Montana called me to it for its mines, ghost towns, and beauty. The thousands of miles of abandoned rail grades was an unexpected surprise. As I connected the dots between former mining towns, headframes, and ruins, I kept running into abandoned Milwaukee Road grades, inspiring me to follow the old mainline for a few hundred miles. Here’s a preview of what I found:
From a 1920 brochure.
The depot of Ringling is a very lonely looking building and there are many holes in its roof. There are no signs on it whatsoever.
Ringling’s church was built in 1914 and sits on a hill over the town.
The depot at the head of town seems to be being disassembled. Behind it is a dead signal where the tracks used to be; they’ve been pulled.
Castle, Montana is a ghost town. Almost no signs remain that it was a mining town.
Milwaukee Road’s second substation at Loweth, as seen from the highway. Somewhat ironically, a new electrical substation is across the street from it today.In the background, you can make out a collapsing storage shed and some of the grades.