Rails Across the Rockies: A Century of People and Places
The Depot's main exhibit introduces visitors to the railroads' key role in the growth of the American West and modern Montana, including the Northern Pacific and Yellowstone, track construction, telegraphy, wrecks, and more.
Three of the nation's five transcontinental railroads ran through just Montana. After the Civil War, interest in the sparsely populated West grew as railroads, the newest technology in transportation, inched toward the Pacific. In 1869, the first transcontinental railroad crossed the nation through its center, and the journey from East to West became a relatively safe and comfortable trip of a few days instead of the once arduous cross-country horse trek or lengthy and dangerous voyage around South America.