Cut Bank, MT (CUT)

Due to the hard work of volunteers, the Cut Bank depot was recently repainted to highlight the building's Swiss chalet-inspired architecture.

101 BNSF Industrial Site
Off Central Avenue/Highway 213
Cut Bank, MT 59427

Station Hours

Annual Station Revenue (2016): $169,968
Annual Station Ridership (2016): 2,547
  • Facility Ownership: BNSF Railway
  • Parking Lot Ownership: BNSF Railway
  • Platform Ownership: BNSF Railway
  • Track Ownership: BNSF Railway

Empire Builder

Rob Eaton
Regional Contact
governmentaffairssea@amtrak.com
For information about Amtrak fares and schedules, please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).

Cut Bank is popularly known as the coldest city in the contiguous United States as measured at the local weather service monitoring station. This stop provides travelers with their first or last views (depending upon travel direction) of the Rocky Mountains and Sweetgrass Hills.

The depot, built by the Great Northern Railway (GN) around 1918, resembles a Swiss chalet. For early regional boosters, this romantic architecture seemed appropriate to the Rocky Mountains, sometimes referred to as the “American Alps”; the style would influence the design of lodges and buildings in and around Glacier National Park. The depot features horizontal wood siding on the lower half of the walls and the appearance of half-timbering on the upper portion. The roof, which has clipped gables, includes a large overhang supported by carved brackets that protects waiting passengers from inclement weather.

The GN is considered to have been America’s premier northern trans-continental railroad, running from St. Paul, Minn. to Seattle. It was formed in 1889 by James J. Hill, who orchestrated the merger of the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad with the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba Railway. Hill holds a special place in railroad history and lore, and is known as the “Empire Builder.” Whereas most transcontinental lines were built with federal assistance in the form of federal land grants, the GN did not utilize this method.

Hill’s business acumen guided the planning and construction of the GN. Much of the upper Midwest and West was sparsely settled, so instead of racing across the continent, the GN developed the regions through which it traveled as it steadily moved toward the Pacific. This action helped settle the land and created a customer base. Hill the businessman actively sought to establish trade links with Asia, and the railroad is credited with putting sleepy Seattle on the map and transforming it into an important and powerful Pacific Ocean port after the railroad reached the west coast in 1893.

A team of volunteers transformed the Cut Bank depot with hard work in early October, 2010, for the Cut Bank Chamber of Commerce annual “Make a Difference Day.” They restored the exterior of the building to its appearance of some 70 years ago, removing the metal screens over the windows and painting both the building and trim to accentuate the architectural features common to many stations along the route of the Empire Builder.

Businesses donated paint sprayers, lunches and a bucket truck, and over a dozen volunteers donated two days of work. BNSF Railway provided flagging protection to allow the painting to proceed. Building upon this community momentum, Amtrak installed a new 762-foot long concrete platform the next year.

Amtrak does not provide ticketing or baggage services at this facility, which is served by two daily trains. A caretaker opens and closes the station at train time.

Features

  • 30 Short Term Parking Spaces
  • 30 Long Term Parking Spaces
  • Accessible Payphones
  • Accessible Platform
  • Accessible Restrooms
  • Accessible Waiting Room
  • Dedicated Parking
  • Enclosed Waiting Area
  • Pay Phones