We visited the Butte and Anaconda, Montana area in July of 2007 to ride the Rarus Railways ***Copper King Express*** on the Track of the Former Butte, Anaconda & Pacific. In late July, 2007 Rarus Railways new owner Patriot Rail reverted the name of the Railway back to the B.A.& P.
The new Butte, Anaconda & Pacific operates a total of 63 route miles, including 26 miles of main line track between Anaconda and Butte, Montana. Freight commodities handled include copper tailings, impacted soils, copper concentrates, beer and slag. The railroad has 12 locomotives and a 20-stall roundhouse, wheel shop and machine shop in Anaconda.
EMD GP9 # 106 rest's quietly next to the roundhouse in Anaconda. #106 was purchased new by the BA&P. The only change needed will be the reapplication of the BA&P letters. Rarus had kept the original paint scheme.
My wife Darci standing next to one of the excursion cars for the Copper King Express, the "City of Butte".
On the left, one of the original BA&P's varnish on display at Anaconda's Chamber of Commerce. Below are two photos of a electric switch engine that shuttled ore cars in the mine yards in Butte.. It is lettered for the Anaconda Mining Company, BA&P's original parent company founded by the "Copper King" Marcus Daly. They too are on display at the Anaconda Chamber of Commerce.
Below are photos taken from aboard the Copper King Express, including those of Durant Canyon along the Silver Bow River. Though only two rail lines pass through this Narrow canyon now (BA&P and the BNSF, formally NP), in some of the photos you can see the old roadbed for the Milwaukee Road. What a sight it must have been if all three trains were passing through at the same time!
Here the engine is being run around the train in Butte for the Return trip to Anaconda.
A view of the engine over the top of the power car.
A view of historic bridge # 11.02 where the BA&P passed over both the NP and the Milwaukee Road before entering Durant canyon heading toward Anaconda. The old Milwaukee grade is in the foreground.
A view from the Train of the largest free standing masonry smokestack in the world, the Washoe stack. The stack once served the Washoe copper smelter in Anaconda. The stack rises 585 feet.
The BA&P yards are just like a museum amidst a very alive and working railroad.