Havre, MT - Best Western Great Northern Inn
Address: 1345 1st Street Phone: 406-265-4200
Location/ Directions: From: Highway 2. The BEST WESTERN PLUS Great Northern Inn is located off Highway 2 East, between 13th and 14th Avenue.
Average Price (Checked Oct 2013): $90.00 AAA Rated: YES Stars: ***3***
About Hotel: 3-Floors, 75-Rooms, Interior Corridors,Complimentary Breakfast, Fitness Center, Airport Shuttle, Hot Tub, High Speed Internet, 100% smoke free hotel, Complimentary continental breakfast, Free shuttle service, Casino and lounge, Indoor pool Heated, Steam room, No pets allowed, Cable satellite television, AM/FM alarm clock, Coffee/tea maker, Hairdryer.
Railroad View: Excellent View! They don't call it the Great Northern Inn for nothing! I call it "Camping out in the Havre Locomotive Terminal"! You can't view the engine terminal better then this, unless your employed by BNSF! You need a room on the 2nd or 3rd floor on the rear of the building for a railroad view. 1st floor rooms are blocked by a fence behind the building. Windows open 1-foot, protected with a screen. You can see trains at night, plenty of light to video using a low lux mode. I even took some night photos. Although noise is not really an issue, some idling locomotives maybe heard at times. A third of a mile east of the motel trains will blow their horn for a crossing, which will help alert you to westbound trains.
Railroads past Hotel: BNSF Railway / Amtrak (trains # 7+ # 8 daily). The Havre Locomotive Facility is directly behind the motel. The closest track is about 15-feet from the motel. A turntable is within view. The mainline is across the terminal. Although you can see passing mainline trains with little effort, good photos or videos may not be possible. During my visit, there was a good assortment of locomotives in the yard, including Canadian Pacific locomotives.
Photo Comments: Looking northeast from the room, the rear of a parked GP38-2 is just 15-feet from the back of the motel. This locomotive was shut down and didn't move during my stay. Also seen is a BNSF SW-1500 locomotive near the turntable.
Looking directly north out of Room # 311, four GE wide-cab locomotives share a service track with a Santa Fe painted GP38. Look hard, in the back you will see another Santa Fe painted standard cab locomotive. This was the yard power switching the east end of Havre Yard. This locomotive is located near or on the mainline. This is one of the places to look for road trains (and Amtrak) passing through the yard.
Below: A road train with five 4400h.p. GE's lead a westbound intermodal train through Havre. A zoom lens was used to take this photo.
Curtin Call - Not too many hotels that provide an excellent view that you get here at the Great Northern Inn.
Night Photo: Yard lights provide ample lighting for video or in this case a still photograph.
RailfanMotels.com - REVIEWED SEPTEMBER 2013.