Montana Northland

Railroad Details Montana Northland Scale Status Superintendent Neil Roggensack Interchange Milw / BN Locale Montana, Idaho Era mid-1970’s Layout Size 28' x 60’ Mushroom / Triple Deck Control Rail Command Dispatching OCS Permit Communication FRS Radios Clock Speed 4 to 1 Forwarding Car Cards Crew Size 12-16 Listed Jobs Dispatcher, 2 Yardmasters, 2 Helper Crews, 6-10 Road Crews, 1 Operator

This mid-1970s freelance railroad is set in western Montana and central Idaho. Trains climbing the heavy mountain grades require helper service as the MNRR hauls it’s principle commodities, grain, potash and timber products. Connections with the CN, CP, Rio Grande, SP WP and the Milwaukee Road generate large amounts of bridge traffic. You will thoroughly enjoy this 20 x 26, plus 24 x 18 railroad which uses a creative mushroom design.

Operation requires 10 operators including two yardmasters, a helper crew, several train engineers and the dispatcher. The road is dispatched from a separate room using OCS permits to regulate the flow of traffic on the railroad and an intercom system for communication. Car cards and waybills are used to regulate the flow of cars on the railroad. The Montana Northland uses Railcommand.

Photos from the Montana Northland

4 thoughts on “Montana Northland

  1. DENNIS REALLEY 2724 WOODSVIEW DRIVE, BENSALEM, PA 19020 ( near Philadelphia )

    Neil’s Montana Northland layout is one of the best I have seen in quite a while. I’m currently building a multi level multi deck PRR branch line in the Anthracite region of PA. I also operate on many Eastern PA and NJ layouts. I strongly considered a mushroom design but ceiling and duct restrictions is keeping me on two decks. I found this site seeking additional photos of Neil’s layout. Some of the captions read ” the last train ” & ” the new Montana Northland ” ???
    Has the Layout in the August MR been been torn down ? I see a new Layout in process.
    It would break my heart if the original is gone but is there a new version on it’s way ?
    Are there any additional photos anywhere on line ?.
    Could someone please respond. The River Rail website is to shelf !
    Thanks, Dennis

  2. feather river steve

    Hello there Neil Roggensack, I , too, was wondering if your Montana Northland is still up and running. It is an intriguing mush room design and shows a lot of foresight. I also have a multi deck mushroom design so I can appreciate your work. Hope to hear from you. Cheers, Steve

  3. Shane Lambert

    Yes, the original Montana Northland was dismantled, but a new and improved layout is nearly ready to start operating. Neil and many RiverRail members have been working hard to get the new Montana Northland up and running. I cannot say with any certainty when it will be operational, but last I saw it was darned close. I will contact Neil and find out more.

  4. Gordy Spiering

    Hi Neil,
    Just wanted to let you know what a great time I had operating the Montana Northland at RiverRail 2014. All the guys up in the Lacrosse area did a magnificent job. The dinner on Saturday was great! Hope to be at RiverRail in 2016.

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