BNSF Fall River Division - HO - John Parker

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Welcome, to the BNSF Fall River Division, a prototype based freelance model railroad of the BNSF Railway. Scenes on the layout are representative of cities, industries, lifestyle, and scenery found almost anywhere throughout the United States. The era of the layout is considered "modern" as the details, structures, engines and rolling stock are typical of what may have been found along the railroad between the year 2000 and the present time.

Layout Overview

Construction on the BNSF Fall River Division began in January of 2006. The layout is located in a 3,000 square foot area, specifically designed for the railroad. A group of dedicated people have been involved in the construction process since the beginning, and continue to meet weekly to build the railroad.

The layout is primarily a double deck "mushroom" type design, with only one deck visible at any time. Trains move between decks through helixes located throughout the railroad, as well as a 1.8% ruling visible grade between Sage and Kimber. Aisle widths are generally between 36 and 48 inches, to comfortably accommodate a large number of operators and visitors.

Digital Command Control (DCC) is utilized on the railroad. Digitrax is exclusively used for power management, train detection, and signaling. All trains are sound equipped, and sound effects are located throughout the layout.

Lighting consists of "daylight" color tones to better represent the true color of sunlight. Night lighting effects (blue lights) are also used throughout the layout during night operations.

Train Operations

The track plan is linear in nature, and includes a large staging area (representing five destinations), a large division classification yard, and several junctions and interchange tracks used by other railroads. More than 1,000 feet of single and double track mainline is operational, which excludes yards, staging, industry track, and passing sidings. A modern computer-based centralized traffic control (CTC) system, and signals, are utilized to manage all mainline traffic movement. A dispatcher's office is located adjacent to the crew lounge. Crews communicate between the dispatcher, yards, and Traffic Center using both two-way radios and a stand-alone telephone system.

Car forwarding is managed using RailOp in "real time," meaning that manifests and switch lists are generated during the operating session.

On a monthly basis, between 18 and 25 people operate the railroad, moving freight across the division. Commodities of all sorts are transported across the system. On a daily basis railfans can observe unit trains (coal, stack, autorack, tank, grain, etc.), local trains servicing customers, Amtrak passenger trains, and even an occasional passenger special or excursion train.

The BNSF Fall River Division remains one of the most profitable divisions on the BNSF system!

Contact Information

Guest operators and visitors are welcome provided advanced notice is provided. Additional information and construction progress can be viewed on the Web.

John Parker

Visit the BNSF Fall River Division at:

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