Story and Photos by Justin Franz
Columbus Day Weekend often means one thing for railroad photographers in the Northwest - Alta-Mont, the annual railfan gathering at the Izaak Walton Inn at Essex, Montana. For three days photographers shoot trackside on BNSF's Hi-Line Sub over Marias Pass by day and by night look a slides at the Walton.
2010 marked the 30th Alta-Mont and about 35 people gathered in Essex over the course of the three day weekend. I joined photographers Paul Birkholz - Mountain West Rail - and Brent Mueller for two great days of shooting. What follows are a selection of the results. The weather wasn't perfect, with the exception of three hours on Saturday morning, but as always the times were great.
For more information about Alta-Mont check out the website!
An eastbound Z-Train rolls through Bad Rock Canyon near Hungry Horse, Montana.
A stack train rolls along the Flathead River east of Belton, Montana.
U.S. Route 2 and the Great Northern: A match made in heaven.
Helpers roll across Java Trestle east of Essex, Montana.
Paul and Brent waiting at Java
An eastbound manifest freight at Coram on Sunday morning
All images copyright 2010