A New Train Route From Washington Through Montana Is Still In The Works

In February, I told you about an old Montana Amtrak train route being new again, the North Coast Hiawatha Route.

Catch Up On The Article Here

The North Coast Hiawatha Route Goes From Seattle To Chicago

Normally, Amtrak trains in Montana run through Shelby and Havre to take passengers to Chicago and the East Coast.

This Amtrak route, North Coast Hiawatha, runs through Missoula, Helena and Billings.

Hiawatha Amtrak Route Montana
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It's Looking Pretty Good For Montana To Get The Route Back

Big Sky Country News Connection reports that Big Sky Rail Authority Chairperson, Dave Strohmaier said that the current federal rail studies are showing that the 2 long-distance routes in Montana, the one running now and the North Coast Hiawatha route, are preferred as an east-west route that will connect Billings with both Seattle and Chicago.

LOOK: You Can Call This Montana Train Car Home

Strohmaier told the Montana legislature  “We are no longer debating feasibility. We are in the planning stage as we speak to make this happen.”

Hiawatha Route Montana Counties
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Secretary Of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg Just Visited Montana

When Secretary Buttigieg was in Montana, he talked about the loss of rail service in the west and the current administrations plans to remedy that problem.  In December 2023, the Biden administration granted 8.2 billion dollars in grants for rail projects, including projects here in The Treasure State.

How Will The Route Benefit Montana And The Other States On The Route?

Big Sky Country News Connection reports that the estimated revenue generated across 7 states is expected to be around 271 million dollars. Even divided 7 ways, that's a nice chunk of change.

What's even nicer is that Montanans and people visiting the state will have more transportation options in Big Sky Country.

Beautiful Restored Train Car Airbnb Rental

I'll go ahead and say that this Idaho rental is better than the Idaho Potato rental.

Gallery Credit: Credit N8

Amtrak Trains Montana to Illinois to California

Amtrak Trains Montana to Illinois to California

Gallery Credit: Tammie Toren


A historic Montana train station that has become a target for vandalism is in desperate need of repair.

Gallery Credit: jessejames