Model Train Operations on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe

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While Bruce Carpenter has built a lot of mainline heavy freight action into his model train operations, in Part 3 of this Burlington Northern Santa Fe series, Model Railroad Academy’s Allen Keller follows a system local working various jobs between yards in Chicago and Kansas City staging areas in the year 2002. With a GP-38 on the point, six cars of empties and a caboose on the rear to protect reverse moves, we catch #2158 turning tricks beginning at Nerska Tower.

The camera captures a realistic point-of-view angle of the model train operations from alongside the cab as (100) it trundles under I-80 at the Indiana Harbor Belt crossing and past a track gang replacing rail on Track Two. Bruce’s sound modules and decoders really add to the feel of “being there,” with engine noises ramping up in steps, the clank of couplers, valves popping, the clang of the crossing gates bell and the screech of wheel flanges on tight curves.

At Chillicothe, the engine cuts off, moves forward past the switch and backs on to the siding at the local Building Supply to pick up an empty boxcar. With the crossing gates down blocking the main street, and (200) the train parked on the mainline Track One, the crew works efficiently, re-coupling and accelerating quickly out of town to the next job. At Edelstein, the process is repeated at Peoria County Lumber. With no set-outs of coal today for the massive Illinois Edison Power Plant, the local proceeds to Hammersmith Graphics to pick up an ex-MoPac boxcar and completes its scheduled rounds and the EMD workhorse ramps up its aging but still robust 16-645 prime mover supercharged engine and heads to the staging yards at Kansas City.

It’s all part of the everyday but still-interesting action during (300) a typical model train operations session on Bruce Carpenter’s HO layout.

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Tags: model railroad operation, operations