Courtesy of the Grant PUD Photo Archives.
first official train on the branch to Royal City was on June 10, 1966. The
Milwaukee washed and waxed two locomotives and cleaned up a few of their newest
type cars that would represent the type of cars that the products from the new
branch would be shipped in and brought them out on a special train and had a Grand
Opening ceremony. It had been decades since any new branch lines had been built
on "Lines West" so it was quite an occasion and the Milwaukee Road
traffic department probably milked it for all the public relations they could
get out of it. The next day they probably started switching the line and
brought out their usual beat up cars for spotting to load products at the
Milwaukee Road sent out three of its named business cars for the opening train.
Seen here are the “Milwaukee,” the “Montana,” and the “Washington.” All were
likely stuffed full of railroad officials, invited guests, and stakeholders
from the Royal City area.