The Low Line,
Prologue: The Long Shadow
Logan to Bozeman, Montana
Much of the planning for rebuilding and realigning the Northern Pacific following its frenetic and financially panicked construction era began in the St. Paul office of John William Kendrick, chief engineer. He was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, in 1853, and received a degree in civil engineering from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1873. Joining a survey party in the Yellowstone River Valley as a lowly levelman in 1879, Kendrick helped lay out the Northern Pacific Railroad as it recovered from the Panic of 1873 and began to build anew towards Puget Sound. In less than twenty years he rose from levelman to second vice-president of the company, in charge of operations.
As early as 1890, Kendrick instigated a series of studies concerning grade revisions to the main line. In 1896, he formalized this work in a general plan calling for the reduction of all suitable grades to a 0.4 percent operational basis, contingent upon the use of Mogul locomotives with an 85,000-pound weight on drivers. Pushers or heavier power handled the same train on adverse grades.
From 1896 onward, improvements to the physical plant were carried out to Kendrick’s design. The route from Seattle, Wash., to Portland, Ore., was straightened, double tracked, and the Columbia and Willamette rivers bridged with steel. The western approach of Stampede Pass was rerouted, and both approaches were double tracked. Much of the line from Sand Point, Ida., to Missoula, Mont., was relocated on new grades. The river-following route from Missoula to Garrison, Mont., was straightened, tunneled, and double tracked. The grade reduction and magnificent high bridge at Valley City, N.D., typified this work. Ironically, many of the largest projects were undertaken more than a decade after Kendrick’s resignation for a vice-presidency (and ultimately vice-chairmanship) on the Santa Fé in June, 1901. Nevertheless, Kendrick’s planning cast long shadow over the Northern Pacific many years following his departure.
First Plans, First Attempts
The first changes undertaken in the territory between Logan and Bozeman came in the autumn of 1895, while the Northern Pacific was mired in its second receivership. Kendrick was general manager for the receivers, a group led by Thomas Fletcher Oakes, one-time president of the company. Oakes was an associate of Henry Villard all the way back to Villard’s battle with Jay Gould over the Kansas Pacific in the late 1860s. Kendrick convinced Oakes to spend $10,000 on upgrading portions of the route. 
This work was aimed at improving the ability of Consolidations to handle tonnage across much of the western half of the system. The effect in this territory, Kendrick wrote the receivers, would be to increase “train length between Helena and Livingston to 30 cars, thereby decreasing the number of trains, upon the present basis of business, from 1,484 per annum to 707 per annum, and producing a net economy of $39,000 per annum.” 
January, 1898, produced the first outline for the Low Line. Chief Engineer Edwin Harrison McHenry submitted a master plan for upgrading the entire system, division by division, to Kendrick. On the Montana Division this plan included the reduction of the grade over the 40 miles between Townsend to Logan from 0.5 to 0.4 percent. On the 24 miles between Logan and Bozeman the grade would be reduced from 1.0 to 0.8 percent. From Bozeman to West End, about twelve miles, the grade would be reduced from 2.2 to 1.9 percent. In addition, the plan outlined motive power requirements. Class D-3 Moguls handled a freight from Helena to Logan. Over Townsend Hill, freights gained a Class F Consolidation, along with two more Class F helpers for the shove from Bozeman up to West End. “By this means,” McHenry wrote, “the present rating of 1,000 tons will be raised to 1,200 tons. Trains saved Helena to Bozeman 125; Bozeman to Livingston 160.” The cost of the improvement, $66,573, showed an annual savings of $19,427. 
Over the next four years intermittent work reduced the original one percent grade between Logan and Bozeman to a 0.8 percent grade. The work consisted of five miles of line changes in isolated segments closely following the existing route. 
By the fall of 1899, Kendrick reported to the company’s new president, Charles Sanger Mellen, that “the mountain grades between Bozeman and West End have been reduced from 2.1 percent to 1.9 percent, which necessitated a change in line three and one-half miles in length. Between Logan and Bozeman the grade has been reduced from [one] percent to 0.8 percent, and between Helena and Logan from a working maximum of 0.5 percent to 0.4 percent, helper engine being used over the unavoidable [one] percent grade between Townsend and Winston.” 
Studies, Savings, Suggestions
Throughout 1906, the Engineering Department studied how to carry out Kendrick’s grade reduction designs in the territory between Logan and Bozeman. Shortly after New Year’s Day, Chief Engineer William Lafayette Darling submitted several proposals in writing to President Howard Elliott.
Two alternate main lines were surveyed, the first of which was a 0.8 percent grade from West End to Logan. The second consisted of two segments, a 1.9 percent segment from West End to Bozeman, and a 0.4 percent segment from Bozeman to Logan. The existing line stretched 36 miles from West End to Logan. The first alternative would run this out to 41 miles and cost an estimated $1.8 million. The second alternative increased the distance from 36 to 43 miles; the price for its 0.4 segment alone was $720,000. Darling estimated the cost for the most direct solution—double tracking the existing route, at $650,000.
Though the chief engineer predicted the 0.8 percent line would yield an annual savings of more than $33,000, none of the survey results particularly moved him. Darling closed by recommending the expenditure of $225,000 to double track the existing route between Bozeman and West End, then building a 0.4 percent route from Logan to Bozeman, “when it is necessary.” The idea that the Low Line’s time had not yet arrived echoed through company correspondence for many years hence. 
While the route from Bozeman to West End was double tracked, the Engineering Department continued to study the possibility of a 0.4 percent line from Logan to Bozeman. By 1909, plans were submitted to Elliott for a 0.4 percent alternate main line traveling from Logan to a point 2.5 miles west of Bozeman yard. This received favorable attention from President Elliott, as well as from other officers. George Arthur Goodell, general manager, Lines East of Paradise, Mont., wrote Third Vice-President George Theron Slade, “it brings the end of the double track to the present helper district at Bozeman and does not make it necessary to move engines west of Bozeman in order to begin their helper duties.” Goodell was the first to mention the use of the new line as a block against territorial encroachment by the Milwaukee. “The Gallatin Valley Electric line,” he noted, “has been purchased by outside parties and I believe it is the part of wisdom to build our line as far to the east as possible, in order to tap that territory and in order to not encourage anyone else to come up.”  The positive comments were academic, however, as Elliott decided to build the line nearly a month earlier and would shortly present the project to the Board of Directors. 
Darling, however, was still fine tuning his plans. He wrote Howard Elliott late in December that he discovered a way to carry the alternate main directly into Bozeman yard. He sent another survey party into the field, but they were quickly stymied by the fact that most of the territory was frozen.  By early March, 1910, however, things improved considerably. Darling’s engineering party located two 0.4 percent lines with maximum 4.5 degree curves. The relatively sharp curves would not be a problem for the eastbound drags plodding over the alternate line at twelve or thirteen miles per hour. Fast westbound freights would continue using the existing main line. Of the two proposed routes, Darling preferred a 33.1-mile alternate between Logan and Bozeman; by comparison, the existing main between common points covered 23.2 miles. The chief engineer noted his preferred route “also provides a double track through Bozeman on a 0.4 [percent] grade to the yard east of Bozeman, making continuous double track from Logan to the tunnel.” The cost estimate for this alternate line was $1,073,503.52, or $32,412 per mile. 
The Debating Society
In late April, 1910, Howard Elliott secured authorization from the Board of Directors to expend upwards of a million dollars to build an alternate main line between Logan and Bozeman. However, for a host of reasons, the project remained in limbo for the better part of the ensuing decade. The head of Northern Pacific’s operations, George Slade, first counseled against the project, then, as the decade wore on, clamored for it.
Slade’s first missive on the subject to President Elliott appeared at the end of October, 1911. Back in 1901, the company made an agreement with the trainman’s union barring double headed freights, at least in the Central District, stretching from Mandan, N.D., to Paradise, Mont. This limit strained the movement of eastbound tonnage from Helena to Livingston. Eastbound freights stopped at Logan to reduce tonnage before proceeding over Bozeman Pass. A light grade alternate main, Slade wrote, “will save the present very expensive operation which requires the running of turn-around trains from Livingston to Logan and back to Livingston to handle the tonnage now set out by trains reducing at Logan.” The vice-president went on to point out the solution which ultimately solved both the tonnage problem and rendered the Low Line redundant—heavy, modern freight power. “The use of heavier power, as already suggested, for the territory between Glendive and Livingston, for the territory between Livingston and Helena and Butte, and on the district between Ellensburg and Auburn would seem to be immediately justified. Fifty Mikado-type engines weighing 248,000 pounds on the drivers will accomplish this result.”  In fact, American Locomotive delivered the first Class W-3 Mikados, weighing in at 249,000 pounds, in 1913. Their immediate predecessors, the W-2s of 1905, weighed just 217,500 pounds. Slade’s divination, given the company’s short-term solution in the late 1920s, proved wildly ironic. The long term solution, on the other hand, came from an almost unimaginable source.
Discussions between Slade and Elliott continued for over a month. In early December, Slade wrote definitively against an improvement which the Board of Directors had authorized more than a year before. “Until the time comes when our business is so heavy that we must have double track between Logan and Bozeman, and that time is not now here, a saving in operation sufficient to pay the interest on the investment for double track cannot be figured. It is cheaper to run the necessary turn-around trains from Livingston to Bozeman, which average 19.9 trains per month than to maintain and pay the interest charges on the thirty-four miles of new line . . . . I, therefore, suggest that for the present nothing be done about the low grade alternate route on this district.”  This firm statement closed the argument for fourteen months.
Spring, 1913, brought the next round of arguments. In Washington, a large new yard opened in Auburn and the realignment and double tracking of Stampede Pass began. W-3 Mikados and Z-3 Mallets arrived on the property in force. On May 21, the Northern Pacific put its first 2,500-ton eastbound freight over Stampede Pass. The problem, Assistant General Manager Edwin C. Blanchard (Lines West of Paradise, Mont.) pointed out to Slade, was that the Logan to Bozeman district severely handicapped the movement of eastbound tonnage freights.  At Logan trains handled by Class W Mikados reduced to 1,500 tons; 2,100 for W-3s. Ratings on the same locomotives on the alternate main line would be 2,400 and 3,000 tons respectively—an increase of about 40 percent.  “We could move a train of 2,400 tons,” Slade wrote Elliott, “practically intact from Auburn to Glendive, a distance of nearly 1,250 miles.” Now the vice-president began to shift his position. In 1911, he pronounced the status quo, with its reduced tonnage and frequent turn-around, cheaper to continue than spending money for an alternate main line. Scarcely a year later, Slade stated the same situation “demoralizes our train makeup and delays traffic.” 
On April 28, 1913, Howard Elliott told Chief Engineer Darling to get another survey party in the field with a view to obtaining a 0.4 percent grade from Logan to Bozeman, “but also to covering the north side of the Gallatin Valley, so as to protect us from the encroachments of the [Milwaukee].”  Management studied, approved, and postponed the project, only to re-convince itself of the project’s necessity. The process started all over again, only this time from the viewpoint of the Traffic Department.
James Grant Woodworth headed up the Traffic Department. Born in Hillsdale, Michigan, on Halloween, 1864, Woodworth joined the North Western as an office boy at the age of fifteen. The year was 1879, the town was Chicago, the job was in the General Freight Department. Freight played a role as important in Woodworth’s career as it did on the NP’s ledgers. He came to the Northern Pacific in 1905 as traffic manager and was promoted at the end of 1913 to vice-president, Traffic, a position he held for the next eighteen years. Save for three years as a telegrapher, his entire service—more than 35 years with the Northern Pacific, more than six decades in railroading—was in the solicitation and management of freight traffic.  He read about it, he wrote about it, he argued constantly within the company for its betterment. Without Woodworth and an army of clerks and agents, the company had nothing to haul. Ironically, he reported to Jule Murat Hannaford, a man with an even longer tenure soliciting something for the company to carry. Woodworth was in the field at the end of August, 1913. The questions on his mind revolved around justification of the Low Line from a traffic standpoint—How much traffic are we getting now? How much more will we get if the line is built? What shippers can we attract to the line? If the line is routed here, or there, will it hinder our competitors? Will it aid us?
Woodworth toured the Gallatin Valley by car on August 30 with a representative from Bozeman Milling and two other men. Departing Bozeman, their junket followed the Milwaukee’s Belgrade Branch about ten miles to Belgrade, before returning to Bozeman down the west side of the valley. (The Belgrade Branch ran from Belgrade Junction to Belgrade, 5.41 miles. Built by the Gallatin Valley Railway in 1911, it was absorbed by the Milwaukee at the end of 1918 and abandoned in November, 1962. ) On September 2, Woodworth wrote District Freight and Passenger Agent W.H. Merriman at Butte of his findings. 
Millers estimated the Gallatin Valley produced 60 million pounds of oats, fifteen million pounds of barley, and 180 million pounds of wheat. Of 255 million pounds, the representative from Bozeman Milling felt not more than a tenth was retained for local use, and supposed “that there must have been at least 100,000 tons shipped from the valley or now in storage at shipping points.” Crops were sold in large lots and hauled by wagon to the nearest railhead. Buyers took delivery, Woodworth noted, “at any station or side track or any road.”
With this in mind, the traffic manager proceeded to look over the data the railway had in hand. A statement of shipments from valley stations for the year ending July 1, 1913, showed the Northern Pacific handled 34.9 million pounds of wheat, 27.8 million pounds of other grains, 21.6 million pounds of flour and feed—a total of 84.4 million pounds. Company agents felt the railway handled fully 50 percent of the agricultural traffic of the valley. Woodworth, however, was inclined to agree with Bozeman Milling’s production estimates, leaving the Northern Pacific with but one-third of this traffic. Nor did the construction of Milwaukee branches in the area bode well for the future. With farmer’s concentrating on getting their wagonloads to the nearest rails, the Milwaukee, Woodworth wrote, “surrounded us in a way which will further reduce our share of the tonnage.” The Milwaukee’s Belgrade Branch in particular would “cut off a large amount of grain which went to our stations last year.” Woodworth closed his letter to Merriman by mentioning the possibility of the Low Line’s construction. “There is reason to hope that we will have some additional lines in the valley in the near future, but I am not yet convinced that we are handling as much of the business as we should handle with our present facilities.” 
Jule Hannaford, who became president of the company after Howard Elliott left to clean up the New Haven in 1913, received a copy of this report to Merriman. He quickly responded to Woodworth, stating he felt the line would be built in 1914 and enclosing a map showing the most likely route. The president was interested in getting Merriman out in the field as quickly as possible to determine how much grain traffic the railway might tap with the new line. 
Merriman sent Traveling Freight Agent George F. Knight out from Billings to look over the ground. His report backed up Woodworth’s doubts about how much traffic the Northern Pacific was capturing in the Gallatin Valley. After talking to valley elevator operators, Knight pegged the car count for 1913 at 1,045. This broke down into 500 cars off the Camp Creek Branch from Anceney, 150 cars from Belgrade proper, 50 from Bozeman, fifteen of grain and 330 of barley from Manhattan. “The Manhattan Malting Company,” he said specifically, “will handle about 330 cars of barley into their plant, of which possibly 200 cars will move out as malt and other products and the other 130 will probably move to Eastern terminals as barley.” The Milwaukee, on the other hand, came in at nearly 1,700 by Knight’s count, about 800 of which would come from the Belgrade Branch alone. The Belgrade Branch, the traveling freight agent said, handled 421 cars by October 15. 
This was passed along to Woodworth, along with recent conversations with area millers. “Mr. Vandenhook and the Story boys,” Merriman wrote, “have estimated that there will be an increased acreage as transportation facilities become better appreciated and that eventually there will be not less than a million and a quarter bushels shipped from the territory north of these new lines.” 
Within four days Woodworth passed this information along to Hannaford from New York via coded telegram. “We are making report showing proposed alternate line in knavery alack [Gallatin Valley] will insure addition levity chapel [grain 400] to chaperon elope sally [500 cars per year] based on present production and considering future development should be good for chaplain elope Eskimo [600 cars CM&PS] expect to get chaplet elope [700 cars] off Health Creek pedometer [line] this year which is celerity sachem [60 percent] would have been saved by proposed line.” 
Late in December, 1913, Woodworth sent President Hannaford a summary of the situation. Though he personally toured the area and Merriman sent men into the field repeatedly, Woodworth was not satisfied with the information developed. The best estimate was that the Milwaukee’s Belgrade Branch tapped an area producing 864,000 bushels. The Northern Pacific’s proposed line, he wrote, “would leave tributary [to the Milwaukee] 426,800 bushels and would give us a chance at the remaining 437,200 bushels of which we would get 70 [percent] or 306,000 bushels . . . . our figures are based on the acreage, 69,120 acres, of which one half is usually under cultivation, the estimated annual yield being 25 bushels per acre.” Woodworth estimated that “the new line would bring us additional gross earnings [of] $55,000 per annum based on present production and current freight rate to Minneapolis, but I think we would have a right to figure on $75,000 per year looking to the future.” 
As 1913 came to an end, the start of authorized construction had been delayed three full years. Now even the discussion about constructing the Low Line fell silent—for more than two-and-a-half years. From 1914 until the fall of 1916, managers did little more than revisit the meager work thus undertaken (scarcely twelve-and-a-half miles of right-of-way had been acquired by 1914, at a cost of $56,443.54), the construction costs, and the traffic estimates. The incredible delay between authorization and construction allowed events far afield from the Northern Pacific’s headquarters in St. Paul to play an important role in stoppering up this cork in the bottleneck of the Montana Division. In August, 1914, Europe descended into World War One, a calamity which soon made itself felt in the United States.
A native of Claremont, N.H., Jule Hannaford had been railroading since 1866, when he became a clerk on J. Gregory Smith’s Vermont Central at the age of sixteen. He moved to the Smith-led Northern Pacific on May 17, 1872, and had been with the company ever since. In fact, when he died on September 23, 1934, the vice-chairman had spent 62 years on the Northern Pacific, a number equal to his age when he became its president back on August 27, 1913. 
Born in New York City in 1871, George Slade graduated from Yale with James J. Hill’s son Louis Warren in 1893. Louis’s friend joined the Great Northern as a clerk that year, rising to the superintendency of the Duluth Terminal by 1896. At the end of the 1890s the elder Hill was involved with J.P. Morgan’s reorganization of the Erie, an undertaking which caught Slade up. From 1896 to 1903, he advanced from a division superintendency to a general superintendency on the Erie. Then in the fall of 1901, he married Hill’s daughter Charlotte. In 1903, Slade returned to the Great Northern as a general superintendent. Accepting a general manager’s position on the Northern Pacific in 1907, he advanced to third vice-president in 1910 and first vice-president in 1913.
Jule Hannaford and George Slade were an odd pair to be running a railroad. Hannaford, with one of the longest tenures of any officer on the Northern Pacific, had a career marked by slow and steady advancement. Slade, on the other hand, scarcely spent more than ten years on any road before he joined the Northern Pacific. Both had been third vice-president, but Slade was ten years younger than Hannaford when he filled the position. Slade soon left the railway for government service during World War One, never to return to railroading. In fact, while Slade retired in 1924, Hannaford served as vice-chairman of the Northern Pacific from 1920 until his death in 1934. 
First Vice-President George Slade, in charge of the day-to-day operations of the railway, now made a vociferous reappearance in the Low Line discussion. Though Slade initially counseled for postponing construction, in the autumn of 1916 he reversed himself fully, presenting multiple arguments for starting the job as soon as possible. On September 23, he wrote Hannaford about an inspection trip taken with Col. William P. Clough, chairman of the board, back in 1913. Clough joined the Northern Pacific as general counsel in 1880, later joining the Great Northern, where he advanced to a directorship. In 1901 he joined the Northern Pacific’s Board, becoming chairman of the board in 1913. Clough was James J. Hill’s confidant, and any major project required his assent. The chairman was aware, Slade remarked, of the need to double track from Bozeman to Logan. The single track over the 0.8 percent grade, coupled with the restrictive union covenants, crippled the movement of eastbound tonnage. To add insult to injury, tonnage reduced at Logan had to be handled by extras run out from Livingston, adding yet more traffic to the already congested single track. “We are fast reaching the point,” Slade wrote, “where this district will be one limiting the capacity of our main line movement.”
To be weighed against the project’s $1.25 million price tag, Slade thought, were not only the increased capacity, but also operational savings sufficient to cover both the interest on the construction price and the expense of maintaining the alternate main. The head of operations now made a statement which was both ironic, given the length of time invested in studying at the project, and tragic, considering what was to happen because of the delay heretofore. “Looking ahead a year or two, it seems almost certain that the volume of business which we may reasonably anticipate will require this increase in our capacity and if we are to make provision for it in time to have it when it is needed, we should make up our minds soon to proceed with the work.” 
The topic of traffic levels between Helena and Livingston came up between Slade and Hannaford in early October. Following a Saturday meeting, Slade sent the president firm numbers. On October 8, 1916, he wrote, “we moved [sixteen] eastbound freight trains, with 484 cars, over that district and [nine] trains westbound, a total movement of 25 trains. As indicating how many train movements are required on account of the heavy grade between Logan and Bozeman, we moved eastbound out of Livingston in the same period [eleven] trains with 642 cars . . . . I cannot help feeling that the time has come when we should get started on the second track between Logan and Bozeman and if we do not, that within a comparatively short time, we are going to find this one of the limiting districts on our main line.”  To this end, Slade now began bombarding Hannaford with arguments in favor of construction.
An October 24 salvo from Slade again revisited the surveys, right-of-way purchases, and Woodworth’s traffic projections. It also discussed the tonnage ratings, pointing out “The tonnage rating of Class W engines being 1,500 tons, and W-3 engines 2,100 tons.” An alternate line, built to Kendrick’s standard, “on which grade the tonnage rating for W engines would be 2,400 and W-3 engines 3,000, or about 40 percent greater tonnage.” 
Four days later Slade, even though he was on the road at French Lick, Ind., fired off another missive. “As indicating the effect on our expenses of handling more business than the economical capacity of our line, I beg to say that during September, on the Montana Division, which has been handling such a large freight traffic, we paid out in overtime to freight and engine trainmen $7,322.93, an increase of $4,203.87 over the amount paid last year. The percentage of overtime on this division . . . was higher than on any other division on the system and over fifteen percent of the total payroll as against about ten percent last year. The second track between Logan and Bozeman would have made a big difference in this item of our expenses.” 
In November, however, a point of order arose. More than six years had passed, Hannaford noted, since the Board of Directors had approved construction. Few, if any, projects had dragged on so long without any construction being undertaken. Did the authority still apply? Thus, on November 2, the Executive Committee, consisting of Hannaford and Clough, along with George F. Baker, James N. Hill, Lewis Cass Ledyard, Charles Steele and William S. Tod, explicitly told the president that the authority continued and he should keep the Board informed of costs and savings. 
One day later Slade was back at it, this time sending Hannaford a copy of Form 1640 for the Central District (the Yellowstone, Montana and Rocky Mountain divisions), showing crew tie-ups between October 14 and 21. “You will note,” the vice-president wrote, “that no crews were tied up on the Yellowstone and but one on the Rocky Mountain. Fifteen were tied up on the Montana, of which thirteen were crews running over the district between Livingston and Logan. Please note that these crews were on duty in every case nearly fourteen hours and in a few cases very near to the sixteen hour limit before they were tied up. The eight-tenths single track twenty-five mile stretch between Logan and Bozeman is certainly now the most congested part of our main line and has just about reached the limit of its capacity for holding trains. Experienced railroad officers, to whom I have given some figures showing the train movement over this district, tell me that they are surprised that we are able to move the volume of business over a single track line no matter how well equipped.” 
Upon his return from the board meeting in New York, Hannaford informed Slade that while the Board passed a resolution continuing authority, they asked for “an up-to-date proposition of the cost, exact location and saving that would be accomplished by this over double tracking the present line be submitted to them before final authority was given.”  This request went to the Engineering Department.
Twenty days later, Principal Assistant Engineer Stoerk Johan Bratager produced a surprising report. Central District General Superintendent Arthur van Brown and General Manager John Malcolm Rapelje supplied Bratager with figures showing the line handled 4,439,207 tons in 2,832 trains in twelve months. An alternate main reduced the number of trains by 963, a savings of $17,127.77 in crew wages, $7,229.40 in fuel, $8,967.56 in 54,054 train miles, $1,917 in overtime, and $5,000 in miscellaneous costs such as accident claims, delays to competitive freight and so forth. This total of $46,242.73 weighed against an increase of $8,500 for track maintenance, $31,050 in interest, and $5,000 in other charges like station service. From these figures, the Norwegian-born engineer calculated a savings of just $1,692.73 per year! 
Despite the miniscule savings indicated, Slade was undeterred. On December 9, the vice-president submitted a formal request for an Authority for Expenditure, asking for $1,517,620 to construct a new 0.4 percent eastbound freight line to improve freight handling between Helena and Livingston. Interestingly, the request called for two depots for $1,800, though these were not built. The request closed with the optimistic “Work should be commenced early next spring in order to complete by next fall if possible.” 
Slade closed out 1916 still making the case for the Low Line. On December 20, he wrote the president, “I feel certain that our experience after the line is completed will show that the estimated saving have been more than realized and that we have been successful, through the construction of this line, in effecting reductions in our operating expenses which, coupled with the increased earnings, will more than carry the investment in and the maintenance of the additional 33 miles of alternate line, thus giving us the increased capacity which we so badly need, without cost . . . . I, therefore, earnestly recommend that this expenditure be approved.” His letter offered up another tragic misstatement. “Eighteen months will probably be required for the completion of this line and if our estimates of future business do not go altogether astray, we will, by the autumn of 1918, certainly need the added capacity which this alternate line will afford.” 
The last six months of 1916 saw an ever-quickening pace on the Northern Pacific. Freight revenue increased nearly 27 percent, ton-miles increased nearly 36 percent, the average revenue train load advanced from 573 to 633 tons. President Hannaford wrote glowingly to stockholders of general prosperity along every one of the 6,505 miles on Main Street of the Northwest. “We handled  87,371 cars of grain as compared with 54,039 cars for the previous year, an increase of 23,332 cars. There was also great activity in the mining interests in our country; copper, lead, zinc and iron mines being worked to their full capacity, and the metal selling at high prices created a demand for transportation of not only the products, but of supplies, material, machinery, etc., that swelled our receipts from merchandise to the maximum figures for years.” The cloud on the horizon, Hannaford felt, was a prediction for a poor grain crop in the coming year. “It is feared the effect on business . . . will be quite pronounced.” 
In fact, 1917 turned out to be, if anything, altogether too successful for American railroads. On the Northern Pacific, operating revenues advanced another ten percent, the overwhelming majority of this increase concentrated in the first six months of the year. Ton-mileage increased fourteen percent, the revenue train load climbing to 662 tons. America entered World War One with a declaration of war against Germany on April 6, 1917, an act which had a profound effect on the U.S. economy in general and railroads in particular. President Hannaford must have been shocked to have to write in the next annual report that the situation now showed “conclusively that the increase in revenues was largely from the transportation other than crop movements. The increase came largely from lumber and other forest products and from manufactured goods, especially of iron and steel. The movement of munitions and Government freight, large quantities of export freight, and the diversion of food products from the ocean routes via the Pacific to the Atlantic and export from there, account for a large part of the increase. The increase of [$1.7 million] in passenger revenue was largely on account of the movement of troops and transportation of men employed in construction of military cantonments, at the shipyards, and in connection with other Government activities.” 
By the end of the year, railroads serving the Eastern seaboard were caught up in a tragic snarl that wreaked havoc across the continent. On November 1, the national car shortage stood at 158,000 cars, with 180,000 backed up at ports and perhaps 90,000 held on-line. To further muddle matters, the Northeast was hit by two months of sub-zero temperature and blizzards, delaying traffic into the spring of next year. On December 28, 1917, President Wilson issued a proclamation nationalizing U.S. railroads effective January 1, 1918. Against this tortured backdrop, seven years after authorization, construction of the Low Line began.
The Thirty-Three Miles
The $1.5 million contract was awarded to Martin Woldson of Washington, a figure perhaps best known as the future president of Spokane’s Golden Age Brewery.  E.L. Dorsett represented the Northern Pacific as assistant engineer.  Woldson put three drag lines, two steam shovels and a team to work at what the Engineering News-Record described as light grading. “Except for a few comparatively small rock cuts, the work consists chiefly of earth embankments, the material for which is obtained from side borrow pits.” According to the trade publication, the alternate main combined Kendrick’s 0.4 percent grade design with maximum curves of 4.5 degrees. Bridging consisted of numerous reinforced concrete siphons to handle the many irrigation ditches along the route, plus one large steel bridge of four through plate girders each 75 feet in length across the Gallatin River. 
One 5,005-foot passing track was built at Powers to handle a 105-car train. The point was named for Glen Powers, founder of Belgrade’s first newspaper. Spurs were built at Catron (496 feet); Kerns (647 feet); Cowan (668 feet); Spain (862 feet); and MacLees (406 feet). The points were named for prominent local landowners such as the Andrew Cowan family, the Spain family, and I.S. McLees. Though only a spur, Spain was also used as a makeshift passing track. An intermediate water tank was installed at Spain, fed by the same water company which supplied the railway with water at nearby Belgrade.  The 33-mile alternate main allowed for a two-and-a-half-hour run from Logan to Bozeman, a faster trip than the straighter 1883 alignment. 
Construction of the Low Line proved to be a continuation of the Northern Pacific’s problems. President Hannaford spent the entire day of July 10, 1917, in the field with Assistant Engineer Dorsett. While Hannaford found Dorsett energetic and anxiously pressing for an early completion, Woldson’s situation was completely different. “The contractors are having a great deal of labor trouble. We met more men walking off the work at several of the camps than we found on the work when we reached it.” The assistant engineer wanted to confront the labor shortage with the use of additional equipment, an expense which did not sit well with the visiting president. Hannaford departed with a very negative impression. Dorsett expressed obliquely through remarks “from time to time during the day” that there was considerable doubt as to completing the project on schedule. Moreover, confronting their wartime labor shortage with greater mechanization could only add to the project’s cost, something Hannaford wished to avoid. Recognizing his lack of engineering experience, he stipulated Chief Engineer Howard Eveleth Stevens review the project before authorizing any additional expenses. Not only did Hannaford come away with the impression the schedule for completion would not be met, but he stated flatly to Slade, “I am reasonably satisfied that the estimates will be exceeded and the contractor probably go broke.”
Hannaford returned from his inspection trip with an over-arching dread of something which made the problems of the Low Line construction pale by comparison. The president felt the Northern Pacific was about to embark on a very bad year. “I have talked with a good many of my friends and acquaintances along the line,” he confessed to Slade, “and while many of them are trying to put up a bold front, there are very few that are willing to predict as much grain tonnage, either in North Dakota or Montana, as last year. Personally, I do not believe we shall have two-thirds as much, all of which leads me to feel that the Logan-Bozeman line may not be an absolute necessity sufficient to warrant any material increase in expenses to get it completed early.” 
About a week later Slade, now in Chicago, addressed the president’s worries in detail. Chief Engineer Stevens told Slade that Woldson “had been very liberal in supplying machinery . . . . practically  all that could be used to advantage.” In addition, the Gallatin Valley tended towards late autumns, leading Slade to predict four more months of good weather that should enable Woldson to “get the track laid and roughly ballasted so as to get the use of the line this winter.” Nor should the president worry about the financial embarrassment of their primary contractor. “He deposited a hundred thousand dollars in Anglo-French bonds for security for carrying on the work, so that we know that he has that amount clear of other encumbrances.” Finally, Slade moved to settle Hannaford’s nerves about poor crops. “I do not believe that we need to fear a shortage of traffic even if our crop should be poor as you now feel that it is apt to be. The plans which are being made in Washington for spending money in this country for the aid of the Allies are so extensive that it seems to me quite certain that we shall have all of the tonnage to handle this autumn which our facilities, motive power and equipment can care for.” 
Three days later, Slade sent a follow-up letter after having again conferred with Stevens. Assistant Engineer Dorsett applied for further authorizations to complete the line before winter. The chief engineer, Slade reported, “asked the contractor to incur no expenditures on account of the grading which will involve a claim for any extra allowances.” Stevens did, however, inform Slade and Hannaford of an even more pressing problem than the onset of winter—the lack of key materials. “The rail and tie situation are more apt to delay the completion of the work than the grading. No ties have yet been furnished for this work and the rail which we have been counting on getting for it by relaying on our main line will not be available until new rail, the delivery of which is badly delayed, is received . . . . from present indications, at the rate the contractor is now closing the grading work, the delay in getting the line ready for operation will be chargeable to the tie and rail situations.” 
Chief Engineer Stevens summarized the progress for Hannaford in late August. Woldson added a new drag line to the three already working; an expense of $17,000. Shipped in mid-August, the contractor expected to have the new drag line working in early September. With a late fall, Stevens felt, Woldson could complete the grading. “We have no ties in sight for this line and unless the situation betters we will not be able to get ties for laying the track.” Now, even if the construction timetable was attained, it would be no more than a Pyrrhic victory. The Northern Pacific ordered new rail to be laid on the existing main for delivery in the fourth quarter of 1917. Once delivered, the 85-pound rail on the main would be re-laid on the alternate main. America’s entry into World War One squelched that idea. Howard Stevens wrote plainly, “It does not look as though we would get delivery on the new rail in time to make the shift.” 
The Northern Pacific’s annual report for 1917 detailed ten large upgrades to the physical plant, ranging from double tracking the main line from Rice’s Point to Little Falls in Minnesota to constructing branch lines in Montana and Washington—about $4 million in expenditures all told. The report predicted the Low Line would be “completed in the early part of the summer of 1918.” 
In 1918, the annual report again detailed major improvements to the physical plant, only this time it was a long litany of loss. “Jamestown-to-Windsor, second main track, twelve miles . . . Balance of the work has been postponed by order of the Railroad Administration. Mission to Livingston, second main track . . . Completion of the work has been postponed by order of the Railroad Administration. Lake Basin Branch . . . On account of shortage of labor, line could not be completed last fall as expected. Bozeman-Logan second main track . . . Construction of this line was very seriously delayed by labor conditions, it being necessary to suspend the work entirely for about two months of the working season.”  Construction, which faltered in the fall of 1917, came to a complete standstill in 1918 which continued through most of the following year as well. When material finally became available after Armistice Day, the line was completed and transferred to the Operating Department at 8 A.M. on November 16, 1919.
Reporting on the opening of service was General Superintendent Arthur van Brown of the Central District. Brown, 53, was from Mark Twain’s hometown of Hannibal, Missouri. He had been railroading for 35 years on the Missouri Pacific, Burlington, and, since November, 1909, the Northern Pacific.  The first eastbound freight left Logan, the general superintendent wrote his superiors, “at 12:38 P.M. with 2,630 tons, arriving at Bozeman 2:55 P.M., or two hours and [seventeen] minutes from Logan to Bozeman.” The next left Logan at 2:12 with 2,646 tons and arrived Bozeman at 4:45, running time two hours, 33 minutes. A third followed at 6:35 with 2,628 tons, arriving Bozeman at 10 P.M. sharp, running time three hours, 25 minutes. The poor showing, Brown explained, was due to a hot box at Spain, fourteen-and-a-half miles out of Logan. For comparison, the general superintendent included data for times and tonnages for trains handled over the original main on November 2 and 3. On the first day, Extra 1755 East with 1,796 tons left Logan at 5:10 P.M. and arrived Bozeman at 7:45 P.M., or two hours, 35 minutes. Extra 1756 East left Logan with 1,808 tons at 12:25 P.M. and arrived Bozeman at 3:13 P.M., two hours, 48 minutes. The following day Extra 1708 East with 1,914 tons left Logan at 2:30 P.M. and arrived Bozeman 5:10 P.M., two hours, 40 minutes. Not only did the additional nine route miles have a negligible effect on running times, the lower grade also compared favorably in terms of fuel consumption. Brown wrote, “There is practically no more coal consumed between Logan and Bozeman with 2,630 tons than there would have been with 2,000 tons by the way of the old line.” 
The first three trains over the Low Line averaged 2,654 tons, compared to an average of 1,839 tons for the three Extra East freights shown for November 2-3. This impressive showing becomes even more dramatic when the Northern Pacific’s freight train averages for 1919 are considered. That year, the company handled an average of barely 39 cars per freight, consisting of 28 loads and eleven empties for just under 661 tons.  The Low Line enabled the same motive power using the same amount of fuel to handle 30 percent more tonnage over nine additional miles of track at a speed equal to the original alignment.
On November 22, 1919, Chief Engineer Stevens wrote up the final report on the construction of the Low Line. He toured the route on a speeder and found the track “in good shape.” Stevens hoped for an early freeze to stabilize the grade through the winter, allowing him to send out an extra gang to reline and surface the track the following spring. A lot of settlement could be expected on the fills, he wrote, but “considering the nature of the ballast, the surfacing is all that could be desired.” Moreover, Stevens noted a significant improvement. “The performance on the low grade line is very satisfactory, and the line meets all expectations . . . I am sure you will be particularly interested in the figures showing that the trains make better time over the 33 miles of the low line than they formerly made over the 24 miles of the old line.” With the Low Line question finally settled, the chief engineer turned to address the next issue. Class Z-3 Mallets, recent replacements for the older Z-2s in service over Bozeman Pass, were not holding up to the short five-mile push, despite their expanded tank capacity. Already, General Superintendent Brown was cutting 300 tons from freights between Helena and Livingston, to be handled “by making some set-outs at Logan for the locals to pick up and take through . . . . Obviously we must have heavier helper engines between Bozeman and Muir just as soon as we can get them.”  It was all too familiar—each solution giving rise to another problem.
The Thirty-Seven Years
The arrival of the Class Z-5 4-8-8-2s, designed to improve train tonnages and eliminate double-heading across the Badlands, allowed the railway to assign additional W-3 Mikados to the Helena-Livingston pool on the Montana Division. Ironically, the Z-5s, which helped to eliminate double-heading on the Yellowstone Division, may have enabled it on the Montana Division. Conductor Warren R. McGee notes that with the arrival of the extra motive power in the late 1920s, the company broke with tradition and began to double head time freights with the W-3s between Townsend and Bozeman. His father, Howard E. McGee, a locomotive engineer, was able to bid in on one of the new jobs. 
Then, in October, 1936, twelve new Class Z-6 4-6-6-4s from Alco were assigned to the territory between Missoula and Livingston. Handling 3,750 tons over the district, the Z-6s pre-empted the W-3 Mikados in time freight service. However, the new motive power was not without its problems. McGee points out that “it took heavy sanding with Z-6s to get over eastbound grades . . . . W helpers were used to push on the rear end from Helena to Placer, with a Z-6 on the point of a 4,000 to 4,500-ton train . . . . Z-4 helpers were assigned to Bozeman and used to shove to West End [about 11.8 miles east of Bozeman], where they cut off and returned light down the hill. The same operation was used from Livingston to Muir [a distance of about 11.9 miles] on westbound tonnage trains.” Fuel was also a problem for the big articulateds. “It was a struggle to get Z-6s over the road from Townsend to Bozeman without taking coal at Logan.” Problematically, the coal dock in Logan was located off the main line; reaching it added an hour’s delay to time freights. 
These operations continued until the arrival of F-units on the property during World War Two. Studies undertaken in 1941 by the railway indicated the line item costs of diesel operation were lower almost across the board.  Diesels offered more than just an operational cost savings. Four-coupled FT sets, delivered in 1944, offered 225,500 pounds of tractive effort, while weighing in at 925,900 pounds. Top-of-the-line Z-8 4-6-6-4s, delivered the year before, offered a tractive effort of 106,900 pounds—47 percent less—on a weigh-in of just under 1.1 million pounds.  The first eleven sets of FTs started out on the Yellowstone Division at Glendive, Mont.; shortly thereafter, nine sets were sent west to the Tacoma Division, where, Dispatcher Jim Fredrickson notes, “the need for quality power was desperate.”  FTs 6009 and 6010, however, remained in the Badlands, supplementing the Yellowstones until February, 1947, when they too went west to the Tacoma Division.  In 1947, five sets of newly arrived F3s supplanted the behemoth Z-5s entirely. The Yellowstones transferred to Bozeman Pass as helpers, shoving the Z-4s off to other assignments. 
After World War Two, the railway began to purchase small batches of F-units to augment the FTs for main line freight service between Auburn and Livingston. Two sets of F3s destined for this time freight service were ordered in January, 1948, followed by several sets of F7s in 1949 and 1951. Some were set up at Glendive and used for a period on the Yellowstone Division, while others were set up directly for use on the west end at Livingston.  In 1954, they were joined by new sets of F9s.  Between 1946 and 1954, steam and diesel rosters on the Northern Pacific marched in opposite directions. The Northern Pacific started the post-war era with a roster of 103 diesels, a number which climbed to 227 in 1950, then 343 by the year the F9s arrived on the property, an increase of about 31 percent in eight years. Over the same period, the number of steam locomotives on the roster declined about 31 percent, from 750 to 515. Four years after the arrival of the F9s, the steam era came to a close on the Main Street of the Northwest.  Diesels rendered more than just steam motive power redundant. For the first time, motive power allowed the railway to handle a full-tonnage freight over the 0.8 percent grades of the original alignment between Logan and Bozeman. 
Any lingering capacity issues were addressed in 1956, when the Northern Pacific put 122.7 miles between Helena and Livingston under centralized traffic control. Savings from the installation of CTC were expected to be $347,000 per year in the territory. The program was successful enough to warrant the expenditure of $963,000 to put 67.2 miles between Missoula and Garrison under CTC; an expected savings of $247,000 a year. Northern Pacific Signal Engineer Al Hendry estimated that “CTC saved one minute of travel time for each train mile operated in CTC territory.”  CTC cleared the way for the dismantling of double track between Missoula and Garrison, the double track on the approaches to Bozeman Tunnel, as well as the Low Line itself.  Concurrent with the start of CTC operation between Helena and Livingston, in late December, 1956, operations over the Low Line were discontinued. Vice-President Carl H. Burgess wrote early in 1957 that “it is expected that actual removal of this line will start as soon as weather permits.” 
Epilogue: The Summer of ’57
Deconstructing the Low Line fell to the roadmaster at Butte, Montana. In this case, the 41-year-old shoulders of William E. “Bill” Carlson. Born in North Dakota, Carlson joined the Pacific Coast in Renton, Wash., as a section man in 1935. Four years later, at the behest of his father, he joined the Northern Pacific. This was not surprising, considering Emil E. Carlson was the section foreman in Renton at the time. For the next 36 years Bill Carlson progressed from section man to division roadmaster of the Rocky Mountain Division, ultimately becoming an assistant superintendent, Maintenance-of-Way, with Burlington Northern. Back in 1957, however, he was three years into his assignment at Butte.  That year, between June and September, Carlson oversaw the $57,000 spent on extra gangs salvaging anything of value from the railway’s million-dollar-plus investment in Low Line.
Prior to the start of the project, a work train with a Jordan spreader was sent through to level up both sides of the grade. The first gang through consisted of four men removing rail anchors, two men running machines to remove bolts from joints, and four men with Fairmont spike pullers. The spike pullers left just enough spikes on the line to allow equipment to pass safely over the line. They were followed by ten men removing material, two men placing locks or nuts on bolts and removing angle bars, and one man with a motor car pulling four push cars with hydraulic dump boxes, a push car of tools and a push car for a trailer. Behind this came six men segregating anchors, angle bars, and bolts into separate dump boxes, then four men loading spikes into the last dump box. The dump boxes were unloaded from time to time, leaving material piled about a quarter-mile apart for later loading into trucks. Next came two more men to pull the remaining spikes, followed by four men rolling rails off to one side of the line, then four men throwing tie plates into piles of 23. The gang of 35 was rounded out by a bus driver, a bull cook, and three supervisors. “With the above operation,” the Butte roadmaster wrote, “we could get about a mile a day, excepting when short of man power, which was frequent.”
Ties were piled into stacks of nine or twelve, with an old tie under one end for ease of lifting. “To keep up the tie piling,” Carlson noted, “we had to hire additional manpower, or stop the last [twenty] men of above operations and use them.” Tie removal brought a favorable comment on the maintenance-of-way applications of spray paint. “I marked all the ties to be salvaged by use of paint spray can—worked wonders—marks stay on indefinitely.” Ties to be sold to the public were dozed to the opposite side of the right-of-way, “then after  a couple more passes over the grade we had a good road,” Carlson reported. At each county road crossing the accumulated materials picked up and trucked out, “this way it kept individuals from stealing the old ties.” Totaling $18,000, sales of salvage ties was the largest credit on the roadmaster’s ledger for the Low Line. Remarkably, the ties were sold for 50 cents apiece, for a total of 36,000 ties, or about 1,090 per mile. Carlson wrote the Engineering Department suggesting that all of the ties might have been sold for an average of 75 cents each, a sale of over $54,000, if 2,200 ties per mile were reclaimed.
Because the area was not readily accessible to trucks, the rail 5.5 miles east of Logan was removed by Burro crane. In this section, four men removed rail anchors, followed by two more with machines removing bolts from joints. Four men with Fairmont spike pullers removed just enough spikes to leave the rail passable. Two men with a bolt machine removed the last bolts, followed by a man throwing angle bars and bolts into piles. He was followed by six men pulling the remaining spikes, then one man with the Burro crane and a flat. The track was taken up by a man using rail tongs to hook the rail. Three men threw tie plates into piles of 23 each, followed by a man who picked up any loose material. A water boy, a bull cook and three supervisors rounded out the crew. The Burro crane removed one rail at a time onto flat cars, loading 80 pierces of 100-pound rail per car in a little over an hour. In this manner, the gang averaged four cars every eight hours.
Roadmaster Carlson had a less-than-favorable opinion of removing the material with trucks. The loading and transport equipment broke down frequently, which meant calling up mechanics. Trucks managed an average of four roundtrips a day, with dump trucks averaging seven. He estimated the Burro gang of 37 men and eight machines removed track at a mile or more a day, costing the company $538.42 per day. The off track option, on the other hand, took 46 men, thirteen machines, and cost the company $892.82 per day. 
In a small way, the Low Line lived on long after its removal in the summer of ’57. Ivar Aspebakken, a gang foreman during the removal project, was appointed roadmaster in Spokane in April, 1969. On the Idaho Division he discovered the diamond from Belgrade had been shipped west and installed at the Union Pacific’s crossing of the Palouse and Lewiston Branch at Garfield, Wash. 
Jerry R. Masters, P.E., a veteran of the Northern Pacific’s Engineering Department, researched all of the company correspondence referenced in this article, as well as providing additional background information and commentary. In addition, he interviewed fellow veteran Warren R. McGee of Livingston, who supplied operational information about the Low Line. Additional information was graciously provided by: John Aspebakken; Richard Carlson; R. Milton Clark; Rufus L. Cone, III, Ph.D.; David A. Franz; James M. Fredrickson; Rick W. Leach; Mark W. Meyer; D.T. Sprau; Garvey C. Wood, Ph.D.
Company correspondence is drawn from the Northern Pacific President’s Subject File 1606, Bozeman-Logan, Mont. Alternate Main Line, 1907-1919, Minnesota Historical Society, Location No. 137.E.14.6 F; President’s File 1281, Location No. 137.E.4.4. F; Chief Engineer’s File 100, Location No. 137.I.14.6 F; 134.F.1.7 B.
1. Kendrick, John W., general manager, to Thomas F. Oakes, Henry C. Payne, receivers, September 4, 1895; 137.I.14.6 F.
2. Kendrick to Oakes, Payne, Henry C. Rouse, receivers, September 10, 1895; 137.I.14.6 F.
3. McHenry, Edwin H., chief engineer, to Kendrick, January 7, 1898; 134.F.1.7 B.
4. Masters, Jerry R. Correspondence, June 8, 2005.
5. Kendrick to Charles S. Mellen, president, September 15, 1899; Northern Pacific. Annual Report, 1899. St. Paul [Minn.]: Northern Pacific, 1899.
6. Darling, William L., chief engineer, to Howard Elliott, president, January 3, 1907; 137.E.4.4. F.
7. General Manager to George T. Slade, third vice-president, November 6, 1909; 137.E.4.4. F.
8. Elliott to Roy W. Clark, assistant to president, October 11, 1909; 137.E.14.6 F.
9. Darling to Elliott, December 20, 1909; 137.E.14.6 F.
10. Darling to Elliott, March 3, 1910; 137.E.14.6 F.
11. Slade to Elliott, October 23, 1911; 137.E.14.6 F.
12. Slade to Elliott, December 5, 1911; 137.E.14.6 F.
13. Elliott to Slade, May 22, 1913; 137.E.14.6 F.
14. No author. Memorandum About Proposed Alternate Line Logan to Bozeman, October 24, 1916; 137.E.14.6 F.
15. Slade to Elliott, April 4, 1913; 137.E.14.6 F.
16. Elliott to Darling, April 28, 1913; 137.E.14.6 F.
17. No author. Who’s Who in Railroading in North America, 1940 edition. New York: Simmons-Boardman, 1940, p. 706.
18. Clark, R. Milton. Electronic mail, August 26, 2005.
19. Ironically, Darling, Hannaford, Kendrick, McHenry, Merriman, Oakes and Woodworth all have points on the Northern Pacific named after them.
20. Woodworth to W.H. Merriman, district freight and passenger agent, Butte, Mont., September 2, 1913; 137.E.14.6 F.
21. Hannaford to Woodworth, September 4, 1913; 137.E.14.6 F.
22. Knight, George F., traveling freight agent, Billings, Mont., to Merriman, October 18, 1913; 137.E.14.6 F.
23. Merriman to Woodworth, October 23, 1913; 137.E.14.6 F.
24. Woodworth to Hannaford, October 22, 1913; 137.E.14.6 F.
25. Woodworth to Hannaford, December 27, 1913; 137.E.14.6 F.
26. Howson, Elmer T., D.A. Steel, and J.B. Tebo, editors. The Biographical Directory of the Railway Officials of America, 1922 edition. New York: Simmons-Boardman, 1922, p. 267. Also Northern Pacific. Annual Report. St. Paul [Minn.]: Northern Pacific, 1934, p. 17.
27. No author. Railway Age Gazette, August 29, 1913, p. 393. No author. Who Was Who in America, Volume I, 1897-1942. Chicago: A.N. Marquis, 1942, p. 1132.
28. Slade to Hannaford, September 23, 1916; 137.E.14.6 F.
29. Slade to Hannaford, October 9, 1916; 137.E.14.6 F.
30. No author. Memorandum About Proposed Alternate Line Logan to Bozeman, October 24, 1916; 137.E.14.6 F.
31. Slade to Hannaford, October 28, 1916. ; 137.E.14.6 F
32. Executive Committee, Board of Directors, Resolution, November 2, 1916; 137.E.14.6 F.
33. Slade to Hannaford, November 3, 1916; 137.E.14.6 F.
34. Hannaford to Slade, November 7, 1916; 137.E.14.6 F.
35. Bratager, Stoerk J., November 27, 1916; 137.E.14.6 F.
36. No author. Requisition for Authority for Expenditure, December 9, 1916; 137.E.14.6 F.
37. Slade to Hannaford, December 20, 1916; 137.E.14.6 F.
38. Northern Pacific. Annual Report, June 30, 1916. St. Paul [Minn.]: Northern Pacific, 1916, pp. 6, 16.
39. ----. Annual Report, December 31, 1917. St. Paul [Minn.]: Northern Pacific, 1917, pp. 6, 16-17.
40. Wood, Garvey C. Cultural Resource Management Report; Alaska Road Gravel Pit Expansion, Gallatin County, Montana. Loma [Mont.]: Gar C. Wood and Associates, 2003, p. 17.
41. No author. ''Seven Miles of Line Added to Reduce Grade,'' Engineering News-Record, July 19, 1917, p. 108.
43. Stevens, Howard E., chief engineer, to John M. Rapelje, general manager, November 22, 1919; 137.E.14.6 F.
44. Wood, p. 10.
45. Hannaford to Slade, July 10, 1917; 137.E.14.6 F.
46. Slade to Hannaford, July 16, 1917. This would prove to be the most accurate of all Slade’s statements in the Low Line correspondence; 137.E.14.6 F.
47. Slade to Hannaford, July 19, 1917; 137.E.14.6 F.
48. Stevens to Hannaford, August 25, 1917; 137.E.14.6 F.
49. Northern Pacific. Annual Report, December 31, 1917. St. Paul [Minn.]: Northern Pacific, 1917, pp. 12, 15.
50. Northern Pacific. Annual Report, December 31, 1918. St. Paul [Minn.]: Northern Pacific, 1918, p. 13.
51. Howson, Elmer T., D. A. Steel, and J. B. Tebo, editors. The Biographical Directory of the Railway Officials of America, 1922 edition. New York: Simmons-Boardman, 1922, p. 76; 137.E.14.6 F.
52. Brown, Arthur, general superintendent, Central District, to C.L. Nichols, assistant general manager, Livingston, November 17, 1919; 137.E.14.6 F.
53. Northern Pacific. Annual Report, December 31, 1919. St. Paul [Minn.]: Northern Pacific, 1919, pp. 30-31.
54. Stevens to Rapelje, November 22, 1919; 137.E.14.6 F.
55. Masters, Jerry R. Telephone interview, Warren R. McGee, June 6, 2005.
57. Schrenk, Lorenz P. and Robert L. Frey. Northern Pacific Diesel Era, 1945-1970. San Marino [Calif.]: Golden West Books, 1988, p. 76.
58. Rennwald, Henry D. ''Main Street of the Northwest.'' Trains, February, 1946, pp. 26-27.
59. Fredrickson, James M. Electronic mail, October 3, 2005.
60. Schrenk and Frey, p. 67.
61. Ibid., p. 120.
62. Ibid., p. 120.
63. Ibid., p. 124.
64. Ibid., p. 86.
65. Masters, Jerry R. Correspondence, June 8, 2005.
66. Schrenk and Frey, p. 102. The later extension of CTC from Livingston eastward to Laurel, Mont., the authors note, ''reduced the transit time of each freight train by an average of one hour.''
67. Northern Pacific. Annual Report. St. Paul [Minn.]: Northern Pacific, 1957, p. 6.
68. Burgess, Carl H., vice-president, Operations, to Ed B. Stanton, secretary, January 11, 1957; 137.E.14.6 F.
69. Carlson, Richard. Electronic mail, August 20, 2005.
70. Carlson, William E., roadmaster, to J.D. McLaughlin, October 23, 1957.
71. Aspebakken, John. Electronic mail, August 17, 2005; October 10, 2005.
Updated March 5, 2006.