The Milwaukee Road's Pacific Extension:
Harlowton Montana, August 1974

In contrast to Avery, Harlowton, at the eastern-most extent of the Milwaukee's electrification, showed a relatively prosperous mainline appearance. The depot and platform looked sound and the the baggage wagon (above) ready to receive luggage off of the Olympian Hiawatha, which had last called upon Harlow more than a decade prior. The peeling paint on the depot walls told the true story, however. That's the station agent talking to my wife (just visible behind the column). He rode his bike (leaning against the wall under the station sign) to work, weather permitting, and was quite intrigued by our journey, which had already covered 2000+ miles. In fact, we had a tough time getting out of Harlowton, because everyone in town was so congenial and curious. In all, I'd rate this town as the most friendly town in the most friendly state that we encountered. It's a darn shame that they lost their railroad...and that parts of Montana have become a residential suburb of Hollywood. The first three photos are looking eastward, BTW.

Although Harlows station and yard were in good order, the roundhouse area was standard Pacific Extension: cluttered, weed-covered and decrepit.

The top two and left photos are looking westward, and the above photo's large building (in left, center) is the roundhouse. Just visible in the distance to the rear of the Pelicans (boxcab electrics) is the overhead pedestrian bridge by the depot, from which I took the yard photos.

Below, we see the turntable and unused-looking roundhouse.
Unused, roundhouse, HA! It was a veritable beehive of activity with (left) a couple of guys working on SD9 522's cooling system. Below, SW1 869 slumbers in the company of snowplow X908188, one of scores of ex steam locomotive tenders that still populated the system in the 1970's.

And speaking of the Pelicans...The E57B and mate E34C (which certainly has a no-nonsense rear) later would be placed on permanent display in Harlowton.

But, by then the electrics were done, so it's only fitting that the diesel yard goat, late model GPP #280 (below), conclude things.

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