Cove Road I – Lines – The C&NW Lander Branch
The C&NW Lander line southwest from Shobon to Shoshoni, Riverton and Lander is represented by a switch off the CB&Q Mainline between Casper and Thermopolis, then mostly hidden trackage until it reappears just outside the town of Lander.
There will be two or three trains per week out of Lander, carrying mostly agricultural products. Lander also had a Ralston plant that I think makes animal feed (maybe pet food or farm animal feed; I'll find out as research continues). This traffic is somewhat seasonal, so during some operating sessions there will be very few trains out of Riverton Staging (maybe one freight a week, with a twice or thrice-weekly passenger train), and during other sessions there may be one freight a day. See the section on Operations for more ideas.
The Lander branch is completely unscenicked except for town of Lander itself. Here are some photos of the area to provide some flavor.
Views Around The Area
This is a view of the Wind River Mountain Range from between Riverton and Lander, in August 1985. Except for the highway and the power lines, this land has changed little in the last few thousand years. Lander sits near the base of the mountains.
This truss bridge was located near Hudson, between Riverton and Lander. I think that's the Popo Agie river the bridge spans. When I lived in Lander we passed by this bridge, clearly visible from the highway, many times. It's long gone now.
This photo was taken in August 1985. Here's all that's left of the line from Shobon to Lander - a hiking trail that extends from Shoshoni to Riverton, about 23 miles. I was standing on the outskirts of Riverton when I took this photo. Someday I'll walk the trail, just to say I did.
This is a photo of modern-day (relatively) South Pass City. There is persistent speculation that the C&NW was going to extend from Lander through here on the way to a connection with the UP to the southwest, but the only documentation available on western expansion indicates a connection from near Lander to the sough gate of Yellowstone National Park. The C&NW never planned for Lander to be anything more than the end of track.