Roadwolf's portal for his random thoughts and ponderings

BPRR Model Railroad Project (N Scale)


I spend a lot of time thinking what I really wanted to model. Growing up, I lived no where near a shortline. I was however very close to mainline CN Action on the York Sub and Bala Sub. Therefore I had a strong urge to model CN. However I have no basis or reference of how to make a realistic and fun layout for CN other then running it as a main line service - and a fraction of one, at that! Therefore I looked locally to my new home in Buffalo. South of Buffalo, at the Buffalo Creek Yard, 5 railroads merge and interchange. CSX (which carries CN traffic as well), Norfork Southern (which carried CP traffic as well), South Buffalo Railroad (serves local industries, and is now owned by G&W), Buffalo Southern / NYLE, and Buffalo and Pittsburgh Rail Road. While CSX and Norfork Southern both have main lines which run through Buffalo Creek Yard, with only small transfer tracks, much of the yard work these days is done by Buffalo and Pittsburgh. This seems like an excellent focal point from which to start designing a layout around. Not to mention the ability to include Buffalo Southern railway as well!

BPRR Buffalo Creek Yard (ex South Buffalo)

I wish to attempt to detail BPRR between Buffalo Creek Yard, and East Salamanca Yard. As well as detailing Buffalo Southern between Buffalo Creek Yard and Gowanda (and perhaps beyond into NYLE trackage). With CSX/NS using a shared single or double track looping mainline to supply cars from outside the layout, and an off layout staging track for said trains. BPRR will also have a South staging track, however Buffalo Southern will not. BPRR (Buffalo & Pittsburgh) and BSOR (Buffalo Southern) will share towns along the way. However each lines town while modeled as the same town, but will be named separately. This will likely be a bi-level shelf layout, with Buffalo taking up a large portion of the lower deck. Storage will be located under the lower shelf, and any access hatches or crawl ways will have a padded / carpeted path under the shelf upon which to crawl through.

Desired Locomotives:

While I am not a rivet counter per sae, I do like things to resemble the prototypical environments. I would make some exceptions for 'leased units', experimentals, and historical units. I do hope to run at least one steam train eventually on Buffalo Southern for example. The following is a list of Locomotive models that would be useful in my layout or desired, or currently part of the layout (Currently owned locomotives designated in bold with the running number displayed). Orange will designate locomotives for BPRR, Green will designate locomotives for BSOR, and normal text will designate locomotives used for staging (CSX/NS/Other).
  • Atlas (china) EMD MP15DC (Buffalo & Pittsburgh, or South Buffalo, or CSX, or NS, or G&W)
  • Intermountain EMD SD40-2W (CN)
  • Life-Like (china) EMD SW1200 (Buffalo & Pittsburgh, or South Buffalo, or CSX, or NS, or G&W)
  • Kato EMD SD45 (Buffalo & Pittsburgh, G&W) {2 Units Desired}
  • Kato EMD GP38-2 (Buffalo & Pittsburgh, G&W)
  • Atlas EMD SD35 (CSX #4586)
  • Atlas EMD GP38-2 (Buffalo & Pittsburgh #2000) {2 Units Desired}
  • Life-Like (china) GP9 [LOW HOOD] (CN, Buffalo & Pittsburgh, G&W)
  • Atlas (china) GP15-1 (CSX) {Road Number 1560 if possible}
  • Kato EMD SD40-2 (Buffalo & Pittsburgh, G&W) {2 Units Desired}
  • Kato GE ES44AC (CSX, NS)
  • Kato GE AC4400CW (CSX, NS, CP)
  • Kato SD70MAC (NS)
  • Kato SD9043MAC (Buffalo and Pittsburgh (BPRR), EMLX (Union Pacific))
  • Atlas (china) RS-11 (Buffalo Southern, Undecorated, Any Paint Scheme) {2 units desired}
  • True Line Trains (canada) RS-18 [LOW HOOD if possible] (Buffalo Southern, Undecorated, Any Paint Scheme)
  • Atlas (china) Alco C-420 [LOW HOOD] (Buffalo Southern, Undecorated, CN, Any Paint Scheme) {2 units desired}
  • Life Like (china) Alco C-424 ((Buffalo Southern), Undecorated, CN, Any Paint Scheme)
  • Arnold-Rivarossi (germany) Alco S-1 (Any Paint Scheme) *** Hard to Find {2 units desired}
  • Bachmann (china) GE 44 Tonner (Any Paint Scheme)
  • Atlas-Micro Ace 2-6-0 Mogul (NYLE or BSOR if possible)
It looks like Buffalo Southern bought up a bunch of ex-CN Alco locomotives. So I would likely have to hand paint these units.

Control System:

I will be using DCC for this railroad. DCC is a type of control system which uses digital commands which are integrated in the power feed through the tracks, to command each locomotive separately. Each locomotive will need to be equipted with a DCC chip in order to decode the data. Some decoders may have sound and headlight controls as well. Signaling will likely be custom made block signaling. Crossing gates will also likely be custom designed to function properly.

Rolling Stock:

I am planning to model current conditions, so much of my rolling stock would be newer, and most of it will originate in North Eastern USA and Canada. Older rolling stock originating from BSOR or NYLE will be permitted to run at the end of the train on BPRR, however will not be able to be transferred to CSX/NS. So yes, I am allowing older rolling stock. But there will be severe limits on older stock. And the older the car, the more restrictive they will be, and the less industries will accept them. More on that later. Here is a current Roster in bold, with the other listings being specific wish list rolling stock.
  1. CN 143866 Gondola - {Modern 50ft}
  2. CN 291147 Insulated Box Car (Atlas) - {Modern 40ft}
  3. BCOL 8004 Insulated Box Car (Atlas) - British Columbia Railways {Semi-Modern 40ft}
  4. ARMN 2511Reffer Box Car - {Semi Modern 55ft}
  5. WM 36003 Box Car (Bachmann) - {Semi Modern 50ft}
  6. WC 1994 Box Car (Bachmann) - {Semi Modern 50ft}
  7. NADX 2615 Box Car (Bachmann) - {Semi Modern 50ft}
  8. CSXT 134261 Box Car (Atlas) - {Modern 50ft}
  9. BPRR 25027 Covered Hopper (Atlas) - {Modern 35ft}
  10. ACFX 69918 Covered Hopper (Atlas) - {Modern 60ft} Plastics
  11. UTLX 950306 LPG Tank Car (Atheann) - {Modern 60ft}
  12. TTZX 86090 Centerbeam Flatcar
Car Types: Various car types will be used to transport the various commodities in use on the layout.
  • Low Gondola: Scrap Metal, Steel Rolls, Steel Pipes, Steel Girders, Rocks, Concrete Precast Items
  • Coal Gondola: Coke
  • Open Hopper: Coke, Gravel
  • Ore Hopper: Ore
  • Covered Hopper: Limestone, Grain, Corn, Sand, Chemicals, Oxidizers, Concrete, Carbon
  • Boxcar: Goods
  • Boxcar (Reefer):
  • Boxcar Large: Auto Parts
  • Tanker (16,000 gal): Corn Syrup, Chemicals
  • Tanker (30,000 gal): LPG, Propane, Ethanol
  • Centerbeam Flat Car: Lumber
  • Flat Car: Concrete Precast Items
  • Spine Car: Trailers, 48ft containers (through traffic only)
  • Well Cars: Containers (through traffic only)
  • Autocarriers: Cars (trough traffic only)

Waybill System:

I have been thinking about what system I wish to use for sessions. Waybill systems are important to offer challenges and provide a goal for each session. I saw this website, and found the information there quite useful. I have used the Tack system before. My friend Tavis used it on his dad's layout. It is a good and fun system, and requires little in the way of paperwork. But I do think I would appreciate a waybill system with some sense of order to it. Unsure at this point.

Yards and Stations:

I hope to achieve enough on layout goods trading that I will not have to constantly use staging to fill my loads. I am altering history slightly in some cases to bring back some industries which will help me fill those rolls. Here are the stations I am planning on. Those with supply and demand colored Green, will supply and demand goods from other industries on the layout. Red will indicate that it comes from Buffalo staging. Yellow from Salamanca staging.
  1. Auto Plant (BPRR) Demands: steel rolls Supplies scrap metal, auto parts {mini yard}
  2. Buffalo Lumber Terminal (BPRR) Demands Lumber
  3. River Wright Ethanol Production (BSOR) - Demands: Corn; Supplies: Ethanol
  4. General Mills (CSX) - Demands: grain, corn syrup
  5. ADM (CSX) - Demands/supplies: grain, corn, corn syrup
  6. LaForge Concrete (BPRR) - Demands limestone, gravel Supplies: concrete
  7. Buffalo Recycling (BSOR) - Supplies scrap metal
  8. Bethlehem Steel (BPRR) - Demands: coke, ore, scrap metal Supplies steel rolls, steel pipes, steel girders
  9. Fabrication Plant (BPRR) - Demands steel rolls Supplies Goods (boxcars)
  10. Buffalo Creek Yard (NS,CSX,BPRR,BSOR) Supplies: chemicals, lumber, coke, rail cars, grain Demands: ethanol, auto parts, Steel girders, steel pipes
  11. Ebenezer Rail Car (BPRR,NS) Demands rail cars Supplies scrap metal
  12. Blasdale Siding (BSOR)
  13. Scrapyard (BPRR) - Supplies scrap metal
  14. Abrasives (BPRR) - Demands oxidizers, sand, carbon, chemicals
  15. Hamburg Stone Center (BPRR) - Stones, Gravel
  16. Hamburg Lumber Yard (BPRR) - Lumber
  17. Lake Erie Concrete (BSOR) - Aggregrates, Concrete, Stone
  18. Orchard Park/Hamburg yard (BPRR,BSOR)
  19. Lackawana Feed Products (BSOR) - Demands grain
  20. Eden Station / Yard (BSOR, BPRR)
  21. Cattaraugus Quarry (BPRR) - Supplies: Stone, Limestone, Gravel
  22. Renaldo's Propane (BSOR) - Demands propane
  23. Lawton Siding (BSOR)
  24. Gowanda Station (BSOR,NYLE)
  25. Salamanca Co-Op Elevator (BPRR) - Supplies: Corn
  26. East Salamanca Yard (BPRR, NS) Supplies: oxidizers, carbon, ore, propane
The following are some mock ups on Trainz 2010 of the layout.  Note: this layout will be a real model railroad, not a virtual railroad.

From left to right; BPRR Yard, BSOR Yard, and CSX/NS Transfer Yard.

The far North end of the BPRR yard seen on the right.  BSOR team track and good shed in the center, and Buffalo Ethanol production in the distance.  ADM milling silo is on the left in the foreground.

The far North end of the BPRR yard seen on the right. BSOR team track and good shed in the center, and Buffalo Ethanol production in the distance. ADM milling silo is on the left in the foreground.

See updates on this story at the project page.

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