Washington, Idaho & Montana Railway Co. Notes
The Washington, Idaho & Montana Railway (WI&M) was a shortline railroad winding across northern Idaho and into Washington. Constructed just after the start of the twentieth century, it reached from Palouse, Washington on its western end to Bovill, Idaho on its eastern end (despite its somewhat ambitious name, it never made it into Montana). The WI&M was originally built and operated by the Potlatch Lumber Company in its efforts to harvest the rich timber stands across that portion of Idaho. It also provided freight, mail, and passenger services to the towns and businesses that grew up along the WI&M line. The WI&M enjoyed connections with both the Great Northern and the Northern Pacific at Palouse and with the Milwaukee Road at Bovill. It survived as a stand-alone operation until the early 1960's, when it was sold to the Milwaukee Land Company. The WI&M was then operated by the Milwaukee Road until 1982, when it was sold to the Burlington Northern. Seventeen miles of the WI&M line are still operated by the Palouse River & Coulee City Railroad.
This small collection of Web pages, loosely organized as a notebook, represent my on-going effort to collect and share as much information about WI&M as possible. I first stumbled across a reference to the WI&M in a book about model railroading about seven years ago. As I set out to learn more about this relatively unknown shortline railroad, I found that there really hasn't been much published about it.
Comments, corrections, additional information, or feedback related to this Web page are always welcome!