BNSF Temple Sub (with Union Pacific Track Rights)

Hoss Jan 29, 2024

  1. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    Those who have followed my recent posts know that after a 20 year hiatus I'm preparing to get back into model railroading. I've been doing a good bit of research on rail lines in Texas over the past week because I'd like to model a prototypical railroad in "my neck of the woods".

    I think I've narrowed it down to a 35 mile stretch of track of track between Temple and Cameron. This will be a point-to-point layout with turnaround loops at each end to allow for continuous mainline running for long trains along with probably more switching and industry service in the Temple area than I can handle alone. Most of the layout will run through rural central Texas with some grain and a few other industries along the way.

    While this is a BNSF line and yard I intend to grant track rights to UP just because I can, so I'll be able to run both of the railroads (along with the older variants that merged into them) to my heart's content.

    I plan to model in N scale and to the greatest extent possible I'm going to use the prototype as my track plan. It will have to be scaled down, of course, otherwise I'd need around 1200 LF of benchwork.

    The photos from Google Earth below should provide a nice overview of what I'm envisioning. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

    Overview from Temple to Cameron
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    Overview of Temple Area:
    Green - BNSF Temple Yard
    Blue - BNSF Mainline
    Orange - Industry / Turnaround Loop
    Red - UP Mainline
    Yellow - Interchange Tracks (not sure how much BNSF and UP interchange in Temple but the accommodations are there)
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    BNSF / UP Crossing & Interchange Tracks
    Blue - BNSF Mainline
    Red - UP Mainline
    Yellow - Interchange
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    North Temple Industry & Turnaround Loop

    Orange - Industry & Turnaround Loop
    Green - North Yard Lead
    Blue - BNSF Mainline
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    BNSF Temple Yard, Turnaround/Industry Loop, & Bypass
    Orange - Industry & Turnaround Loop
    Green - North Yard Lead
    Blue - BNSF Mainline
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    North Yard Lead (Green)
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    BNSF Temple Yard Overview
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    Engine House & Mainline South of Yard
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    Yard Bypass (Blue)
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    Engine House (Green)
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    BNSF / UP Crossing
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  2. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    And now for some of the industry opportunities...

    Mars Petcare (on North Turnaround Loop)
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    Lock Joint Tube (on North Turnaround Loop)
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    Buzz Unicem USA (on North Turnaround Loop)
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    Wilsonart (off Yard Bypass)
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    Reynolds Consumer Products (off Yard Bypass)
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    ER Carpenter (off Yard Bypass)
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    American Surfacing Materials (off Yard Bypass)
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    Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum (south end of Yard)
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    Wendland's Farm Products (Temple, TX)
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    Unknown Industry (Temple, TX)
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    BNSF Fueling Area (I think)
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    Heidenheimer Community Grain (Heidenheimer, TX)
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    Rogers Community Grain (Rogers, TX)
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    Unknown Industry (Cameron, TX)
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    Cameron Turnaround Loop (Cameron, TX)
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  3. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Wow...

    You've got a lot of info to use to guide the creation of your layout!

    How big of a space do you have for this? Multi- or single layer?
     
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  4. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    Right now I'm very much in the research phase of this project. The chosen route is close to me so I'll probably spend a Saturday pretty soon driving the route and taking photos.

    As for space...that's a big question mark at this point. To do this size of layout in my current house would require me to either use my garage or do a room to room type layout through the walls and throughout the house...maybe having a different town or scene in each room. My wife is on board with that but we'll probably sell this house and move in the next 6-7 years so I'm not sure I want to go that route. So, I don't know yet. Space is still being decided.

    A couple of thoughts I had last night...

    Instead of turnaround loops on each end I may do helixes on each end that are connected by a hidden track below the layout, effectively making it a loop that still looks like a point to point. This would improve the ability to have some continuous runs that don't need constant attention.

    Another thought is that I'll probably only model about half the yard. The real BNSF yard in Temple has 21 tracks. I will likely only model 8-10 to save space and because I'm not sure I could ever acquire enough rolling stock and locomotives to to fill a 21 track yard!
     
  5. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    WOW is right!
    It looks like it should be fun in an old warehouse. But way too much for most of us. I'll stick with eastern Wisconsin. Could even have winters.
    Best wishes.
     
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  6. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    BONUS!

    I didn't realize it before but the Temple Railroad & Heritage Museum is also an Amtrak station, so that opens up passenger service opportunities as well. Maybe I'll have the UP 4014 roll into the station one day just for giggles.

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  7. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    Sometimes I tend to bite off more than I can chew. This may be one of those cases, but as I said above I'm still in the research phase right now so I have time to scale things down if I need to. It would be super fun to actually build this to scale, but I definitely don't have the space for that and probably not the finances or time either!

    1 prototype mile is 33 feet in N scale. If I scale that down even further to 10 feet per mile that's still 350 LF of mainline. It's doable but it's a lot.
     
  8. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    If space and/or moving is a concern, you could adopt a modular approach, and stitch the modules together with quick & dirty, undecorated corner or end cap modules to suit the space available. This would allow you to use your modules as you build them, and stitch them together as space and progress allows. You can even build helix 'modules' to connect layers of modules together.
     
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  9. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    Modules could also allow you to build specific scenes you really want first, and skip other scenes until you get around to building their modules.

    Modules can re-define "selective compression" of your railroad as you progress.
     
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  10. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    You've given me a great idea, BigJake! Not sure why I didn't think of that!

    If I took the module approach I might start with the turnaround/industry loop north of the yard. Since it's basically a loop on it's on, it could keep me occupied with both switching and continuous running before anything else on the layout even starts. That area would also be large enough to incorporate a helix going down to temporary staging (which might also be used for a future return track from the Cameron end of the layout).

    Thanks for the suggestion! I may go ahead and start drawing this up!

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2024
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  12. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    BigJake's module idea inspired me to do a little more work on this.

    N scale measures out to 33 feet of track per one mile of prototype track. If I scale that down further to 10 feet per one mile of prototype track, the industry loop in Temple, TX fits nicely on a 10' x 16' layout. The reality is I may never have the space to do my original Temple to Cameron plan, but this prototype industry loop is a great track plan on its own that can provide years of entertainment even if I never choose to expand on it.
    • Blue - BNSF mainline (to helix and hidden staging and/or potential future return track from possible future modules).
    • Green - Yard lead into BNSF Temple Yard (possible future module)
    • Orange - Industry loop and industry tracks. Really though, on a 16x10 layout I can and probably will treat this as a mainline and run long trains on it. In the real world though, it's just industry.
    • Bold Red - Limits of benchwork.
    • Gray - Operator areas.
    Railroading Opportunities
    • BNSF mainline operation
    • BNSF industry operation (if I stick to the prototype track there are easily 8-10 industries that can be served on this layout)
    • Amtrak mainline operation (pass through only...no station)
    • UP mainline, interchange, and industry operation (through trackage rights)
    • Older variations of BNSF and UP
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  13. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    I added two turnaround loops (yellow) on the south end as well as a track going to the helix (black) going down to staging. When I get time I'll start drawing this up in Rail Modeler Pro.

    [​IMG]
     
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  14. country joe

    country joe TrainBoard Member

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    Looks like a very good plan, Hoss. It would make a great layout that can keep you busy and happy for many years. It could be, but doesn’t have to be, expanded. My only concern is having to duck under to get to the operating areas.
     
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  15. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    One of the advantages of a modular approach is that you can focus on each individual site separately, in isolation. You don't have to model a loop as a loop of industries/modules, but you can, if you have the room for it. If not, the 'loop' could be just two back-to-back rows of modules. This gives you a lot more flexibility to suite what ever space(s) you have to set up your empire in the future.

    Once you have a space available, you can fill in the spaces between industries as you see fit with additional modules. Use an existing module standard for module track interfaces and dimensions, or roll your own.

    Modules don't typically support a lot of varying terrain/elevations, but it does not look like your modeled area has too much of that to deal with.
     
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  16. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks. I don't get to take all the credit though. BNSF or whoever designed it did a lot of the work for me. But I agree...stand alone or expanded it can keep me busy and happy for years to come. : )

    I'm not crazy about ducking under. I'm only 47 right now and it's plenty easy to do, but some day maybe not so much. Perhaps I can figure out a way to make a lift out section.
     
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  17. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    Yeah, what I'm calling module 1 could easily be broken up into smaller modules...and that may happen. For now though I'm having a lot of fun on Google Earth experimenting. : )

    Module 2, should I ever decide to expand to the yard, might look something like this...

    [​IMG]

    And if they ever get put together then both 1 and 2 might look something like this...

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Dave1905

    Dave1905 TrainBoard Member

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    Pretty much the only thing that takes the "interchange" connection is Amtrak, the Texas Eagle operates on the UP St Louis to Ft Worth, then the BNSF to Temple, then the UP to San Antonio. Going north the both the BNSF and UP lines end up at literally the exact same place, Tower 55 in Ft Worth. Going south, both lines end up in the Houston area.
     
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  19. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    I didn't figure UP and BNSF actually do much interchanging there, but it does give me the liberty to run both BNSF and UP on my layout without taking too much advantage of Rule #1 (it's your layout so run what you want).

    That's good to know though! It's great that there are lots of folks on this board who actually have real railroad knowledge. For the most part I do not. I've just always been fascinated by trains.
     
  20. Hoss

    Hoss TrainBoard Member

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    While driving to work this morning I had an idea...

    What if I incorporate the Temple Yard into this loop module I've got going? If I were to do that then it gives me some yard action and there would never really be much "need" to expand (although it would be really cool to build something like this and then connect a shelf layout to it some day that runs through walls and to other rooms in the house with different towns and scenes along the way).

    This is just a quick copy and paste from Google Earth, but incorporating the yard into this layout might look something like this...

    [​IMG]
     
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