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May 9, 2009

Tester talking trains

Bozeman Daily Chronicle

Bozeman Daily Chronicle

U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said Friday he’s organizing a town hall meeting in Bozeman later this month on the feasibility of resuming passenger-train service across southern Montana.

Tester, D-Mont., wrote successful legislation last year requiring Amtrak to study what it would take to reestablish its North Coast Hiawatha route, which ran from Chicago to Seattle and was discontinued in 1979.

The Hiawatha train followed Interstates 94 and 90, passing through Glendive, Miles City, Billings, Livingston, Bozeman, Butte and Missoula.

Amtrak is working on the feasibility study and expects to have a finished report in September.

“Bringing the Hiawatha back to Montana isn’t a done deal,” said Tester, who serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, which oversees funding for Amtrak.  “But a lot of Montanans are interested in the idea—and rightly so.  This meeting is an opportunity for folks to hear an update on possibly restoring the Hiawatha.”

The May 26 meeting will also include representatives from Amtrak and the Montana Department of Transportation, Tester’s office announced in a prepared statement released Friday. The meeting beings at 2 p.m. at Bozeman City Hall and is open to the public.

Tester’s legislation also includes language to protect Amtrak’s existing Empire Builder service, which stops daily in 12 communities across northern Montana.

Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


208 North Montana Avenue
Suite 104
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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