When I grew up on the Hi Line, I have fond memories of stations. My brother and I boarded the Amtrak train in Glasgow, boarded the Empire Builder through the Hi Line wheat fields and beyond Glacier National Park, before descending to Whitefish for Christmas and skiing. at Big Mountain.
There is something nostalgic about old stations, isn’t there?
During our Hometown Handshake tour of northeastern Montana, we met a native of Plentywood, MT who is working to save the old Plentywood railroad depot.
Jennifer Hackler recently returned home to Plentywood and was in a meeting at the library. It was then that she found out that BNSF Railway was going to demolish the old railway depot within a week.
Jennifer Hackler: My heart has completely collapsed. I said, no, they can’t. And so I started to look for how I could save him. I imagined myself standing in front of a team of wreckers. You know, I’m I was adamant about saving this building.
Hackler ran to get his hands on BNSF and was able to stop the demolition of the depot.
BNSF has given us a year to remove the building, however, we need to get the transfer of ownership and a letter of support from them to continue. There are a lot of grants there. There are many preservation committees, the Montana History Foundation, the Montana State Historical Preservation Office, Preserve Montana – these are just a few of the companies that support the safeguard and preservation of train yards. And I know there have been a lot of these deposits saved across the state, which is super exciting.
If you’d like to help out, here’s what you can do.
Jennifer Hackler: We opened a bank account at Rocky Mountain Bank here in Plentywood. It is the responsibility of the Sheridan County Historical Association, and the memo of any donation must include âFor Depositâ.
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