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Whitefish Area BNSF Railroad

US > Montana > Flathead (County)

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Whitefish Area BNSF Railroad

BNSF radio traffic between Belton and Eureka area. Three dispatchers, Glacier and Boyer East dispatchers and on occasion MRL dispatcher in Missoula. Whitefish yard switching and all Mras maintenance channels between Belton and Brimstone.
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Feed Notes

This Uniden BCT8 scanner is scanning these railroad dispatchers:  Boyer East, Glacier, Missoula MRL,  plus local 'road' channel and maintainence of way channels.  You might also hear hotbox detectors talking to the trains near Olney and Columbia Falls and Coram.

This feed is near the siding of Lupfer which is about 11 miles west of the Whitefish train depot.  You'll hear trains as far away as the Coram siding to the east and Brimstone siding to the west. On occasion under the right atomospheric conditions  the Missoula MRL  railroad dispatcher will be heard as well. 



Railroad:    Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Company
Frequencies monitored: and "pos" means in what order the channel is scanned.
       Mainline Chan 54 Boyer East dispatcher       160.920 pos 2
       Mainline Chan 76 Glacier dispatcher             161.250 pos 3
       MRAS Ch 37 Red                                        160.665 pos 35
       Whitefish remote switching yard Chan 87      161.415 pos 5
             Mras Chan92 Rx Yellow                         161.490 pos 6
               Mras Chan 29 TX Green                        160.545  pos 7
               Mras Chan 68  Rx Green                       161.130 pos 4
               Mras Chan 15  Rx White                        160.335  pos 9 This channel used by MRL almost exclusively
                 BNSF chat?    Chan 47                         160.815 pos 10
                 MRL Missoula   Chan 56                        160.950 pos 11
                                          Chan 19                        160.395 pos 12
              Mras Chan  80 Rx Orange                           160.310 pos 15
              Mras Chan  34 Rx Blue                                160.620 pos 16
              Mras Chan  Silver                                       160.860
              Mras Chan  Gold                                        161.370
BNSF took back the Kalispell line and should be now using the Whitefish yard channel to switch on that line. 10apr2010
On occasion  you can also hear the remote controlled locomotives in the Whitefish yard. It will be a computer generated voice announcing various
functions as controlled by the switchman/engineer on the ground.
Added BNSF rail information.

PTC in this area seems to be all up and running with occasionally bugs and problems with engines linking or not linking, 05-12-17

PTC is  installed in the Whitefish area, (12-8-2016), I hear 5 stations polling from this feed site near Lupfner on the 220 band.
You will hear trains at these sidings starting from the east most extent of reception:
   Belton siding, also called West Glacier Park
   Coram siding, Coram hotbox detector might be heard on occasion
   Conkelly , beginning of double track and location of Columbia Falls aluminum plant
   CP 1213, this is a double crossover near Columbia Falls, a hotbox detector is near here as well that you can hear temperature too.
The Whitefish road crew switches loads here. 
Whitefish East, this is a double crossover where trains also divert into the north Whitefish Yard to park awaiting new crews.
Whitefish West, this is the beginning of single track to the west and starts coverage on my Dispatchers layout feed on
       With the ATCS program you can see the dispatchers layout, see the trains coming out of the yard, the switch position, and the color of
       the signals for the trains.
Vista siding,  this siding is just west of Whitefish, its a remote inaccessible siding along the shores of Whitefish Lake.  Used frequently, you can also see the trains occupy the siding as this is all new ctc territory with indicating sidings.
Lupfer siding, this siding is near my home and the feed for this radio and also the feed for the dispatchers screen layout.  Heavy use on this siding.
The eastbound Amtrak always goes by Lupfner siding at 7 am each morning.
Brimstone siding, named after the red rock in this area.  This is about the last siding I can feed  to ATCS Monitor and to the audio feed.
On occasion you can still hear trains and track forces further west of this area, e.g. the next siding is Twin Meadows, a siding just on the east side of the Flathead Tunnel.  My reception of the controls for the huge door covering the east portal of the tunnel does work so you can see the dispatcher open the doors for trains.
At least for west bounds, for east bounds the door opens gradually as the train is coming through the tunnel and builds air pressure in the tunnel.  As the pressure rises the door is opened gradually.  This trick forces air back behind the lead locomotive to give the engineer and the engine fresh air.  The train acts much like a piston in a closed cylinder this way.  After the train is by the door the dispatcher  commands a 'flush', and huge fans turn on to blow the air westward out the tunnel for about 20 minutes.  The noise is deafening and sounds much like a jet engine taking off.
Just took down the Discone antenna and replaced it with a Tram 1491 3 element colinear, I hope it improves this audio stream and the ATCS_Monitor stream.
So far audio is cleaner, and in atcs I see more control points coming in.  September 29th.
You can watch the same trains you listen to on, download the program and layout called Elmira East, this covers Elmira to West switch Whitefish.
Update 9/26/2018  It is rumored big changes on the railroad up at Marias Pass/ Summit.  Talk is the Marias crossovers may go back in and/or double track extended to Bison East.
Update 2/21/2021  Marias improvement on hold due to the economy.  Regional headquarters moved out of Billings back to Whitefish because of the downturn in coal usage in southeast Montana and Wyoming.  The railroad seems to want to concentrate on managing oil shipments across Montana. 
Update:  Planned power outgage last night for 6 hours, back up and running, adjusted audio gain and squelch 8/12/2021.
Leo Yudysky K7ONI
Retired signal supervisor BNSF railroad Whitefish, Mt.