanked up a very steep grade, with repeated horse shoe curves, trestles and the smokiest tunnel of them all, topping out well over a mile-high, at Blossburg Summit. (Video clip coming soon.) Then you add all the helpers and pushers that sometimes double and triple onto trains, the nearly 2 decade long run of SD45s and other older brute-force diesels reigning over the railroad, and the cool new ACEs shoving the tonnage over the hill, and you have a railroad with character on top of scenic excitement. SO, with such inspirational railroading action, we are re-creating the line on what we hope will be a World-Class N-scale model railroad.

An eastbound decends past summer flowers at Tobin with an SD45-2 leading some BN power.
Maintaining the fleet back in the mid-nineties. The helpers got dirty in the tunnel.

Westbound passenger special on Greenhorn Trestle.

The "THIRD SUB CLUB" is a home layout, dedicated to maintaining the history of the Montana Rail Link & Burlington Northern (and Northern Pacific) railroads and their crossings of the continental divide in Montana. My N-scale empire will depict almost all of the best features of the line between Helena and Missoula Montana, with the emphasis on the Mullan Pass grade.

For more info about MRL there is a YAHOO Group, for fans of the Montana Rail Link

The THIRD SUB CLUB is based out of Lynnwood, Washington (Seattle) and has a 400 square foot "CREW LOUNGE", on the 2nd story of our building, (with a view of the mountains,) for visiting fans in the Seattle area. It has a few bunks and access to a full bath and kitchenette. The lounge has a video system and lots of train vids. The crew lounge will also house the dispatcher's office and a small HO scale switching layout. Down our historic spiral staircase, (from a B&O tower, but not yet installed) out of the crew lounge will be the 3rd Sub Club's 720 square foot, multi-deck model railroad layout. The layout room is now under construction...YAY! Benchwork and track should be well under way by late spring!

The plan is for gatherings for work or operating sessions two SATURDAY nights per month, and also sometimes on Monday nights as well. As membership in this new group grows, we will adapt the schedules to suit the overall group's needs. Operating sessions will happen officially at least once monthly after a monthly meeting. The construction plan calls for the layout to be built in stages that allow operation to grow as the layout does, so that it is not "all-work-and-no-play!" Crew members from out of town are welcome to stay the night in the lounge's bunkhouse. It will accomodate 3 or 4 adults, plus anyone who wishes to crash on the floor! The on-site facilities include a full bath and a small kitchenette with appliances.

Send an e-mail to the "club" founder: Will Holloway at :

mullan@ihavideo.com

The THIRD SUB CLUB is also a RAILFAN CLUB. The group tries to visit Mullan Pass at least once a year. We camp out, chase trains, photograph and enjoy what we feel is one of America's best railroading shows. We also take frequent RAILFAN SAFARIS to other western railroad meccas, like Glacier Park / Marias Pass, Stevens Pass, the Funnel, the Fraser / Thompson canyons of BC, the Oregon Cascades line, the Columbia River Gorge, Trinidad Loop, the Shasta route, the Inside Gateway and any other worthy destination that a gang of fans can cruise off to for a few days! This site is not dedicated to those locations though. For more info on the other regional rail spots, and the operations of the BNSF and UP and others in the Northwest we recommend the "Funnelfan" and "Mountain West Rail" sites. Also see the links from their sites for more western RR stuff.

Here is another Yahoo group: for Northwest Railfans.

A westbound roars upgrade across the Austin Creek Gulch over Skyline Trestle, in August of '95. This curved bridge is at the apex of a near horse-shoe curve. On the point is an SD40x, followed by an ex-Susquehanna and ex-CN&W SD45 plus an SD45-2. This lashup was typical for MRL in the early 90's.

Westbound special exits Mullan Tunnel at Blossburg Summit. Two small geeps are at the helm of this regular summer passenger special.

PHOTOS WANTED!!!!

We are going to have a photo section to highlight YOUR WORK! Since this is a Mullan Pass and MRL fan-site, in addition to the model railroad site, we should post photos from railfan people besides just me. Send us your cool Mullan Pass pictures, or MRL or Model RR pictures and we'll post 'em and show the world how awesome you are! Scan 'em and send em. Thanks.

PLEASE feel free to get in touch to head out trackside or to come visit for train night.
SITE LINKS SO FAR:

Updated FEB, 9th,'07

SCENERY PHOTOS for reference on the layout.
Construction / building photos so far.
Historic SPIRAL STAIRCASE.
About THE LAYOUT. Plans and operating scheme.
STAGING YARDS and Butte MT. Branch BARN / ANNEX
Railfan PHOTO SECTION. Send us your cool MRL / MULLAN PASS pix!!!
Railfan PHOTO SECTION 2. Send us your cool MRL / MULLAN PASS pix!!!
Railfan PHOTO SECTION 3. Send us your cool MRL / MULLAN PASS pix!!!
Railfan PHOTO SECTION 4. Send us your cool MRL / MULLAN PASS pix!!!
Railfan PHOTO SECTION 5. Send us your cool MRL / MULLAN PASS pix!!!
Railfan PHOTO SECTION 6. Send us your cool MRL / MULLAN PASS pix!!!
NEW!!! Cool new MAPS page with a widescreen map of the Mullan Pass east slope.

(Takes at least 20 seconds to load. on 28k modem will be about 2 minutes.)

NEW!!! BOTTOM DECK page of the 3 TRACKPLAN pages is up!

VERY large picture, so give some time to upload page. Trackplan is showing the BOTTOM-MOST decks of the multi deck layout. Helena through Tobin, and Missoula through Nimrod. BEST VIEWED at 1024 x 768 pixel size for your monitor. Uploaded 9/14/06

NEW!!! MIDDLE DECK page of the 3 TRACKPLAN pages is up!

VERY large picture, so give some time to upload page. Trackplan is showing the MIDDLE-MOST decks of the multi deck layout. Drummond through Bearmouth, plus all of Austin. BEST VIEWED at 1024 x 768 pixel size for your monitor. Uploaded 9/14/06

NEW!!! TOP DECK page of the 3 TRACKPLAN pages is up!

VERY large picture, so give some time to upload page. Trackplan is showing the UPPERMOST decks of the multi deck layout. Austin to Garrison, MT over the summit of the pass. BEST VIEWED at 1024 x 768 pixel size for your monitor. Updated 11/18/06

Legal Mumbo Jumbo...

This site is NOT part of the official MONTANA RAIL LINK railroad, or associated with the company or its sites. Montana Rail Link takes no responsibility for the contents or maintenance of this or any other fan sites.

This site is posted for entertainment and informational purposes only and makes no claims or offers to anyone, nor can the persons responsible for this or any other site be held accountable in any way for any actions legal or otherwise, regarding this site, the Montana Rail Link railroad, the BNSF railroad or any properties trackside or otherwise, or any activities or occurences that may happen in regards to the railroads or this site or any of the events associated with this club or site. In other words, be careful in life, and take responsibility for YOUR OWN actions. We are here to have fun, not babysit you.

The THIRD SUB CLUB and this site are maintained by IRON HORSE AMERICA - Video / Media, a producer of the finest railroad subject video programs available. IHA has several Montana programs in the works including a few on MRL and the Mullan Pass route. NO actions legal or otherwise can be brought fourth against or in regards to any activities of Iron Horse America, in any way, in regards to this site, the railroads, or any associated properties of the railroads or bordering the railroad properties.

Copyright all materials within: Iron Horse America - Video / Media. 1993-2007

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