|Welcome to the BOTTOM DECKS of the Mullan Pass layout TRACKPLANS. You are looking down on the Lowest deck of the layout. The other decks are above. This represents the climb west out of Helena or east out of Missoula, after trains appear from the staging room. CLICK HERE to go back to the HOME page.|
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|The tracks enter this deck from the access portal between the staging barn and the main layout room. Trains appear on either main 1 or 2 from under an overpass, coming through the "yards". Crew changes take place in front of the stations in either Helena for westbounds or Missoula for eastbounds. Lets follow the tracks west on this level. Leaving staging trains appear from under Interstate 15's overpass and pull up to the station for a new crew. From Helena station the double track main heads west and down hill trhough some industries, to the sweeping curve into the sink at Helena Jct. Here the BN line down from Great Falls joins the main, and the wye is also used as the helper pocket for the east slope pusher sets. Coming out of the junction trains immediately start the climb towards Mullan Pass. At Tobin the tracks merge and it will be single track up to Austin. Shortly the tracks dissapear behind some trees and small hills. Hidden trackage of 2 helix loops takes themainline "through Birdseye" and will emerge on the upper (mid level really) decks at East Austin. See trackplan TWO for Austin on the mid level, or trackplan THREE for Austin and the rest of the climb to the summit on the TOP Decks.
Coming east out of staging, trains pull under a pedestrian walkover bridge to stop for the crewchange at Missoula's station. Leaving the station the trains are technially on double track into the sweeping curve and the canyon to East Missoula, although the trackplan has the switch at East Missoula out of service for signalling work, so the mainline crossover in front of the station are the end of double track, and the 2nd main east is used as a yard drill track for the Missoula switchers. Trains dissapear behind the mountains in the canyon as they follow the Clark Fork River around the bend. It is a short run of hidden trackage to get to the siding at Bonner. A single long, oval helix brings the tracks up 3 inches in the process. Coming out from behind the trees and a big hill the main immediately crosses the river on a deck bridge. The river is wide here having just come through the Milltown Dam, under the cliffs of the big hill. The siding begins as the tracks sweep under Interstate 90 and turn eastward. A junction with the old connector to a Milwaukee Road branch serves as access to interchange and switch the huge lumber mill in the town of Bonner. The mill will not be modelled, but the interchange tracks for the "mill switcher" will be. Shortly after the town the tracks pass a local lumber loadout spur. A few non-prototypical curves have been added here to fit the space. The siding ends and the tracks pass under an overpass, and out of sight. A 38 foot stretch of hidden track "passes through Clinton siding, "which is out of service for a ballast project. The tracks re-appear coming out of the Nimrod Tunnel. The ex-MILW R.O.W. and its tunnel is right next to the main. After crossing the Clark Fork River the Nimrod Siding begins and stretches 14 feet around a curve to the north, along I-90, just like the real main and siding do. After going back to single track, a little creative license had me add an offramp to a local road with an overpass over the interstate, railroad and river to hide the portals through the backdrop. The main makes a single helix loop and a short stretch of hidden trackage to reach the Bearmouth Siding and canyon, modelled on the MID Decks level. (Of note, this helix is unusual, in that it circumnavigates around the "Birdseye helix". It is the outside radius. The Birdseye loop comes up through the middle to exit up to Austin.) Go to the MID DECK or TOP DECK plans to continue.
PLEASE feel free to get in touch to head out trackside or to come visit for train night.
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|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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