In the last century, passenger rail traffic was much more available in Montana. When the Milwaukee Road line's passenger service was shut down, that ended regular passenger service on what is called the Southern Route through Montana. Last year, the Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority (BSPRA) was formed to try to bring more passenger service back.

This week, the Authority announced another county along the route has joined the efforts. Carbon County is the newest member, joining a dozen other counties from North Dakota to Idaho supporting passenger trains. Those counties are Broadwater, Butte-Silver Bow, Dawson, Gallatin, Granite, Jefferson, Missoula, Park, Powell, Prairie, Sanders and Wibaux Counties.

On joining the Authority, Carbon County Commissioner Scott Miller said, "Montana is moving into the future, and Carbon County has to move with the state to bring the economy and infrastructure needed to support this and the next generation."

Montana Law only allows county commissions to adopt the joint resolution to join the authority, but quite a few are eligible - Custer, Rosebud, treasure, Big Horn, Yellowstone, Stillwater, Sweet Grass, Madison, Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Lewis and Clark, Lake and Mineral Counties.

Dave Strohmaier of Missoula is the chairman of the BSPRA and said in a news release, "With another county getting on board, the Authority continues to demonstrate the importance of passenger rail to the state of Montana and ability of passenger rail to bridge partisan, ideological, geographic and urban-rural divides." He invited the public to check the website for more information at the

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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