Have you ever wished you could go back, just once and ride that sleek streamliner you always dreamed about? The one that sailed across the endless sea of wheat, followed great rivers through empty range lands the exclusive property of cowboys and finally came smack against the widest wall of Rocky Mountains faced by any Western Railroad? We locked that final segment away in a genie's magic bottle almost a generation ago on stunning Ektachrome Commercial with colors so bright and real they take your breath away. You can sit in the Vista Dome all day with your nose pressed to the glass or listen trackside as the lonely cry of the Nathan Three Chime blows far away for tracks and trains and crossings that are gone forever - except from history books.
For 400 Miles from Bozeman to Pasco you'll be engulfed by Montana's highest mountains: a westbound trip in Summer and Eastbound in February. Both East and Westbound over the Butte Short line in summer. You'll climb every 2.2% grade at least twice: Butte Hill, Evaro, and Mullan Pass. You'll follow the Northern Pacific from the headwaters of the Missouri to the Columbia and catch up with Lewis and Clark along the way.
Vignette in steam along the edge of the famed Cabinet Gorge now drowned behind the dam. Excerpts from the NPRHS tape "Jim Fredrickson Remembers" of steam on Evaro Hill and the Timken Roller Bearings 4-8-4 "Four Aces" - the first locomotive of its kind.
The Mainstreeter, an almost identical train, without domes, is used to cover the Helena Line, and where ever the North Coast Limited was obscured by darkness.