The Train Station in Yellowstone holds a significant role in the series, akin to the Upside Down in Stranger Things or the USS Enterprise in Star Trek for their respective shows. Yellowstone is known for its themes of danger, deceit, and power struggles, making it one of the standout drama series on television, possibly even one of the best in the past decade, thanks to the creative minds behind it.
For those new to the show, understanding the significance of the Train Station and why it’s frequently mentioned by the Yellowstone cast might be a question. In our guide, we’ll provide a detailed explanation of the Train Station in Yellowstone.
The Train Station, located near the Yellowstone ranch, serves as a designated area where the Duttons and their trusted ranch hands dispose of deceased individuals without the risk of being discovered or prosecuted. In John Dutton’s own words, it’s essentially a “trashcan for everyone who’s attacked us,” operating with a certain level of secrecy reminiscent of mafia operations.
Functionally, the Train Station is a cliffside spot situated in a jurisdictional deadzone on the border of Montana and Wyoming, meaning it’s an area without any formal legal authority. It’s where even the most reputable characters in Yellowstone have been known to discard the remains of adversaries, workers, and even former friends. In some cases, the belongings of the deceased are left with them.
Given the nature of their dealings, the Duttons have, on occasion, resorted to lethal measures. Dealing with untrustworthy individuals who can’t be dealt with through legal channels, they take matters into their own hands. This makes the Train Station a vital asset.
The name “The Train Station” serves as a discreet code that John Dutton, Rip Wheeler, and others use openly in conversation without revealing the true nature of their discussions. So when they say, “Take him to the Train Station,” they mean, essentially, “Dispose of him and hide the body.”
Though few individuals have managed to leave the Train Station alive, Walker is a notable exception. After taking on the Yellowstone brand and subsequently defying Rip, Kayce Dutton is instructed to take Walker to the Train Station. However, along the way, Kayce has a change of heart, granting Walker a second chance and advising him never to return.
As for its real-world counterpart, the Train Station is inspired by a location near Yellowstone National Park known as the “Zone of Death.” This area, located in Idaho, shares similarities with the Train Station, comprising a fifty-square-mile section of land without a functioning jury system. This legal anomaly stems from a loophole in the United States Constitution.
The Zone of Death is technically part of Yellowstone Park but falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of Wyoming due to its geographical location. This presents a legal quandary: any crimes committed in this area would require a trial with a jury from that specific region, but since no one resides there, a fair trial would be impossible to conduct. This mirrors the justification used by John and his associates regarding the Train Station in Yellowstone.
In the entire history of the Dutton ranch, there have likely been hundreds of individuals taken to the Train Station, but the series portrays seven instances of this happening:
2. Fred Myers
3. Walker (survived)
4. Wade Morrow
5. Clint Morrow
6. Chester Spears
7. Garrett Randall
Walker, as mentioned earlier, is a unique case where he was taken to the Train Station but was ultimately spared. The others were not as fortunate.
In the chronological timeline of Yellowstone, the first person we witness being taken to the Train Station is Rowdy, a ranch hand who clashes with a young Rip over inappropriate comments about Beth. Unfortunately, Rowdy dies from the altercation, marking Rip’s first trip to the Train Station.
Another ranch hand, Fred Myers, meets a similar fate early in the series after a dispute with a branded hand, Jimmy. He is led to his demise by Lloyd. Wade Morrow, an ex-branded hand, faces execution by the Yellowstone crew after assaulting two current hands, Teeter and Colby. Wade’s son, Clint, who assisted in the attack, meets the same fate.
Attempting to assassinate the Duttons proves to be a fatal mistake, leading to the last two victims finding their way to the Train Station: Chester Spears, a middleman assassin, and Garrett Randall, Jamie Dutton’s biological father who orchestrated the entire scheme.