The Gilmore & Pittsburgh Railroad

The Gilmore & Pittsburgh Railroad connected Salmon, ID to Armstead, MT, in addition to a branch to serve Gilmore, ID from Leadore, ID. First constructed in 1910, it served mining and agricultural areas in Lemhi County, ID, and Beaverhead County, MT. 

Image: J Foster Adams, G&P train at Leadore, ID, 1912. Wikipedia Commons.

The line was financially backed by the Northern Pacific Railway, and later became its subsidiary. The area was one of the largest in the US that lacked rail service, which piqued the interest of several railroads, although none acted on planning a route through the region before the NP. 

A group of Pennsylvania businessmen led by W. A. McCutcheon would put Pittsburgh in the name of the railroad, in spite of being over 1,500 miles away.

J Foster Adams, "Postcard photo of a Gilmore and Pittsburgh Railroad train ascending the west side of Bannock Pass, Lemhi County." (Wikipedia Commons)

Traffic volumes were significantly less than originally estimated, which put the brakes on any further expansion, and would make NP reassess the viability of the line as a whole. By 1939, the decision was made that the engineering difficulties of keeping the line open could not be sustained on freight volume, and the line was abandoned and removed the following year.

Gilmore & Pittsburgh Timetable

Today, the eastern terminus of the road, Armstead, MT, no longer exists as the town was submerged by the creation of the Clark Canyon Reservoir. 

Location of Armstead, MT now submerged under the Clark Canyon Reservoir. At the south end of the reservoir visible in the frame, is the original alignment of the NP tracks that now run east of I-15 between Red Rock and Dalys, MT. (Ghost Towns & Abandoned Places Map)

History of Steam Locomotives of the Gilmore & Pittsburgh

Further Reading, "Get off and Push: The story of the Gilmore & Pittsburgh Railroad by Thornton Waite. (Amazon)

Thanks as always for reading!


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