The Manitoba Railroad

The Manitoba Railroad (HM2MUI)

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N 47° 55.734', W 110° 30.829'

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The railroad grade you see before you was the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railroad, the precursor of the Great Northern Railway. In 1887, nearly 9,000 men constructed 550 miles of track across Montana's northern Great Plains between Minot and Great Falls in record time. The line connected with the Montana Central Railroad at Great Falls and gave Manitoba Railroad owner James J. Hill a profitable link to Butte and the surrounding mining districts. Hill offered more competitive freight rates than the Northern Pacific and Union Pacific railroads in an attempt to undercut the powerful transcontinental lines.
As railroads competed for supremacy, Montana's cities vied for transportation facilities. Fort Benton had prospered as the head of steamboat navigation and the hub of freight and stage lines to settlements in Montana, Idaho and Canada. But the railroads initially bypassed Fort Benton and replaced steamboats as carriers. Fort Benton had to adapt to survive. In 1888, Fort Benton businessmen funded the construction of a bridge across the Missouri River. The structure funneled the lucrative Judith Basin agricultural trade into Fort Benton. The routing of the railroad into Fort Benton in the late 1880s gave it new life as a trade center and railroad shipping point rather than a steamboat port.
Placed ByMontana Department of Transportation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, November 11th, 2019 at 1:02pm PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)12G E 536316 N 4691487
Decimal Degrees-47.92890000, -110.51381667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 47° 55.734', W 110° 30.829'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds47° 55' 44.04" N, 110° 30' 49.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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