Yellowstone’s “Train Station” Is Based On A Real Place In Idaho Called The “Zone Of Death”

Jamie Dutton Yellowstone

If you’re a fan of Yellowstone, then you know about the train station.

You know, whenever a ranch hand gets fed up with the ranch and say they’re leaving, Rip, Lloyd, Kayce, or whoever will voluntarily take them to the “train station,” where ultimately they end up killing them and toss ’em over the side of a mountain, never to be seen again.

Why, you may ask?

Because they’ve already seen too much of the corrupt side of the ranch, and they can’t be let outside due to risk of them exposing the Dutton family name.

Or you know, Jamie shoots his biological father and needs a place to dump the body…

Why this location? According to Lloyd, it’s because:

“There’s nobody living for 100 miles, a county with no people, no Sheriff, and no 12 man jury of your peers.”

In the mid-season finale, Beth was shocked to find out that her father and her husband, the two men she trusts more than anyone, have utilizes this “train station” for years. And she was even more pissed that Jamie knew about it.

Of course, it’s completely fictional, and ranchers don’t just go around murdering their pissed off ranch hands… or anybody else that stands in their way.

Or, do they?

Because apparently, the “train station” is actually a real thing.

Okay, it’s not actually called the “train station,” but there’s something really similar, and it’s located on a 50 mile stretch of land in Idaho.

Vox summed it up perfectly in a three minute long video.

Long story short, the majority of Yellowstone National Park is in Wyoming, but there are parts that span to Montana and Idaho.

And that 50 mile stretch of Yellowstone land in Idaho?

Well, it’s called the “Zone of Death.”

Yellowstone land was established before Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana even joined the Federal Union, so it’s always been Federal Land.

But, Federal land is split up and divided into its corresponding state’s district courts.

Professor Brian C. Kalt discusses in his paper, The Perfect Crime, that Yellowstone National Park was fully given to Wyoming’s District Court, regardless of the fact that portions of the park are located in Idaho and Montana.

So, this brings up the question of what would happen if you murdered someone in that 50 mile region of Yellowstone in Idaho.

Professor Kalt suggests that law enforcement would at first bring you to Cheyenne, Wyoming but the crime occurred in Idaho, outside of the state’s jurisdiction.

However, the constitution says that you should be held on trial in the state where you committed the crime, so you would get it transferred back to Idaho.

So, if the criminal sets up a trial in Idaho, then a jury would have to be made up of local people from the area where the crime occurred.

But, there isn’t anybody who lives in that 50 mile stretch of land in Idaho, so there is no jury to give you a trial, so constitutionally, they would have to let you go.

If it were to happen in the Montana portion of the park, then you would be held to a trial, because there are a few dozen people that live in that area.

And while the professor may have found some kind of legal loophole on a technicality, I wouldn’t bet on getting away with murder there.

In fact, a poacher unlawfully killed an elk there, and his case was sent to the District Court in Wyoming, when he cited the loophole as a defense, the court rejected that premise, however they reached an agreement that he wouldn’t appeal to the Appellate Court and the issue has not been resolved.

But nevertheless, the Dutton Family has used it for generations. Although, it’s not because of the legal maneuvering that they’ve been able avoid prison… it seems to be because nobody has found the bodies… yet.

Check out the full video below:

There’s a number of scenes that feature references to the train station, and this one from Season 2 is one of the best:

“You take that trash to the f*ckin train station.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock