Mission Mountain Paints Locomotives for Local High Schools

Railroad showed off newly painted locomotive to Columbia Falls students last week

By Justin Franz
The locomotive Mission Mountain Railroad painted for Columbia Falls High School. Justin Franz | Flathead Beacon

Like most high schools, Columbia Falls has a team bus painted with its school colors, blue and white. But now Columbia Falls can add a locomotive to the list of vehicles spreading a little bit of school pride.

The Mission Mountain Railroad recently painted a diesel locomotive blue and white with “Go Wildcats” spread across the side in honor of the school located not to far from their tracks. The railroad also painted a locomotive for the Eureka High School Lions.

“We wanted to give back to the community we serve,” said Kyle Jeschke, general manager of the Mission Mountain.

The two locomotives were painted in Columbia Falls and had school logos applied by Signs Now Kalispell. The Columbia Falls Wildcats locomotive will be used between Columbia Falls and Kalispell, and the Lions locomotive will be able to be seen between Eureka and Stryker.

Columbia Falls Principal Scott Gaiser said the school was thankful to the railroad for painting the locomotive.

“It’s another great example of how our community bleeds blue and supports our kids,” he said. “We really appreciate the Mission Mountain doing this.”