August 9, 1999 Railfanning (Part 2)
This day found me leaving Bozeman, MT in the morning, traveling over Mullan Pass to Missoula and finding the TroughTrain in Glacier National Park by the end of the day.  A lot of miles and a lot of trains.  So many trains, in fact, that this day is broken up into four parts.  This second section covers the short section from Blossburg at the western side of Mullan Pass to Garrison.
Blossburg  |  In the mirror  | West of Avon  |  Bradley

Downhill from Blossburg. Blossburg is the siding located on the west side of Mullan Pass.  I stopped at the top of the hill to read the historical marker about Mullan Pass so I didn't make it down to the tracks before the train popped out of the tunnel.  I also didn't catch this train again until Elliston where they usually remove the helpers from most trains.
I found this piece of MOW equipment at Blossburg.  With all of the platforms it looks like it is used to perform maintanence on the the tunnel. 
Tunnel cleaning?

Between Elliston and Avon. This interesting shot is between Elliston and Avon.  Since there was not a separate crew for the two MRL units on the westbound, they were run through until an eastbound train could take them back towards Helena.  I was able to catch the westbound at Elliston because it was waiting for an eastbound BNSF manifest with another set of two MRL helpers on point.

From Elliston to Garrison, the former Northern Pacific tracks follow the Little Blackfoot River.  Here the westbound glides through an S-curve west of Avon.
West of Avon.

Crossing the Blackfoot River.
If you haven't noticed yet, those MRL units are very dirty.  That is what a happens when you run through Blossburg tunnel a couple times a day.  This image is near west end of the former siding of Bradley where the tracks cross under US Hwy 12.
From the chatter on the scanner, I could tell that I was getting closer to the other westbound and headed on west to find it once I made it to I-90 at Garrison with this train not far behind.  There were some cars on the interchange track for Montana Western but no sign of their locomotives or caboose.  I finally caught the other westbound at Nimrod.

Thanks to Dan Stinson for providing additional location information.
All of these images were taken with a Sony FD-91 digital camera.
August 9th Part 1
August 9th Part 2
August 9th Part 3
August 9th Part 4

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