Hill in NW Nebraska, set in a panorama of rangeland, National
Forest, and undulating topography, is a formidable obstacle to
unit coal trains traversing the Butte subdivision between mile
posts 423 and 410 on Burlington Northern Santa Fe's Powder River
division enroute to Alliance, NE and points east. Head-end and
helper locomotives team up to provide from 20,000 to over 30,000
hp to defeat gravity and friction while moving approximately 30
16,000-ton trains over the hill every day. This double-tracked
portion of the Butte features back-to-back horseshoe curves and
deep cuts and fills with an average grade of 1.1% (800 feet in 13
miles) and a ruling grade of over 1.7%. All this power running at
notch 8 on the throttle excites the audio and visual senses of
rail fans while showcasing the impressive capacity and technology
of modern Class 1 railroading.
Click on the
mile post links
below to view more photos, GPS coordinates (latitude, longitude,
and elevation), and detailed information about each of the listed locations.
Thanks for visiting!