Montana Department of Transportation

Malcolm “Mack” Long, Director


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Complete Project

2010 Montana State Rail Plan


MDT has completed the 2010 Montana State Rail Plan. Major elements of the rail plan include state freight trends, lines at risk for abandonment, passenger rail service, Montana rail competition, and grain facility consolidation impact analysis. Chapter 4: Passenger Rail includes an analysis of passenger rail along a southern route in Montana; this reflects information from technical documents prepared for Montana by Amtrak.

Report by section

Amtrak Study- Amtrak completed an analysis of the restoration of passenger rail through the southern part of Montana for MDT. The Amtrak study examines two segments. The first is between Sandpoint, ID and Williston, ND and is limited to a track analysis and outlines improvements that would be needed to make the railroads ready to carry passenger rail. The second part of the study provides more detailed analysis along the most populous segment of the same route, between Billings and Missoula, MT. This study considers investments, timetables and ridership.

The Amtrak study for Montana present findings at the "order of magnitude" level of analysis, this sort of analysis does not, for instance, represent the level of detail that would be required of a capital plan, but it does provide the best possible information at this time and for this scale of effort. The Amtrak study is intended to help inform further planning and policy development in regard to the restoration of passenger rail service through Montana's populous southern corridor.