Friday, June 8, 2012


Promontory, UT  H 78  L 51

Thursday was probably about the most perfect weather day we have had in months. The sun was shining but it wasn’t hot, there was a breeze but it wasn’t windy. There were a few clouds but it wasn’t cold. I want every day to be just like that one.

After visiting space, we went back in time to 1869.  With a stop over in the 1950’s.

As a child I fell in love with riding the train. We had a train called the “Goose” which was a single diesel-powered train that made daily round trips between Williston and Watford City, ND and Sidney and Richey, MT, a distance of about 300 miles. Being able to take a ride on the “Goose” was definitely a highlight of my young life. I had to save my allowance for months in order to ride to Williston and back. Used to go down to the rail yard just to watch the “Goose” arrive and see the people who got off or on.

This is the newspaper report of the Goose’s final run. The picture at the bottom is not the actual Goose but is the same type of train.

1959, 24 February: Williston-Richey "Goose" Makes Final Run

Williston, N. D. – the Great Northern Railway Company "Goose," a daily passenger train operating between Williston, and Richey, Mont., has made its final run. An order issued by the Interstate Commerce Commission authorized the railway to discontinue the service. The firm claimed it was losing $200 a day on the "Goose" run, which came into operation in 1932.

An I. C. C. hearing on the matter was held in Sidney three months ago, the first hearing of its kind under the Transportation Act, which simplifies service abandonment. The train also serviced Sidney and Watford City, N. D. Last year the Montana Railroad and Public Service Commission authorized discontinuance of the north "Goose." between Williston and Scobey. This was replaced by "truck" service.

Can you believe it, they replaced a train with trucks. How sad.

When I learned about the transcontinental railroad in school, I told my folks that someday I was going to visit the spot where they met. And today that item on my bucket list happened.

Since I took a detour into the 1950’s this post is going to be way too long and I’m going to make it two posts.

goose train


  1. It's good from time to time take a look back. But I'm now looking FORWARD to tomorrow's post.

  2. Love those trains also. Do you have any photos of Promontory Point? Never been there, though I live in Utah.

  3. Those are Budd built Rail Diesel Cars, made in the 50's to save the passenger train. They were fast, but there downfall was they couldn't pull a passenger car without burning up their Automatic transmissions. Truly great to have memories like that. I can still remember my Granddad taking us to the railroad station and sitting us on a baggage cart to watch the pride of the fleet, The Pheobe Snow arrive, you could set your watch by it It would be 01:55PM no matter what the weather. Be afe out there. Sam & Donna..

  4. Look at this, Sandie. It's in SLC.

    Rich and I always had fun in Chama (Cumbres de Toltec) and Durango (Durango/Silverton RR).

    Maybe you'll have time to travel the Heber Valley RR - sure looks like a pretty ride.

  5. Aren't trains just so interesting. So glad you got your long-time wish fulfilled!

  6. My first ever train ride was in one of two coaches pulled by a steam locomotive. In our little village of Tavistock Ontario we lived about 300 yards from the village railway station so I grew up with trains in my life every day for many years.

  7. I love trains. I especially like to hear train whistles, off in the distance, and think of Hank Williams songs. Weird, huh?

  8. Sandie,

  9. We have railroad tracks just the right distance from our house - you can hear the whistles but to me it isn't intrusive at all. I have only been on a couple of train rides but loved them. Enjoyed reading your memory.

  10. Trains to me are mystifying. I recently road a train from Oceanside, CA to San Juan Capistrano, CA. It was only a short trip, but I loved every minute of it.

  11. I like trains ... the history is amazing.

    AND ... this is the first time I have seen your cover photo on my laptop! I have only seen it on my little iPhone screen!

    Your dogs! HAHAaaaa.... your blog opened and hello! HAHaaaa... how cute!

  12. We are train lovers!! While we were traveling, anytime we had an opportunity to ride a train, we did. Murder Mystery Dinner trains, logging trains, Mt. Hood Train, just to name a few and a lot more on my bucket list.

  13. Trains are fun. It's definitely different than an RV. There are some great theme train rides. Maybe you should check them out.

  14. My 1950s train memory is of my Brownie Scout troop taking the train from Decatur, IL, to St Louis, MO, where we ate lunch in the dining room of the Famous & Barr department store then returned by train. Every child should have such a memory.

  15. What an interesting blog, and I just KNEW Sam would like it too...

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard


Thanks for visiting today. I look forward to reading your comments. Have a beautiful day.