Regularly-Scheduled Passenger Service
Through 1960, thousands of passengers rode on the Yellowstone Special or later the Yellowstone Express trains each summer season. Following the 1960 season, some limited service (primarily freight service) continued through the 1970s. The properties in the town were deeded over to the newly-incorporated Town of West Yellowstone and have served the community in a variety of ways since then. In 1983, the area encompassing Union Pacific’s former properties was designated as the West Yellowstone Oregon Shortline Terminus Historic District. The land and properties used by the railroad outside of city limits were returned to the forest service with the local branch then known as Gallatin National Forest. The tracks were torn up leaving only a path along the forest floor.
Regularly-scheduled passenger service to the west entrance started on June 11th, 1908 and a community was born centered around the railroad. After hearing of the arrival of the railroad, a few adventurous entrepreneurs applied to lease land through the forest service and established the first businesses in the area in 1908, which were aimed at accommodating tourists. Over the next two decades, Union Pacific built several structures in the community, including the 1909 Depot and the 1925 Union Pacific Dining Lodge.