Pictured: MRL manifest approaching Bozeman, Mont. (Bruce Kelly Photograph)

STB OKs MRL Rails’ Return to BNSF

The Surface Transportation Board (STB) on March 8 approved Montana Rail Link’s (MRL) petition to cease operating over main line between Huntley, Mont., and Sandpoint, Idaho, under a long-term lease with BNSF.

(Map Courtesy of MRL, via Nov. 18 STB Filing)

MRL Rails One Step Closer to Returning to BNSF

Montana Rail Link (MRL) in January announced it would cease its long-term lease with BNSF to operate over main line between Huntley, Mont., and Sandpoint, Idaho. Now, it is asking for Surface Transportation Board (STB) authorization.

MRL helper locomotives assist at the rear end of a BNSF grain train climbing Bozeman Pass, west of Livingston, Mont. (Photo and caption by Bruce Kelly)

BLET: BNSF-MRL Implementing Agreements Ratified

An “overwhelming majority” of participating Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) members have ratified an implementing agreement and Oregon Short Line Protective Agreement with BNSF regarding its resumption of service on Montana Rail Link (MRL), BLET reported.

Posey Out, Ollmann In As MRL President

Derek Ollmann was named President of Montana Rail Link (MRL), effective immediately. Ollmann succeeds Stacy Posey, who stepped down from the company for personal reasons.

BNSF, MRL move 10,000th Boeing 737 fuselage

An aviation milestone has been achieved thanks to a half-century of railroad transport. Spirit AeroSystems announced on Feb. 14 that the 10,000th 737 fuselage had left its factory in Wichita, Kans., and was en route by rail to Boeing’s massive assembly plant in Renton, Wash.