BNSF Temple Sub (with Union Pacific Track Rights)

Hoss Jan 29, 2024

  1. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    That's awesome. I still have a lot to learn about all aspects of this so something like that could be helpful.

    The reshuffling I mentioned above will likely give me a little bit of bedroom space to maybe do a partial around the room type of shelf layout. I also have a back porch I enclosed some time back to make it an air conditioned dog cave for my Great Pyrenees, but he passed and now that room isn't really being used. So, there are options.
     
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  2. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    I made my first purchase to start building fleet power courtesy of @Atani. All are DCC equipped and the two UP units have sound. Can't wait to see these dragging cars around the layout someday!

    UP 2953 - Intermountain 69327D-01* SD40-2 (ESU LokPilot Select)
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    UP 2964 - Intermountain 69327D-03* SD40-2 (ESU LokPilot Select)
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    BNSF 9836 - Kato 176-6303 SD70MAC
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    BNSF 1005 - Kato 176-3802 C44-9W
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    BNSF 877 - Atlas 40 002 689 Dash 8-40CW
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    BN 2091 - Atlas #47812 GP38-2
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    BN 2813 - Atlas #47408 GP-30
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  3. Atani

    Atani TrainBoard Member

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    Those locos look really nice in your setup so far!
     
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  4. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    I've tossed around a few different ideas for what to do with an upper level and today I sketched up a concept design that I think I'll start working on.

    There's really no need for BNSF and UP to share track in this area since they basically have mainlines that go to all the same major cities in Texas, but I like and want to model both of them. So, I spent some more time studying Google Earth and railroad maps in Texas and came up with a prototypical "loop" utilizing locations where the two railroads cross each other and have prototype connection tracks. BNSF and UP could actually share these tracks if they wanted to.

    Lower level is all BNSF mainline (blue). I'm going to make the upper level all UP mainline (red). The places they cross and connect with each other on my not-so-imaginary loop are Temple, Caldwell and McGregor. That'll be somewhat prototypically reflected in my layout with crossings and diverging tracks running off layout to wherever they go.

    They won't share yards but they will share mains.

    You've seen plenty of the lower level. Here's a concept of the upper level...
    [​IMG]

    Here's the overview on Google Earth...
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    Howdy friends!

    It's been a minute since I posted any updates on here. Truth be told, I've been going back and forth on several different route options. When I started this I had a few goals in mind...

    1. A somewhat prototypical layout of a location in Texas.
    2. BNSF was going to be the main operator.
    3. I wanted a location that realistically allowed some traffic from Union Pacific and possibly a short line or two.
    4. Some amount of passenger service (but not a lot).
    Using the BNSF Temple Yard as a focal point made (and still makes) perfect sense for me. I drive over that yard about 10 times a week and everything going 60 miles north and south from there is pretty convenient for me to railfan. As you can see below, the opportunities for this area are endless. BNSF has yards in Temple and Somerville. Union Pacific has yards in Taylor, Smithville, Hearne, and Waco. There are at least half a dozen short lines operating in the area. There are military trains to Fort Hood. A huge logistics yard in Taylor. BNSF and UP share rights on many of the lines and crisscross each other at many locations. The possibilities in this area just go on and on and on.

    [​IMG]

    That being said, lately I've been becoming more and more of a Union Pacific fan. Admittedly, this is partially because my wife has taken and interest in the hobby and she is UP all the way for some reason. I think it's the flags on the engines. Union Pacific comes across as 'Merica to her. And with multiple yards and lots of traffic in this same area, it would be plenty easy to make UP the main operator on my layout with guest appearances from BNSF. Plus I grew up watching Southern Pacific trains roll through my hometown, so it's a bit nostalgic in that way.

    But there's also a little corner of northeast Texas I've taken an interest in. Union Pacific has a decent sized yard in Longview that has caught my eye. One thing that makes this yard especially appealing to me is that BNSF has a small yard immediately adjacent to it (orange and green lines at the bottom of the pic below), so I could have sort of a combined yard. There's also an Amtrak station here and with routes going to New Orleans, Memphis, St Louis, Kansas City, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and Beaumont...well, there's a lot of freight traffic. Bonus...the area I'm looking at also crosses and interchanges with CPKC. I have no allegiance to CPKC but their engines do look cool.

    So, I'm sort of in limbo right now on further design until I pick a spot to stick with.

    Union Pacific Longview Yard
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    Possible Loop Route for Modeling
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    Zoomed Out Map
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    Anyway, I'm really just sharing this because I find these maps fascinating. There is certainly no shortage of places to go watch trains and think about modeling around here!
     
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  6. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    Nothing to see here. I'm still waiting for space to come available to build an actual layout, so in the meantime I just keep messing around with different track plans for a future dream layout. Did a little noodling on that this weekend and came up with this for the yard and industrial area. This is more prototypical than the previous version in some ways, and in other ways a bit less so...

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Tower24

    Tower24 TrainBoard Member

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    So many "Wow!s" already... mine won't even register lol! You've certainly set yourself an ambitions project. Some interesting track plans inorporating the north side factory complex. That area was nothing but farmland when I was a boy (my house was on the north side just south of I-35).

    However, seems like you like the idea of a point to point layout that reaches to Cameron. That would give you many more opportunities for different scenery. I have a suggestion - on your North Temple and Industry Turnaround Loop photo, maybe you could make your turnaround go east and then turn into the UP line down and through Temple to the BNSF/UP crossing. You could incorporate pieces of the BNSF yard and engine facilities, even the Santa Fe station, in the northern loop and also industries and sidings of the UP.

    Then, continuing south past the crossing, you could include some small towns and industries to Cameron and then the loop could swing east and then north and become the BNSF approaching from the SE, making a figure-8 layout. Since you plan to run trains from various railroads, this shouldn't be a problem for operation.

    Whatever you plan, I can't wait to see how it comes out! (y).
     
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  8. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the feedback!

    The design has changed many times since I first endeavored to do this, and what I'm working on right now is a double decker that incorporates both BNSF and UP lines running into and around the Temple/Caldwell/Waco area. It takes the BNSF line south from Temple down to Caldwell, then hops on a UP line that goes through Valley Junction and works its way up to Waco, and then follows the UP line from Waco back down to Temple. Basically a big loop incorporated into a double deck layout running both BNSF and UP. Right now this is all just theory though. It's a dream layout for a space I don't yet have.

    My hope is to clear up some space in our current house soon and get to work on a much smaller layout. It may be based on the same area but will be much more condensed.
     
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  9. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    Alright, my friends...I'm finally in a position to actually start planning for a real space and not just a future dream space. My high school senior will be graduating this month and likely going to serve our country in the Army (he aspires to become a helicopter pilot). Once he moves out I'll be able to turn his bedroom into a train room.

    I took some measurements this evening and this is a likely benchwork plan I came up with. This will be modern day (2000 and beyond) N scale with a small(ish) yard, some local freight, rural single mainline, and some hidden staging. If I can find a way to make it two levels I will, but I'm not sure if there's room for a helix with a tolerable radius (baseboards are 24" deep).

    Input is more than welcome.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Congrats on getting a train room.

    I think the 2 foot wide bench-work almost everywhere will really limit you. If you want to actually turn trains around and not have to run across the lift-out you will be using 10 inch radius track and with the room you have I'd try and stay away from that.

    Here are a few suggestions...

    [​IMG]

    Have two areas where there is 3 feet (at least 30 inches) to turn the track around. Angle the corners for more room (I did this on my layout and it makes a big difference in moving around it).

    When deciding what I wanted I did a lot of thinking and researching on lift-outs and finally decided I didn't want to deal with one, not saying no one should but....in your case I would drop that. Use the closet as a staging but make up the trains in a yard somewhere else. Have a run around track in the staging. Run a train in and then run around it and store it in a yard track. I think coming into that area from the lift-out you showed would eat up a lot of the space you have in there that could be used for storing trains.

    As shown above the layout could appear to be point to point but also have continuous running. I'd probably run the back track up higher (not a lot) and yes I think a helix would eat up way to much space in that size room.

    You can get a lot of railroad in that room so will have plenty of room to keep you busy.

    Sumner
     
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  11. Dave1905

    Dave1905 TrainBoard Member

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    Longview was the junction between the IGN and the TP. There are three main routes that cross through there: New Orleans to Ft Worth, St Louis to Houston/San Antonio, St Louis to Ft Worth. Longview supports local sand does a little block swapping. The only engine servicing is for locals. I can't recall them ever originating or terminating a through freight by plan.

    After the SP merger the FT Worth, Houston, San Antonio to San Antonio traffic changed to all North/East. Trains South/West go via the SSW and Big Sandy, TX to the west. The only westward trains that go through Longview are the trains from New Orleans to Ft Worth. The ATSF/BNSF line goes to Beamont, and post SP merger the BNSF gained trackage rights from Longview north for northward movements, via that blue wye leg on the map above. The only other westward movement is AMTK, The Eagle, which operates in both directions through Longview, between St Louis and Ft Worth (and ultimately Temple).

    Besides various on line companies the two biggies in Longview are a chemical plant (Union Carbide??) and Le Tourneau, a maker of large earth moving equipment.
     
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  12. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    LOL, nothing says "I love you, son!" like measuring his bedroom before he leaves...

    Congratulations on your son's choice to serve our country in the military, in whatever branch and role he chooses!
     
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  13. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    A few other thoughts....

    [​IMG]

    Sumner
     
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  14. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    @Sumner - I took some of your recommendations and came up with the potential track plan shown below.

    About the lift out, in my mind that's just a piece of braced 1x4 that's easily removed or installed as needed. With the plan I have below having the lift out in place adds some interesting operational possibilities in my opinion by completing the loop, but it could also be taken out and operated as sort of an out and back without it. Thoughts?

    Below is just mainline and yard. I'll add in some local service in the big loop area.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2024
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  15. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    I mean...he wasn't IN the room when I was measuring. :D
     
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  16. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    @Sumner - Here's another potential plan. This one lets me add some elevation to that back mainline a little easier.

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    Last one for the night. Here's a little bit cleaner variation of the last one...

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    I said the last one was the last one for the night, but here's a slightly different variation with some semblance of a mountain/hill thrown in for some tunnel action (and frankly to sort of hide the spaghetti bowl appearance I was seeing on the right side)...

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    First and foremost, it is your railroad so in the end do what makes sense to you and makes you happy.

    I'm not a fan of having a reversing section where the only way to reverse a train once you run through it is to back the train back through it. The plan has that now. As it is now you run from the town/yard out and right back to it unless you go across the lift-out which makes for a very short run. Going across it and you are still right back to the yard.

    A complete lap around is about 34 feet. In what I was purposing with a foreground track and a background track that appears to not just be a parallel track but further down the line you have a lap of about 55 feet (rough estimates).

    [​IMG]

    You also have two reversing sections to reverse a whole train.

    I wouldn't hide the tracks in the closet but make them a different scene, another smaller yard if you still want the large one. There is the option there to run a train in from either direction, uncouple from it, turn the engine on the wye and run back out in the opposite direction.

    I simplified the track plan above just to show the flow. The back track can gain some elevation, be partially hidden with scenery and other options to make it look like it isn't just running parallel to the track closer to the fascia. No need for the lift-out to get continuous running and a lot longer run when you do.

    Probably about all I have in the way of thoughts. I'll be following to see what you end up with and enjoy the build.

    Sumner
     
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  20. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I'm not a fan of a drawbridge that potentially blocks operator access to bathroom facilities. Just sayin...

    As a compromise for the closet door, I think a sliding "barn door" that slides open behind the open room door could work very well here. When closed, it hides the staging, when open it doesn't hide anything.

    I'm a big fan of the ability to continuously run a train. If nothing else, it is just an orbiting obstruction to make operations with other train(s) more "interesting*."

    Without the drawbridge, a dogbone layout basis seems most likely to provide continuous running. Just remember, dogbones can be folded and/or twisted to disguise their overall nature. Twisting the dogbone with a grade-level crossing can also represent a "junction" for more operating interest, and the appearance of two different roads, with access to drop-off/pick-up interchange tracks.

    But in the end, this is not about what I/we want, but what you want: Make it your own, and use/dismiss all our ideas at your pleasure.

    *Interesting and irritating are close cousins, if not siblings: one model railroader's operating interest is another's irritation.
     
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