Essex, Montana [December 2001]

A new day dawns cold, snowy, and overcast in Essex ... but you'd never know it from the cozy confines of the Izaak Walton Inn.
The Inn and its environs are laden with freshly fallen snow, so Larry fires up the tractor and blows off the walkways.
The first train down the hill today is a ribbonrail carrier, custom cars hauling quarter-mile lengths of solid steel rail.
Near Shed 12, an eastbound manifest claws its way up Walton Hill.
The locomotive consists thunders by.
Back at Essex, the conductor of the helper crew dismounts to line the siding switch onto Main 2, where it will attach to the eastbound manifest for a shove over Marias Pass.

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