As a kid growing up on the Hi Line, I have great memories of train stations. My brother and I would hop on the Amtrak train in Glasgow, ride the Empire Builder across the wheat fields of the Hi Line, and on past the edge of Glacier National Park, before hopping off in Whitefish for Christmas and skiing at Big Mountain.

There is something nostalgic about old train stations, isn't there?

During our Hometown Handshake tour in Northeastern Montana, we ran into one Plentywood, Montana native who is working to save the old train depot in Plentywood.

Jennifer Hackler recently moved back home to Plentywood, and was in a meeting at the library. That's when she found out that BNSF Railway would be demolishing the old train depot- in one week.

Jennifer Hackler: My heart absolutely sank. I said, No, they can't. And so I started the digging process of how I could save it. I I imagined myself standing in front of a wrecking crew. You know, I'm I was adamant to save this building.


Hackler raced to get a hold of BNSF, and was able to stop the demolition of the depot.

BNSF has given us one year to remove the building, however, we need to get the transfer of ownership and a willing letter of support from them to continue. There's a lot of grants out there. There's a lot of preservation committees, Montana History Foundation, the Montana State Historical Preservation Office, Preserve Montana- these are just a few of the businesses out there that are are in support of saving and preserving the train depots. And I know that there's been a lot of of these depots saved across the state which is super exciting.

If you'd like to help, here's what you can do.

Jennifer Hackler: We have set up a bank account at Rocky Mountain bank here in Plentywood. It is under the Sheridan County Historical Association, and the memo on any donation should have "For the Depot" on it.

Full audio:


Photo compilation credit Heather Shoal
Photo compilation credit Heather Shoal
Credit Aaron Flint

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