|Welcome to the TOP DECKS of the Mullan Pass layout TRACKPLANS. You are looking down on the TOP of the layout. The other decks are underneath. This represents the climbs between AUSTIN and Garrison over the Continental Divide at Blossburg. CLICK HERE to go back to the HOME page.|
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|The tracks enter this deck westbound, from the BOTTOM Decks, coming up-grade from Tobin (and Helena.) They come into view from under the east (lower right on this picture) end of the Elliston scene, into Austin. This same Austin scene can be viewed on the "MID LEVELS" trackplan, showing detail of the east end of Austin. At East Austin the 15 foot siding comes over a hogback in the westward grade. The tracks come out of the long Austin siding, make a near u-turn and start the steepest climb up to Iron Ridge (2.2% compensated) where the tracks make a full circle around the ridge, come through the deep cut in the mountain that bypassed the Iron Ridge Tunnel then continue upgrade having doubled back on the high side of the valley. Longer trains will pass thier own tails here. The tracks disapear behind the upper ridge and we skip the "Weed" area to return trackside as the tracks approach Greenhorn Trestle. After the Greenhorn horse shoe the line follws the opposite side of this valley, then turns accross a ridge into the Austin Creek watershed again after the old Skyline Siding. Rounding the tight S-curve, through the rock cuts we cross the upper trestle known as Skyline Trestle or Austin Gulch Trestle. The tracks follow out of the near-horse-shoe curve and turn away from Austin creek to dive into Mullan Tunnel. They make a hidden trackage loop in the Staging barn then return to the layout room at the summit, exiting the tunnel there. (Of interest, will be the SMOKING TUNNEL. I have designed and hope to implement an interesting tunnel liner with 4 small, model smoke generators, to simulate the diesel exhaust "fog" that comes out of Mullan tunnel with westbounds. The trains will hit a circuit that fires up the generators, then the train, passing through the smoke in the LINED tunnel will drag the smoke out the west portal the way the real trains do. I hope it works. Should be pretty unique and cool!) After passing the summit, the helper pocket and wye and out of the west end of the Blossburg siding we follow the tracks down the valley towards Elliston. The main disapears into the trees and hills. The tracks make a single helix loop down (to buy time for the "mileage" down the hill and for the operator to switch sides of the room,) then the tracks emerge out of the lower, narrow canyon to bottom out the grade at East Elliston. Most westbounds cut off or cutout their helpers at Elliston, but some stay on to Garrison. Eastbounds likewise get helpers at Elliston or Garrison for the shorter eastward grade. Coming out of West Elliston after the long straight stretch, the trains disapear into the hills again and the tracks make a long, level hidden run through the staging barn, before returning to the train room at Garrison. While in the barn, the staging operator can watch the trains roll by in a depiction of the siding at Avon, which for the purposes of operations, "is out of service with a rail gang". The scene gives the staging operator a little railfanning enjoyment too, and he can give train crews the "roll by" to let them know their train is safe. At Garrison, the tracks emerge from under a hiway, then pass the junction with the line to Silver Bow and Butte, before hustling under Interstate 90 and through the yard. The tracks exit this trackplan and the top levels at Garrison tunnel, where they begin to decend through two and a half hidden loops in the middle of the benchwork penninsula, before rounding the spiral stairs to enter the Drummond area on the next deck down. (Drummond and the other scenes from here will be seen on the next plan.) Of note, the hidden trackage represents the mileage through "Phosphate" and Jens to Drummond. "The passing siding at Jens is also out of service for a work gang or signalling or something like that." We'll pick up at Drummond....on the MID DECKS.|
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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