• model railroad layout

    The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Model Railroad Layout

    When Bruce Carpenter was first dreaming of a prototype road for his HO-Scale model railroad layout, the Burlington Northern Santa Fe – America’s second largest (by revenue) Class 1 railroad – was a logical choice. Stretching from Chicago to the West Coast, the BNSF is a bigtime modern railroad with more than 32,000 route miles.…

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  • model train layout

    The Burlington Northern Santa Fe Model Train Layout Tour

    The Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad was the logical choice for HO modeler, Bruce Carpenter, when he was designing his large basement model train layout. The BNSF ticked all the right points: modern motive power, heavy mainline traffic, a huge variety of equipment, lots of staging yards and a prototype which served myriad industries large…

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  • model train operations

    Model Train Operations on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe

    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…

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  • model railroad ideas

    Model Railroad Ideas & Design Inspiration for the BNSF

    In Part Four of his series on Bruce Carpenter’s BNSF, Allen Keller sits down with Bruce to discuss the reasons and rationale for the model railroad ideas and design he incorporated into his massive layout. Bruce explains that he wants to represent the heavy density traffic on just a small portion of the sprawling Western…

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  • 1:25

    How Long it Took to Build the BNSF Model Railway

    If you’re planning a layout, then setting realistic goals is usually a must in order not to suffer (too much) frustrations and anxiety along the way! However, everyone’s expectations and work ethic are different. And so it was when Bruce Carpenter planned to have his huge 25′ x 62′ HO layout operational in just six…

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  • model railroad crossings

    Making Staging Yards & Model Railroad Crossings

    While it’s not uncommon to see model railroad crossings or diamonds designed into a layout, it’s rare to see them modeled as anything other than just a neat scenic element due to space limitations. But, as we see in Part Six of Bruce Carpenter’s BNSF HO layout, he designed his four-way crossing to be totally…

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  • railway routing

    Railway Routing on the Ohio Interchange System

    Bruce Carpenter had virtually given up the hobby of model railroading back in the 1990s when he got a jolt of inspiration that lead to the design and building of his BNSF layout. He tells MRA’s Allen Keller that he’d participated in clubs and even tried modeling alone, but had lost all interest and had…

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  • 4:55

    Moving Cars on the BNSF Railway

    Another fascinating and unique feature of Bruce Carpenter’s HO scale model railroad portrayal of the BNSF is the practice of moving cars. MRA’s Allen Keller learns that with seven different railroads interchanging on his layout, his friends get to run their favorite home road cars on the BNSF. At the start of each four-hour session,…

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  • model railroad backdrop

    Painting Clouds on a Model Railroad Backdrop

    In a layout as large as his (25’ x 62’), painting clouds on a model railroad backdrop can seem a daunting task and, in fact, Bruce Carpenter had never painted a cloud only two years ago. But he shows MRA’s Allen Keller a quick and easy method he learned for creating realistic-looking clouds using inexpensive…

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