Great Northern Railway Kalispell Division

Railroad Details
Great Northern Railway Kalispell Division
Owner: Michael R. White
Control: Easy DCC (CVP)
Forwarding: JMRI
Communication: Radio (provided)
Dispatching: JMRI

This circa 1953 HO, double decked, Great Northern layout represents the 100 miles of the Kalispell Division (Third Subdivision) in Montana. Starting at the East End, Blackfoot (staging) and moving West Bound via East Glacier (Glacier Park), Bison (helper service and cattle resting) Summit (Marias Pass), Essex (helper service), West Glacier Park and Belton, Columbia Falls/Brent and Kalispell, Whitefish, and Vista (staging). Industries will be at Columbia Falls, Brent, Singleshot, Kalispell, and Whitefish. Yard switching, industries and warehousing at Whitefish. Logging, quarries, plywood plant, lumber mill, grain mill, warehouse for Glacier Park, tannery, Glacier Gravel, concrete plant, furniture factory, propane distributor, Montana State Power plant, large dairy, oil distributor, warehousing, tie plant and various small industries are located in the subdivision. 10-20 trains run in an operating session (through freights, locals, turns, two passenger each direction (Empire Builder and Western Star) also Fast Mail and one local passenger out of Kalispell. One yard master and switcher (Whitefish).  Logging turn with bunks. Additional jobs are EB and WB staging and dispatcher and 4-8 operators. There is approximately 289’ (4.8 scale miles) of mainline, 1,290′ of total track (21.25 scale miles), and 170 turnouts.  Fast Clock 4:1.

The layout will include signature GN scenes of Summit, high bridges, mountains, and water features especially east of Essex at “goat lick,” billions of trees, mostly on backdrop, several snow sheds between Blackfoot and Essex, and tunnels from Essex to Belton.

Nine Staging tracks are west of Whitefish (at Vista/Seattle) and nine east of Glacier (Glacier Park Station) at Blackfoot/St. Paul. Total two room area is 920 square feet.(46 x 20).  Layout on two levels; approx. 750 sq. ft.

Staging Westbound = Blackfoot and east to Havre, MT/St. Paul, MN
Staging Eastbound = Vista and west to Spokane/Seattle, WA

Control is Easy DCC with 8 radio throttles; 4 tethered throttles at Whitefish and Kallispell.  JMRI dispatching and train management.  FRS raido communication.

Photos from the Great Northern Railway Kalispell Division

About Michael White

Modeling for 25 years (never had a railroad as a kid). Interested in GN and NP. Previous model railroads included both. Current model railroad was started in 2010 and is the Great Northern Railway, Kalispell Division (circa 1953), in HO, located 400' above the Mississippi river in Ferryville, Wisconsin.

Leave a Reply