BN's Allen Subdivision is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


The Chief
MRRF member Brent Strong (speent) asked me to come over during a mini-operations session and take some photos to show his progress over the past year. First off a little about the layout;

Theme: BN around the time of the merger with Santa Fe
Locale: Pacific Northwest

Models the line across the Cascades to points east and south along the I-5 corridor. Two staging yards represent "Cascade" to the west, and "Field" to the east. Moving east from Cascade....

Port Allen - Ocean going Port with intermodal and autorack deramp, large grain facility and warehouses.

Allen Yard - Main flat switched yard for the layout.

East Allen - Industrial complex and interchange with UP

Bobbo Jct. - Industrial town east of mountains including refinery, cascade hardwoods and heavy equipment dealer.

Evan Gap - Power plant that recieves unit coal trains. Pacific Fruit Express loading site.

Rayne - Large grain facility; empties in - loads out west to the Port.

Jacobson Branch - Coal line to a loop flood loader for unit coal trains to Evan Gap.

Only thing with this layout is there is still a labor agreement that requires cabooses on all trains.

We have had several operation sessions with an average crew of 5 to handle all of the assigned jobs. Brent uses a card forwarding system for all cars on the layout. His layout is DCC with the Prodigy system.

Brent is getting set to get working on scenery - this layout if well on its way to becoming a classic railroad model - Keep up the great work Brent!

#1 The railroad super Brent Strong overlooking Allen Yard
#2 Ted Curphy working Port Allen
#3 Brent studying his next switch move at East Allen
#4 Overlook at T. Vincent Warehouse at Port Allen and the mock up of the grain terminal
Last edited by a moderator:


The Chief
#5 Trains staged at Field including two M-FLDALL (Field - Allen yard) trains and a M-FLDCAS (Field-Cascade).
#6 Brent at East Allen - Bobbo Jct is on the lower level.
#7 Alco and caboose at Allen Yard
#8 Another view of Field staging yard
Last edited by a moderator:


The Chief
#9 A view of one of my project locos including a BN SW-7 that was custom painted and lettered.
#10 An MRL concept engine of a Kato SD70mac that I painted and decaled for Richard Zoller (RZoller16)
#11 Brent signal at Gateway - the Jacobson branch is overhead - a future bridge reminiscant of the Feather River will be built over the mainline
#12 Caboose assigned to coal service on the Jacobson branch
Last edited by a moderator:


The Chief
#13 A re-decaled BN Athern for the C&S along with set of C30-7's
#14 A quick shot of the Cascade staging yard including an A-B-A on the I-CASFLD (Cascade - Field) intermodal train
#15 Peek at the switch lead at Allen yard
#16 DCC controls and car card holders at Port Allen - Rayne is on lower level
Last edited by a moderator:


The Chief
#17 MRL F45 that I painted up for Richard Zoller
#18 A view of the engine terminal at Allen Yard
#19 Bridge over Stevens River between the Port and Allen yard
#20 A GP50 and 40-2 in the background at Port Allen

Look for more photos of the next Ops session - lets hear it for Brent's layout!
Last edited by a moderator:


Robert- thanks for the nice layout photos and posting. For the rest of you, most of the custom rolling stock and weathering that you see in the photos was done by Robert. He is a master detailer- good work to you.
Scenery is going to begin very soon, and structures have been ongoing as much as could be expected for a hot summer season.
Brian, have Robert bring you over soon.



BN Modeller
Hey Speent,
You once commented on how similar our fleet was, well after seeing these pics I'd have to say you don't know how right you were! Even down to the loco numbers and coal service caboose, great work on the layout!
And Robert... thanx for posting!
Rico (heading to the basement to count inventory ;-)


How my wood chip cars treating you?

Hey dude! The woodchips are looking good now with KD's, metal wheels, and real wood chips sprinkled on top of the cast resin loads.

The BNSF Coalporters are sweet too. "Pimp my rolling stock" is a new show I going to have to start with bubba! LOL Those babys got custom made coal loads with real coal- Trick! LOL I'm thinking about selling 'em on e-bay if your interested- LOL

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.