Information on Burlington Northern

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TrinityJayOne

N gauge fan
To help me make my layout prototypical, mainly in terms of rolling stock but buildings and geography too, I'm after information on Burlington Northern. I've found some great resources online for locomotives and rolling stock already, but I still lack factual info and have questions that those pictures can't answer. I'm open to websites, books, magazines, hell even DVDs if it comes to it! Here's some questions off the top of my head-


-How quickly were the GN, CB&Q, etc. liveries painted over? The first year or so? Early '80s? Or still in use right up to the BNSF merger?

-The only BN livery & logo I know of is the green & black w/ white stripes + the loco in my avatar, as below. Did they really stick with this for 20+ years or were there other designs used?



-What type of consist would you typically see a BN freight train pulling? All a specific type of car? Mixed? How long and how many engines?


Answers to those and more importantly some tips on where to read up about it all is greatly appreciated. :)
 

weekendrailroader

Guy with the Green Hat
Burlington Northern had several other locomotive paint schemes.

The "Tiger" scheme: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=369388&nseq=0

The "White Face" scheme: http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=321459&nseq=0

There was the Executive Scheme: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=358751

Bicentennial Scheme: http://www.freedomtrain.org/american-freedom-train-consist-burlington-northern-diesels.htm

Experimental Burlington Northern scheme. Looks like the roundhouse in the background was experimented on with the same colors: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=640357

Probably not a standard paint scheme, but here's an interesting little locomotive: http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPicture.aspx?id=2153127

Here's a page showing different BN paint schemes, starting with locomotives that were simply patched with "BN" and a number. Note the different variations of schemes used on high nose units: http://www.trainweb.org/chris/BN.html

There was also a former CB&Q E-unit that retained its stainless steel sides when it was repainted for BN.

Paint schemes for and types of BN cabooses are a whole topic unto themselves.

As for typical freight train consists? Why not just step back in time and do some railfanning? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55XIPwnECUE

And if you're looking for reading material, try to get some old Burlington Northern annuals. The front cover of the 1992 annual has a picture of some locomotives with yet another paint scheme.
 
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Davidellias

Member
-The only BN livery & logo I know of is the green & black w/ white stripes + the loco in my avatar, as below. Did they really stick with this for 20+ years or were there other designs used?

For the most part, Yes! As Weekend modeler pointed out there we're a couple of variations, plus different locomotives had slightly different paintjobs, but for the most part it wasn't till right before the merger BN decided to use the executive paintjob in some of its freight locos.
 

TrinityJayOne

N gauge fan
Fantastic stuff, thanks friends! :D I remember the tiger stripe design from Sid Meier's Railroads but it never occurred to me that it was the work of BN.

Nice to see the F45 in the sky blue GN livery, dated June '72. The link I posted has an image of that same engine repainted green & black w/ white stripes-



Dated May '73. Looks like it wasn't too long at all before they got out the paintbrushes! I'm very interested in F45s and F-units not just for their looks, but because the wider body should theoretically make it far easier to get sound installed into N gauge models. :)

Might be off down to the LHS this weekend some time so I'll see if I can get some appropriate literature from them.
 

DanRaitz

Member
-How quickly were the GN, CB&Q, etc. liveries painted over? The first year or so? Early '80s? Or still in use right up to the BNSF merger?
If we're talking locomotives the last unit painted into the BN green/black, from the original merger partners, was RS3 #4064 in August, 1977.

If we're talking freight cars, I remember seeing those still in their original schemes into the 90's.

Dan
 

weekendrailroader

Guy with the Green Hat
Even today, you'll see an old woodchip hopper every now and then still bearing the words "Northern Pacific" or "Great Northern".
 

TrinityJayOne

N gauge fan
Excellent. :)

The LHS didn't have any books on BN pre-BNSF, so the search continues in that regard. A lot of websites list "1980-1991 Burlington Northern Annual" by Robert C. Del Grosso as a source, but I'd want to have a look at a copy in the flesh first to make sure I'm not paying a lot of money for stuff easily found online.
 

Scordicus

Member
Amazon

This is probably your best bet, there's a couple of books that will probably fit the bill, [Burlington Northern Color Guide to Freight and Passenger Equipment by David G. Casdorph (Hardcover - 2001)] but it ain't cheap! And [History of the Burlington-Northern (Railroads of North America Series) by Bill Yeane (Hardcover - 1991)] looks like they'll fit the bill..

You didn't mention what sort of time frame your after the information for, that might narrow it down a bit..

The first book mentioned, I've got one similar on the Santa Fe RR, it's very very informative especially on equipment & liveries...
 

TrinityJayOne

N gauge fan
Thanks, Scordicus. The one I mentioned goes for about 70 clams, and it's 20 years old! Maybe there weren't many printed or something because I've never seen a book at those sorts of prices, especially used.

In regards to period, I'm aiming to model from their beginnings up to around the mid '80s currently, probably moreso the latter.
 

weekendrailroader

Guy with the Green Hat
Modeling the Burlington Northern in the 1970's is my "dream" layout. You would have a HUGE variety of trains and liveries available to you.

Liveries would include, just to name a few:

-Great Northern orange and olive green
-Great Northern orange and olive green simplified
-Great Northern big sky blue

-Northern Pacific yellow and black
-Northern Pacific yellow and black simplified
-Northern Pacific Raymond-Lowey two-tone green

-CB&Q red, white, and grey
-CB&Q grey, black, and white

-SP&S yellow and black

-Plus several more experimental schemes.
-Then of course the many versions of Burlington Northern schemes.

Equipment would include whatever the predecessor roads owned and whatever Burlington Northern bought new. Locomotives would be from EMD, ALCO, GE, etc.

And if that's not enough, there's one more factor: Amtrak.

Burlington Northern only operated passenger service for one year. Some passenger equipment was painted into BN colors, but there were still a lot more cars in a variety of predecessor liveries. When Amtrak started, you had the "Rainbow era" in which you could have a former BN engine (still in NP colors) pulling a train of coaches still lettered and painted for their former owners (a stainless steel CB&Q coach, a GN orange and olive green coach followed by a GN big sky blue coach, etc. etc. etc.) Plus, some of the Amtrak trains could be using equipment from the other railroads (Chessie system, Seaboard, etc.), as well as equipment that had been painted into early Amtrak colors.

So yeah, it could be fun.:)
 

TrinityJayOne

N gauge fan
I'm especially fond of the GN big sky blue livery, it complements the BN green very nicely.

I actually saw a used BN business coach at the LHS yesterday, but it was just the one. If they had more I probably would've picked up a few. I'm not adverse to a slight bit of time-bending from the prototype. :)
 

BN8002

Did someone say B-unit?
Even today, you'll see an old woodchip hopper every now and then still bearing the words "Northern Pacific" or "Great Northern".
very true..the woodchip hoppers, gondolas, and even some tank cars made it to present day..The tank cars though have pretty much all disappeared by 2007ish because they wern't up to the standards of today. I know a guy who works for BNSF and he was slowly killing off the old CB&Q 62' tanks
 

BN8002

Did someone say B-unit?
I'm especially fond of the GN big sky blue livery, it complements the BN green very nicely.

I actually saw a used BN business coach at the LHS yesterday, but it was just the one. If they had more I probably would've picked up a few. I'm not adverse to a slight bit of time-bending from the prototype. :)
seeming that you like the f45 you could take a big sky blue f45 and patch it for BN..They hung around awhile like that..I model the BN in the 80's as well and I can refer you to some good BN books that are out there..I'm at work right now but I'll PM you the titles and authors..
 

TrinityJayOne

N gauge fan
seeming that you like the f45 you could take a big sky blue f45 and patch it for BN..
Way ahead of you there!



Three Athearn F45s - two originally ordered as GN pre-merger but delivered as BN and one ordered post-merger by BN themselves. Athearn did release three road numbers in GN Big Sky Blue, but that was an older release (mine are only a month old) and they'd be a bit more difficult to track down now I think. I wouldn't mind getting a spare BN shell and attempting to give it the Tigerstripe treatment for the hell of it. :) On the plus side I currently have a pair of GN F7 A & C units in Orange & Green on their way from Fifer Hobby! Still trying to source a B unit.

They hung around awhile like that..I model the BN in the 80's as well and I can refer you to some good BN books that are out there..I'm at work right now but I'll PM you the titles and authors..
That'd be greatly appreciated, thank you.
 
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kjd

Go make something!
Way ahead of you there!

...attempting to give it the Tigerstripe treatment for the hell of it. :)....

That'd be greatly appreciated, thank you.

The tiger stripe scheme was short lived and was only on GP50s delivered around 1985, SD40-2 #8002 and I think 3 SD60s. All were repainted by 1991 or so into the whiteface scheme adopted in 1989. (Numbers and dates subject to correction). My favorite is the whiteface with the pinstripe separating the green and black.
 

TrinityJayOne

N gauge fan
Perhaps...doesn't mean I can't do it though! :D The priority for now however is actually getting the baseboard on some legs so that I can start laying track.
 

bn_1970

New Member
Hi Pete. Those Athern F45's are nice! Do they have the Tsunami sound? I wanted a pair, but do to the cost, I ended up getting the Kato BN U30C's.
 

TrinityJayOne

N gauge fan
Nope, making my own sounds for now! I chose not to get the factory sound due to the higher price plus I'd rather do it myself. They'll likely get LokSound decoders but it won't be for a while yet.

While I'm here, tracked down a GN F7B. :D
 




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