When you think of the engine installations on the BNSF Ry., Pictures of large multi-bay structures; washing racks; and sand towers and fuel columns that can handle 10 or more locomotives at a time probably come to mind. And that makes perfect sense given the size of the railroad. BNSF has facilities like this at Alliance (Neb. And Texas); Barstow and Commerce, California; Chicago; Havre, Mont .; Lincoln, Neb. ; Minneapolis; Kansas City, Kansas; and Seattle.
However, between these large stores are smaller terminals. While railing at BNSF in Sioux Falls, SD, I came across a terminal that looked like something torn off a miniature railroad. The heart of the facility is a metal engine room which can house two four-axle road locomotives. The structure dates back to the mid-1950s when its predecessor Great Northern operated the line.
On the west side of the structure is a single story hump. This is where the train crews are on duty. It also houses a cloakroom, dining room and laundry facilities. As you can see in the image, they added outdoor storage space using a 20ft intermodal container and barn-shaped garden shed, both painted beige.
To the southeast of the building is a two-lane sanding tower. The tower is located between two sidings where the locomotives are stored outside between assignments. The tower does not serve the runway that goes into the engine room.
What type of work takes place here? Sioux Falls forces are doing what is called “routine repairs”. Refueling and sanding, replacing burnt out headlight and ditch bulbs, and replacing brake shoes are just a few examples. Most of the work is left to one of the major stores listed above.
Sioux Falls machinery could be constructed from styrene and matching retail parts for items such as roof vents, chimney, windows and doors. If you’re looking for standard options to recreate a scene similar to this, here are a few options:
Metal single track machinery
Monroe Models (2219 [HO], 9219 [N])
Pikestuff (541-5000 [HO]), 541-8002 [N])
Wm. K. Walthers Inc. (933-2985 [HO])
Limited US Models (5500 [HO assembled] and 5100 [HO kit])
Structure (1011) [HO]) Stewart Products (115 [HO], 1114 [N])
Wm. K. Walthers Inc. (933-3182 [HO], 933-38313 [N])