Stormy skys near Pipestone (siding) , Montana. Homestake Pass was Northern pacific's direct main into Butte, Montana. The line was built to expedite passenger and coal traffic into Butte. The coal would have come from mines near Red Lodge to the giant smelter near Anaconda, Mt. The coal traffic never really panned out for Homestake, but the Passenger Trains rolled for decades. What a site it must have been during the Mullan Tunnel re-routes in 1949 when all transcontinental traffic was diverted to this Pass. Can you imagine the sight and thunderous sound of multiple articulated drawn freights pounding around this curve?