Montana Rail Link MRL #871

Nature of Firm

MRL is a FRA Class II regional railroad providing freight service in Montana and Idaho. It operates over more than 900 miles of former Burlington Northern trackage. MRL operates between Huntley, MT (east of Billings) and Sandpoint, ID. MRL reaches Spokane, WA as its western terminus via trackage rights over BNSF from Sandpoint. Traffic includes lumber and wood products, farm products, ores and concentrates, non-metallic minerals, food and kindred products, petroleum and coal products, and transportation equipment.


Most of the MRL route was originally part of the Northern Pacific Railroad whose line, when completed in 1883, linked the Great Lakes with the Puget Sound thus becoming the nation’s first northern transcontinental route. On March 3, 1970, the NP, along with the Great Northern; Chicago Burlington & Quincy; and Spokane, Portland & Seattle, merged, forming the Burlington Northern Railroad. Montana Rail Link was organized on July 1, 1987 and began operating the former BN trackage in Montana and Idaho on October 31, 1987.

Company Information

Company AffiliationThe Washington Companies
Interchange PointsSandpoint, ID
Agreement TypeInterline Carrier
Information Exchange MethodFax