Yellowstone: What Exactly Is The Train Station?


Things don’t work in the same way on the “Yellowstone” ranch as they might on more traditional ranches. While there are plenty of typical ranching duties like herding cattle and breaking in horses, there are also aspects of working at the Dutton ranch that are a bit more challenging in the moral sense. Of course, “Yellowstone” fans will know by now that characters like John Dutton (Kevin Costner) or Rip Wheeler (Cole Hauser) are more than willing to get their hands dirty, as are any other branded members of the ranch. However, the worst fate that any ranch hand on the show can experience is a trip to the dreaded “train station.”

On the Dutton ranch, “take him to the train station” is code for “this man can’t be trusted and needs to be killed.” The train station in “Yellowstone” doesn’t actually even exist; instead, it’s a cliff on the side of a highway where the Duttons and ranchers from all around Montana and other states drop the bodies of those who have crossed them. No one knows how many bodies are at the bottom, but chances are, if you’re visiting the train station in the “Yellowstone” universe, it’s because someone is about to die or is already dead.

At least one character on Yellowstone has survived a trip

As “Yellowstone” fans may recall, the reason that the location of the train station was chosen by previous generations is that it happens to fall in the middle of different state police jurisdictions. With this in mind, the hope is that even if the bodies are discovered, no one could be sure which state they came from, and thus, it would be a complicated process to figure out which department is even meant to investigate the murders. Though it may seem like just a fictional detail in the show, the body-dumping ground is inspired by a real-life location at the edge of Yellowstone National Park. Known as the “Zone of Death,” the area falls between the jurisdiction of three states and the federal government, making it nearly impossible to prosecute people for breaking the law while there.

While most men who are taken to the train station don’t return, one character has been lucky enough to reach the side of the highway and live to tell the tale. When Kayce (Luke Grimes) is ordered to take Walker (Ryan Bingham) to the train station, he takes pity on the ex-con and decides to let him go, so long as he never shows his face anywhere nearby again.


Of course, this is discovered by Rip and Lloyd (Forrie J. Smith) when they happen by a bar a few hours away and hear Walker playing one of his songs from the stage behind them. Though Walker again survives this brush with death, he is taken back to the ranch, where the others can at least keep an eye on him.

What does the train station mean for the rest of Season 5?

One of the plot points for “Yellowstone” that has been simmering since Season 1 is the long-standing feud between Beth (Kelly Reilly) and Jamie (Wes Bentley), a grudge that is now tied inexorably to the dreaded train station. This is because Beth made Jamie murder his biological father, Garrett Randall (Will Patton), in hopes of securing the perfect blackmail against her adopted sibling.

However, Jamie finally turns the tables on Beth when he realizes that since he dropped the body at the train station, Beth can’t go to the authorities to turn him in without also implicating John, Rip, and several others from the Yellowstone ranch. Now, it would seem that the two have finally reached the end of their long chess game, and blood will be spilled between them before the series wraps up.

Finally, there is the possibility that with “Yellowstone” coming to an end, the train station itself could be discovered by the authorities, a development that will spell doom for the ranch and many of its denizens. While his extensive powers as the governor could be enough to shut down an investigation like this, with John seemingly on the chopping block, not even he may be able to handle this problem if and when he is killed off in Season 5, Part 2.


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