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Palouse River and Coulee City P & L Line

The Palouse River and Coulee City P&L Line encompasses the former Northern Pacific P & L Line from Marshall, Washington to Moscow, Idaho. This line originally ran to Arrow, Idaho where it connected with the Camas Prairie line and ran into Lewiston. In 1996 WATCO purchased this line from BNSF and operated it as the P&L Division of the Palouse River and Coulee City. The line from Arrow to Moscow was scrapped out in 1997. The State of Washington purchased this line from WATCO in 2004 but the Palouse River and Coulee City continued to operate it. The operation of this route was transferred to the Washington and Idaho Railway in June of 2007, though this operator had sublet the line from WATCO starting in November of 2006.

Southbound Palouse River and Coulee City 792 at Spangle, Wa

Late in the summer of 2001, I followed this Palouse River and Coulee City P&L train from Marshall to Palouse, Washington. Just south of Spangle PCC 792 leads her train through the northern edge of the rolling hills of the Palouse and through wheat fields that will soon be harvested.

PCC 792 at Rosalia Washington

Moving south out of Rosalia and past the former Milwaukee Road arch bridges, PCC 792 has dropped off one covered hopper at Rosalia for loading and picked up 2 PCC GP35's. When I was in college at Moscow, Rosalia was still host to 3 railroads. These lines included the Northern Pacific P&L line out of Marshall, The Milwaukee Road's original Idaho Division main line and the Great Northern's Spokane and Inland Empire Railroad branch to Colfax.

PCC 3651 switching at Palouse, Washington

This shot is from the spring of 2002 and PCC 3651 is spotting 2 boxcars at one of the facilities in Palouse. These cars will be loaded with bags of lentils for export to Afghanistan. The next morning these loaded cars will be transported north to Spokane along with 2 more car loads of lentils from pickups at Pullman and Eden plus 1 from Oakesdale; as well as a couple of loaded grain cars from Palouse. The W.I.M line to Bovill ran from Palouse where it connected with the Northern Pacific. This branch is still operated as far as the Bennett Mill in Princeton, Idaho by the new operator the Washington and Idaho Railway Co. click here to return to the main page