industries that the bnsf railroad serves

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by zachary, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. zachary

    zachary Member

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    hey guys its me zachary i would like to know what industries the bnsf railroad serves because i am basing my railroad on bnsf so thanks for the help
  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Out here in Montana, grain and coal unit trains, double stack container trains going both East and West. If you like specialized loads, the BNSF hauls airplane components from Wichita, Kansas to Seattle, Washington using dedicated cars. A few years ago, I saw one SantaFe loco hauling one Boeing 737 fuselage. Nothing else on the train. When I questioned a relative, who worked for BNSF about the economics of doing that, his reply was "yeah, thats why we never have any locomotives available when we need them." And then of course there is machinery and general freight plus propane and chemical tank cars.
  3. zachary

    zachary Member

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    thank i apreceata your help cau i needed ideas about them four my layout so thanks again
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I think the industries the railroad services will to a great extent depend on the location of your model railroad. In Southern California, they haul a lot of containers into & out of the harbor, as well as a lot of piggy back trailers. Most of their general merchandise trains (non cofc/tofc) going into or out of So Cal are made up at the Barstow yard in the high desert.
  5. zachary

    zachary Member

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    i wanted to model around close to the bnsf hq thanks zachary
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    Is the headquarters at Yakima, Washington? I think there would be a lot of lumber products going out of that area, as well as produce. I know Washington State grows a lot of apples, pears, & cherries. I think they also grow plums, but am not sure of other crops. I think there might be quite a bit of fish coming out of the Seattle area. I'm not sure of mining in Washington State, and since virtually all of the state's electrical power is hydroelectric from the many dams on the Columbia River, I don't know how much market there is for coal except for export.
  7. zachary

    zachary Member

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    i also wanted to model the kahome pass spell check so i can use helper service on my trains thanks zachary
  8. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    That's Cajon Pass if you're thinking about the pass in So. Cal. No, I don't believe Yakima, WA is BNSF headquarters. BN used to be headquartered in Minneapolis, MN. Don't know where its at since the merger with the Sante Fe. The coal unit trains I was speaking of are heading West for export. They come from Wyoming and possibly other mining areas and East to power plants in the central US. Grain trains travel from the midwest to ports Like Greys Harbor in Washington state, Pasco, WA and Portland, OR. I imagine New Orleans and the Texas coast ports get their share too. As for fish being a big product in the Northwest, those days are gone forever. Maybe some frozen or canned seafood products? Lumber is shipped from the Northwest on flatcars.
  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

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  10. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

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    Just remembered, there are a lot of autorack cars going East, loaded in Pacific coast ports and coming West from various plants in the midwest. I hope you have lots of space, zachery, for big yards.
  11. zachary

    zachary Member

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    hey thanks for all the info i apprecate it i can now start drawing trackplans thanks zachary
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    If you want to model Cajon Pass, it is big enough that you could make a huge model railroad that is entirely taken up with Cajon Pass. In that case you would not have room for industries, just rains going from staging through the pass and back to staging. I would guess from what I see here in So Cal that 90% of BNSF's traffic is now intermodel. There are also a bunch of autoracks loaded with cars coming out of the L. A./Long Beach Harbors, as well as West bound autoracks coming out of plants in the Eastern US & Canada. We ship more citrus than ever out of So Cal, but most of the citrus crop is shipped by truck rather than train, although there are a few refrigerator cars going out.

    Another industry to consider in So Cal is cement. I don't know how it compares to other parts of the country, but gypsum mining is huge in Riverside & San Bernardino Counties. There are litterally whole mountains of the stuff that are being cut down, and hauled off to make cement. Of course along with the gypsum, there are also sand & gravel quarries to provide the other ingrediants for cement. There are also ready mix plants receiving gypsum, sand, and gravel to make cement for construction projects from home building to roads, to high rise office buildings and tilt up ware housing.

    In Los Angeles there are a lot of grain elevators. We don't grow much grain out here, but with millions of people in the area, we have a lot of big bakeries to turn the grain into bread, as well as a few major breweries that use malt, hops, and grain to make beer. We also have milling companies with grain elevators that make flower, or process sugar to supply all of the donut shops, local bakeries, etc all over the area.

    Finally there are mega-warehouses all over the area, the biggest ones tending to be in Fontana & Ontario areas that receive or ship just about any roduct you could think of such as food, electronics, appliances, or plumbing supplies. In fact if you look around your house, virtually everything you see that was manufactured, was stored in a warehouse somewhere at some time. This is probably equally true of any large metropolitan area in the country.
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I noticed a couple of spelling errors in my previous post, and tried to edit my post over 1/2 hour ago. Either the edit function has failed or the Gauge is so slow that it can't process the editing, but it waited in the cue or whatever for 1/2 hour and I finally gave up on editing the post.
  14. zachary

    zachary Member

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    hey man you are the best thank you so much for your help on all this i had done some google searches but got nothing so thank you thank you thank you zachary
  15. zachary

    zachary Member

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    alright now since i know the industries that the bnsf serves can someone help with a trackplan scale ho space 8 x 16 bnsf industries is going to be coal cement grain intermodel and whatever anybody can think of curve radii is 28 so any help will be greatful thanks zachary
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I would recommend that you copy this post to start a new thread in the track planning forum. If you don't mind a duck under, and if I remember correctly you are still in high school, so a duck under might not be an issue for you like it is for us "geezers", you could do an around the walls style layout with a center operating pit. Then if you want to include a part of Cajon Pass, you could have thrain start the climb out of San Bernardino part way up into the pass, and then disappear into a helix to a hidden staging yard under the layout. The other end could be a smaller helix (2 turn instead of 4 loop for instance) that would bring it back up to the other end of the layout. The Cajon Pass end would go into a double ended staging yard that would represent all points East of So Cal, the other end of the staging yard could represent points West of San Bernardino/Riverside. I personally would not bother with an intermodal yard. Intermodal works fine on a layout as a run through, but having worked on the docks where the ships are unloaded/loaded, and having worked on trailers in the intermodal yards, I think an intermodal yard looks "dead" on most layouts without operating cranes, trucks, etc. There is so much movement and animation in an intermodal yard that you just can't capture the right feel in a static display. That way trains come out of the staging yard from Los Angeles, come onto a layout representing Riverside, Colton, or San Bernardino, then travel through the layout to disappear going up Cajon Pass. You could also model U.P. as well as BNSF because they run parrallel routes through the pass as well as parrallel and criss crossing industrial sidings and mainlines all over the L A metro area. U.P. also shares trackage rights over the BNSF tracks through Cajon Pass. Your entrance into the helix from Cajon could be either through a cut or through tunnel #1. If you want pics of Cajon Pass and various spots in So Cal you might want to go to

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  17. KCS

    KCS Member

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    I know BNSF supplies the Home Depot chain because Home Depot named BNSF company of the year or something of the nature a couple year's back.