A northwest mountain garden railroad: The Pacific Northern Railway was formed when the Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railroads merged in the early 1960s. I chose the name “Pacific Northern” because it included parts of the names of both of the original railroads. The two-tone green passenger-train colors were used because famous designer Raymond Loewy had recently redesigned the color scheme in the late 1950s, and it was cheaper to use this paint scheme than to repaint all of the equipment.
The actual date in history modeled on the railroad is June 25, 1966, which is the last time I rode the North Coast Limited. My father worked for the Northern Pacific during my growing-up years, which sparked the love affair with the NP. Dad was a coach cleaner and washed the windows of the dome cars when the streamliner rolled into Missoula, Montana. Occasionally, I still get nostalgic as I watch the North Coast Limited roll into one of the towns on the Pacific Northern.
Learn about the Northern Pacific.
See a Great Northern photo gallery.
Name: Pacific Northern Railway
Size of Railroad: 66′ x 52′
Gauge: Nº 1 (45mm)
Era: Mid 1960s
Theme: Class 1 railroading through mountain region
Age: 14 years
Track: 600′, code-332 LGB brass
Maximum gradient: 3%
Minimum radius: 16′
Structures: Kit, kitbashed, scratchbuilt