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WIMHPG (Washington, Idaho, Montana, History Preservation Group)

   For over one hundred years, the Washington, Idaho & Montana Railway has served the forests and farmlands of North Idaho on a route stretching nearly fifty miles from Palouse, Washington to Bovill, Idaho.

   Conceived in 1903 to haul raw timber and finished lumber for its owner, the Potlatch Lumber Co., the WI&M provided essential transportation for the entire region. The railroad exchanged freight and passengers with three other railroads; the Northern Pacific and Great Northern at Palouse, and the Milwaukee Road at Bovill.

   The Potlatch Lumber Co. also operated a wide network of logging railroads branching off the WI&M at several locations. Logging by rail continued until the mid-1950s when both the rail lines and the locomotives were scrapped.

   The WI&M operated as an independent line for almost sixty years, and has survived since then under the ownership of four other railroads: the Milwaukee Road beginning in 1962, Burlington Northern after 1980, Palouse River & Coulee City starting in 1996, and the Washington & Idaho since 2007.

To preserve the rich heritage of this unique railroad and its affiliated lines, the WI&M Ry. History Preservation Group was formed in 1998. We're a small group, doing the best we can with limited resources to gather artifacts and information about the WI&M and PLCo, and to share what we learn with anyone and everyone who will listen.

   Please take a look around our site. You'll find information about both the WI&M and the HPG as well as links to related websites. Most importantly, you'll find ways you can help us with our efforts, including merchandise sales and membership.

   Please consider joining the HPG - the benefits include a quarterly newsletter and discounts on merchandise items. Best of all, you'll know you're doing your part to preserve the memory of a truly memorable railroad, the WI&M!

WIMHPG railroad depot in Potlatch, Idaho

Mission Statement

of the WI&M Railway History Preservation Group

   “To locate, preserve, and archive all items of a historical nature relating to the history of the WI&M Ry; to issue publications on this and related subjects; to encourage public interest in the history of the WI&M and the Potlatch Lumber Company; and, to acquire objects and property appropriate for a museum and/or any of the purposes listed above.”

   The WI&M Ry HPG is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational corpora-

tion registered in the State of Idaho.


The Washington, Idaho & Montana Railway History Preservation Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and is dedicated to preserving the history of this unique north Idaho railroad.

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