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The Northern Pacific in the Inland Northwest

Building the Line Across North Idaho: A History of Early Railroad Development

The Northern Pacific, which is now part of the BNSF Railway system, has served as an important link in North Idaho’s transportation network for more than 130 years. The Idaho Transportation Department has recently supported the publication of a new booklet that provides readers with a brief look at the early history of the Northern Pacific in the region. The project was undertaken as mitigation for damage to an historic railroad camp site during reconstruction of the US Highway 95 corridor in North Idaho. The booklet is modeled after a typical railroad timetable and focuses on the survey and construction of the line and the railroad’s role in building local communities. Maps, photographs and previously unpublished drawings and diary excerpts about this period of the Northern Pacific’s development were gathered from archives and libraries around the Northwest. For information on how to obtain a copy of the publication, please contact the Bonner County Historical Society, the Museum of North Idaho or the Idaho Transportation Department, State Highway Archaeologist.

Click on the gallery to learn more.

This project was conducted by SWCA through funding by the Idaho Tranpsortation Deptartment.

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