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The Train Station in Yellowstone explained - is it real?

In Yellowstone, you'll have no doubt heard the characters referring to the ominous Train Station. Here, we explain what it all means in the drama series.

The train station in Yellowstone explained: Kevin Costner as John Dutton

What’s the Train Station in Yellowstone? If you’re a Yellowstone fan (or, a Yellowstoner, if you like), then you’ll know that the Train Station has become as integral to the series as, say, the Upside Down to Stranger Things, or The USS Enterprise to Star Trek.

Yellowstone is a series fraught with danger, deceit, and struggles for power. All this makes the mainline Yellowstone series one of the best drama series on television, and perhaps even one of the best TV series of the past decade. Thank you, John Dutton! (And thank you Taylor Sheridan!)

But still, newcomers to the show may be wondering what the Train Station actually is, and why the Yellowstone cast keep bringing it up. Well, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know in our guide to the Train Station in Yellowstone explained.

The Train Station in Yellowstone explained

The Train Station is an area near Yellowstone ranch in which the Duttons and their branded ranch hands can dispose of dead bodies without fear of being caught or charged.

In John Dutton’s own words: “It’s the trashcan for everyone who’s attacked us.” It’s all very mafia.

Essentially, the Train Station is a roadside cliff located in a jury-less area on the border of Montana and Wyoming. It’s a “jurisdictional deadzone” — a no-man’s-land of sorts. It’s where even the best Yellowstone characters can be found dumping the likes of disposed enemies, workers, and even old friends. They’ve also been known to dump the corpses’ possessions right alongside them.

The train station in Yellowstone explained: the cast of Yellowstone

Surprisingly (or unsurprisingly, to be honest) the Duttons have been known to kill a few people here and there. They’ve got a lot of untrustworthy people crossing their paths, after all. And the people they can’t dispose of ‘legally’ via the Livestock Association laws, they handle themselves. All this means they need somewhere to get rid of the evidence. Enter: the Train Station.

It’s called ‘The Train Station’ so that John Dutton, Rip Wheeler, and others can refer to it openly without unknowing listeners catching on to what they’re talking about. When they say: “Take him to the Train Station”, they mean: “Kill him and dump the body”.

Few have made it to the Train Station and come back alive, but one notable exception is Walker. When he takes the Yellowstone brand and later defies Rip, the latter tells Kayce Dutton to take Walker to the Train Station. However, on the way, Kayce has a change of heart and gives Walker another chance, letting him go free and warning him never to come back.

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Is the Train Station a real place?

Kind of. The Train Station has been said to be inspired by a place near the real-life Yellowstone National Park called ‘The Zone of Death’. 

Pretty ominous sounding, no? It should be. The Zone of Death is actually in Idaho and, like the Train Station, it’s a fifty-square mile section of jury-less land. (You can see roughly where it’s located on the map below.) It’s a little complicated, legally, but it’s all to do with a loophole in the United States Constitution.

Stay with us. This part of the land may be in Idaho, but it’s still part of Yellowstone Park, meaning that Wyoming has exclusive jurisdiction. The constitution states that “the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed.”

Yellowstone train station explained: a map highlighting the Zone of Death

This means that any crime committed on that particular land would have to be put to trial with a jury formed of residents from that area, but because nobody lives on that land, there could be no jury of both State and district. Therefore, if a crime was committed on that land, a defendant would not have access to a fair trial, and could not be legally punished regardless of guilt.

Essentially, it’s fair play when it comes to the Zone of Death. Sounds pretty familiar, right? Well, that’s the same excuse that John and his crew formulate when it comes to the Train Station in Yellowstone.

The train station in Yellowstone explained: Walker and Rip in Yellowstone

How many people have been taken to the train station?

In the entire history of the Dutton ranch, the numbers may be in the hundreds, but across the series we see seven people taken to the Train Station.

Here are all the people who have been taken to the Train Station in Yellowstone:

  • Rowdy
  • Fred Myers
  • Walker (alive)
  • Wade Morrow
  • Clint Morrow
  • Chester Spears
  • Garrett Randall

As previously mentioned, Walker is taken to the train station by Kayce, but he is given a second chance. A lucky one, indeed. Others…not so much.

In the Yellowstone timeline, the first victim we see taken to the train station is Rowdy, the ranch hand that young Rip gets into a fight with for saying inappropriate things about Beth. He hits his head during the scuffle and dies, meaning that Rip gets his first trip to the Train Station.

We see another ranch hand make the journey to the “long black train” early in the series: Fred Myers. He makes the mistake of fighting with a branded hand (Jimmy), and is subsequently escorted to his death by Lloyd. Another ex-branded hand to make the trip is Wade Morrow, who gets executed by the Yellowstone crew after assaulting two of the current hands (Teeter and Colby). He’s also joined by his son, Clint, who helped him in the attack.

Finally, you simply can’t try to assassinate the Duttons and get away with it. This is how the last two bodies find their way to the Train Station; Chester Spears, a middle-man assassin, and Garrett Randall, Jamie Dutton‘s biological father who orchestrated the whole thing.

That’s everything you need to know about the Train Station. For more Yellowstone, take a look at our guides to Yellowstone season 5 part 2, as well as the 6666 release date and 1923 season 2 release date. You can also get to know the best Yellowstone episodes, and take a look at the 10 shows like Yellowstone to watch next.

If that’s not enough, take a look at our list of the best Taylor Sheridan TV series and movies. Or, you can check out our feature on what to do now that Yellowstone is breaking up with you. Don’t miss everything new on Paramount Plus this month, too!