Bringing Montana Indoors
GN 441’s traveling days are over. Mark Bachman, Chief Operations Officer of RELCO Locomotives, welds wedges to the rails to lock the wheels in place.
This is the blank canvas that confronted Jamie Lambrecht. The task of designing and executing the interior seemed intimidating, but she had a vision. “You’re already inside a locomotive, so there’s no reason for a mechanical interior,” Jamie explained. “I wanted to bring Montana indoors. I was inspired by Montana’s forests, wildlife and mountains.”
The same scene two weeks later, with the drywall nearing completion. We’re looking forward towards the kitchen; the doorway in the corner leads to the cab.
|There was plenty of work to do outside as well: trenching the utilities, pouring concrete slabs, and building the stairs and decking.|
Stonemasons build the fireplace while an electrician wires a light switch. Later a live edge birch mantle will be installed on top of the fireplace, along with a 46 inch LCD television.
At left, the tiles are positioned on the bathroom walls. “I hand picked every stone tile,” Jamie stated. “All of the stone in the bathroom and the fireplace came from Montana.”
The blue pine ceiling is nailed into place. Later live-edge trim would be added to enhance the interior’s rustic feel. Jamie said the contractors did beautiful work; “all of them were really enthusiastic about working on the locomotive.”
December 6, 2009, and it’s already 20 degrees below zero Fahrenheit. Up on the roof of GN 441, bundled against the cold, Jamie guides a crane as it places covers over the skylights to protect them from the deep Montana snow. (Photo copyright John Collins.)
To design the kitchen, Jamie enlisted the help of stores in Fort Worth, Chicago, Minneapolis, Great Falls and Kalispell, Montana. “Every person I approached about this was very intrigued by it,” she noted. She had to finalize the basic layout while GN 441 was still at RELCO so they could put the plumbing in the right places. Jamie allotted space for a full-size refrigerator because “the closest town is 50 miles away. I want to make it easy for people to enjoy an extended stay in the locomotive.”
The wall accents are ¾ inch thick slices of birch complete with bark, varnished in place. Other accents are cottonwood and pine. “I want to see the inside of trees,” Jamie explained. “I wanted the different trees of Montana, to bring the forest inside.”
By New Year’s Day 2010, GN 441’s interior was almost done. “I want people to stay here and not feel as if they were roughing it,” Jamie said. “Here they have all the amenities readily available to them, and they have Montana. You can step outside to Big Sky Country.”
All photos copyright Jamie or Tom Lambrecht unless credited otherwise
Mountain Retreat - Living Room - Master Suite - Kitchen - Control Cab - Luxury Caboose “J.J.”
Izaak Walton Inn - Glacier National Park - Glacier Area Activities - Going-to-the-Sun Road
EMD F45 History - GN 441 History - F45 Technical Data - Big Sky Blue - GN 400 “Hustle Muscle”
Rescue and Renovation - Paint Shop - Builder's Photos
Westbound to Montana - The Big Lift - Bringing Montana Indoors - J.J. Renovation
Guest Book - Runby Page - Site Map - Links - Contact Us