BNSF Business Car Photo or Technical Resources?

Mr. Trainiac Mar 9, 2022

  1. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    I’ve been considering building models of some BNSF business cars. Right now, I am focusing on BNSF 40-45. Those are the cars rebuilt from SP commuter gallery cars for the short-lived Transcisco Tours.

    http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=1184406

    I have a pretty good idea about how to build the body from scratchbuilt and commercial parts, but the underframe and mechanical components like AC and plumbing are a bit of an enigma.

    I’ve been considering purchasing Robert Del Grosso’s BNSF Locomotive and Business Car Review book from 2001, but I doubt it will have the detail or information I’m looking for.

    Does anybody have videos, photos, diagrams, or knowledge about the underside of BNSF business cars?

    This is probably a shot in the dark; it’s a bit of a strange request, but I thought I’d start here to see if anybody knew where to start.
     
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  2. MetraMan01

    MetraMan01 TrainBoard Member

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    I’m not familiar with these but if you strike out on prototypical info, you might be able to use the Kato Pullman or Nippon Sharyo Metra or VRE underbodies as a stand-in or base for kitbashing. BNSF owns some Metra equipment and a line in Chicago-I’m more familiar with the Metra commuter fleet than RR’s business car fleets. Anyway-just a thought if you strike out on accurate prototypical info.


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  3. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    I purchased a copy of the Del Grosso book on eBay, so I figured I would add an update here. The book is pretty much what I expected. It has some basic line drawings of car elevations, akin to the Official Pullman-Standard Library book series, with overall dimensions, wheelbase, and the like. However, it does give interior floorplan arrangements too, which are interesting, particularly for 'weird' cars like the HEP generators and support cars, which show the arrangement of generators and equipment in the car.

    There is a good roster shot for each car, and some have decent lighting on the underbody, but not enough for a highly-accurate model. I can find photos for both sides of most all BNSF passenger cars, so I can see the side arrangement of most equipment, but not the depth. I'd like to find some photos of the underside of the car for information like plumbing and structural members.

    I suspect that I will have to get in contact with someone at BNSF. The cars are based out of the Topeka shops, but the people I know at BNSF probably don't have the authority to get an outsider into the shops. Ideally, photos from the inspection pit or a rollover shot of a moving train would be best. I may have to light the Bat Signal to alert the railfan network for that to happen.

    I'm fine with keeping this project on the back burner for now as I collect more information. The trucks on the cars are another story, as I can't find a good model of them either. The Walthers and Kato trucks are a later GSC design. There is a large amount of GSC drawings at the National Transport Museum in St. Louis, but they are uncategorized and unsorted. It would be amazing to look though all of them, but properly cataloging them would be a monumental task.
     

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